FULL JANET BAKER PLAYLIST 27 great video clips
Information on the Performance
- Work Title: JANET BAKER PLAYLIST
- Composer: various
- Libretto: various    Libretto Text, Libretto Index
- Venue & Opera Company: various
- Recorded: various
- Type: Staged Opera Live
- Singers: Janet Baker
- Conductor: various
- Orchestra: various
- Stage Director:
- Costume Designer:
Information about the Recording
- Published by: OoV
- Date Published: 2023
- Format: Broadcast
- Quality Video: 3 Audio:3
- Subtitles: nosubs
- Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE
Dame Janet Abbott Baker CH, DBE, FRSA (born 21 August 1933) is an English mezzo-soprano best known as an opera, concert, and lieder singer
Baker is particularly closely associated with baroque and early Italian opera and the works of Benjamin Britten. During her career, which lasted from the 1950s to the 1980s, she was considered an outstanding singing actress and widely admired for her dramatic intensity, perhaps best represented in her famous portrayal as Dido, the tragic heroine of Berlioz’s magnum opus, Les Troyens. As a concert performer, Baker was noted for her interpretations of the music of Gustav Mahler and Edward Elgar. David Gutman, writing in Gramophone, described her performance of Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder as “intimate, almost self-communing”.
Biography and career
Janet Abbott Baker was born in Hatfield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where her father was an engineer as well as a chorister. Members of her family worked at Bentley Pit, in Doncaster. She attended York College for Girls and then Wintringham Girls’ Grammar School in Grimsby. The death, when she was 10 years old, of her elder brother Peter, from a heart condition, was a formative moment that made her take responsibility for the rest of her life; she revealed this in a BBC Radio 3 Lebrecht Interview in September 2011.
In her early years Baker worked in a bank, transferring to London in 1953 where she trained with Meriel St Clair and Helene Isepp, whose son Martin became her regular accompanist. Knocked down by a bus in 1956, she suffered concussion and a persistently painful back injury. In the same year she came second in the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Competition at the Wigmore Hall, winning national attention.
In 1956, she made her stage debut with Oxford University’s Opera Club as Miss Róza in Smetana’s The Secret. That year, she also made her debut at Glyndebourne. In 1959, she sang Eduige in the Handel Opera Society’s Rodelinda; other Handel roles included Ariodante (1964), of which she later made a notable recording with Raymond Leppard, and Orlando (1966), which she sang at the Barber Institute, Birmingham.
With the English Opera Group at Aldeburgh, Baker sang Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in 1962, Polly (in Benjamin Britten’s version of The Beggar’s Opera) and Lucretia (in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia). At Glyndebourne she appeared again as Dido (1966) and as Diana/Jupiter in Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto, and Penelope in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria. For Scottish Opera she sang Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Dido in Berlioz’s The Trojans, as well as Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Octavian in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos and the role of Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. The latter was considered her signature role; she sang it in many productions, and a videotaped performance from Glyndebourne is available .
In 1966, Baker made her debut as Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and went on to sing there Berlioz’s Dido; Kate in Britten’s Owen Wingrave; Mozart’s Vitellia (in La clemenza di Tito) and Idamante (in Idomeneo); Cressida in William Walton’s Troilus and Cressida; and the title role in Gluck’s Alceste (1981). For the English National Opera, she sang the title role in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (1971), Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther, and the title roles in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda and Handel’s Giulio Cesare.
Oratorio and song
During this same period she made an equally strong impact on audiences in the concert hall, both in oratorio roles and solo recitals. Among her most notable achievements are her recordings of the Angel in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, made with Sir John Barbirolli in December 1964 and Sir Simon Rattle over twenty years later; her 1965 performances of Elgar’s Sea Pictures and Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, also recorded with Barbirolli; and, also from 1965, the first commercial recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Christmas oratorio Hodie under Sir David Willcocks with The Bach Choir. In 1963, she sang the contralto part in the first performance at the BBC Promenade Concerts of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony under the direction of Leopold Stokowski, then making his Proms debut appearances. She performed in 1971 for the Peabody Mason Concert series in Boston.
In 1976 she premiered the solo cantata Phaedra, written for her by Britten; and Dominick Argento’s Pulitzer Prize-winning song cycle From the Diary of Virginia Woolf, also written with her voice in mind. She has also been highly praised for her insightful performances of Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody and Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, as well as solo songs from the French, German and English repertoire.
Dame Janet’s final operatic appearance was as Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, on 17 July 1982, at Glyndebourne. In May 1988, she repeated the role in a concert performance with the Oratorio Society of New York (an unannounced farewell to the U.S.). She had continued to perform lieder recitals, retiring for good in 1989 (although she did make a small handful of recordings in January 1990). She published a memoir, Full Circle, in 1982. In 1991, Baker was elected Chancellor of the University of York. She held the position until 2004, when she was succeeded by Greg Dyke. An enthusiastic Patron of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, she gave an address at the closing ceremony of the 2009 event.
Quoted from Wikipedia