Looking for an unusual night at the opera? On June 24 at the London Coliseum, English National Opera will present a gala in aid of their Harewood Artists programme called ‘Call Me George’ which will also be a tribute to Lord Harewood, the former Chairman of ENO.
What will make this gala of particular interest to classical recording enthusiasts – aside from the fact that it will feature three conductors (Sir Mark Elder, Paul Daniel and Edward Gardner), will be presented by David Pountney, and will include star-turns from Lesley Garrett, Sir John Tomlinson and Christopher Purves – is that perhaps the real star of the show will be Lord Harewood’s own gramophone player. Between the live performances several of Harewood’s own records will be played on his gramophone, the records have been chosen by a panel of researchers and represent his interests as an avid collector of recorded music. Some of the records include Mussorgsky’s Song of the Flea from Faust, Humphrey Lyttelton playing Bad Penny Blues and a raag played by Ravi Shankar. (Interestingly, it was Benjamin Britten who introduced Harewood to Indian music after Britten invited him to a Shankar concert.)