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Vivid and sparkling music theatre


A modern revival of a rediscovered opera
with music by Mozart after 176 Years!

MALCOLM MILLER attended the
UK Première and World Première of the English Translation of
The Philosopher's Stone or The Enchanted isle
(Der Stein Der Weisen oder die Zauberinsel)


Carolyn SampsonThe UK première of an opera with music by Mozart and first European performance for 176 years? It seems remarkable but The Philosopher's Stone (Der Stein Der Weisen), an entertaining Singspiel premièred at Vienna's Theater auf der Wieden only a year before The Magic Flute and dormant since 1814, has at last received a superb modern revival as the climax of London's Hampstead and Highgate Festival at St Jude-on-the-Hill on 27 May 2000. The excellent cast led by Huw Rhys-Evans and Carolyn Sampson was ably supported by stirring choral sounds of The New Company and the incisive period performance of Collegium Musicum 90 under the zestful baton of Harry Bicket. Only in its second year, the Hampstead and Highgate Festival has earned a deserved place in the forefront of London's musical calendar, under the imaginative artistic direction of Barry Millington, critic and musicologist, and the dynamic organisation of Festival Director Jane Krivine (who also directs the Windsor Festival). Last year's highlights included premières by the Finnish composer Rautavaara while this year's programme of star recitals, ensembles and choral concerts, interspersed with visual and literary events (including a poetry reading by Alfred Brendel!) was crowned by this remarkable opera-in-concert première.

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Copyright © 8 June 2000 Malcolm Miller, London, UK


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