The French Connection
Incandescent French conductor Guillaume Tourniaire returned to Australia to continue a collaboration with Orchestra Victoria which is propelling it into the international scene. What began with the recording in 2008 of the opera Hélène written for Nellie Melba by Saint-Saëns is now followed with a recording of the lost ballet music from his rare operas Les Barbares, Henri VIII, Ascanio and Étienne Marcel.
Said Guillaume Tourniaire: I am thrilled to be returning to Australia to continue bringing these wonderful discoveries back to life.
The sessions took place at Monash University’s Robert Blackwood Hall from the 1st to the 4th of February, in what will be one of a series in this fine venue.
Said Melba Recordings’ CEO Maria Vandamme of this latest recording: The ballet music from these operas are highpoints, diversions and Saint-Saëns at his best —the Saint-Saëns of Carnival of the Animals and the 'Bacchanale' from Samson and Delilah—with Saint-Saëns unashamedly providing an entertainment for the opera audience and a chance for the orchestra to shine. This new recording, supported by Arts Victoria, highlights the importance the Victorian Government places on promoting and celebrating the State’s valuable cultural assets through state-of-the-art recordings, in unique repertoire that draws world attention. We are immensely proud that Melba’s work reflects and contributes to the Government’s priorities for establishing a sophisticated and compelling ‘national brand’ for Australia.
To learn more about Guillaume Tourniaire’s thoughts on this new recording, view ‘Maestro’s French liberation’ published in The Age, Tuesday 2 February 2010, p.10, ‘The Arts’, Robin Usher.