Nick Kimberley reviews regularly for the Evening Standard, BBC Music Magazine and The Gramophone
'Nobody in opera is keen to waste money. Both the late, Patric Schmid showed, and Peter Moores shows, that a judicious mixture of pragmatism and idealism can make a difference to the way we see and hear opera. In their distinctive ways, Opera Rara and Opera in English have enriched the operatic landscape, and that must be good for opera's ecology on the broadest scale.'
Peter Moores Foundation has become synonymous with Opera in English - 'Opera that speaks your language'. 62 complete operas as well as recital discs and opera highlights have been recorded with Chandos Records. It includes several historic recordings made between 1959 and 1984 and over the years has captured on stage and in the studio not only well-known recording artists but also preserved the artistry of many other singers who would not otherwise be well represented on disc.
The Foundation has championed the work of Opera Rara, a specialist label founded by the late Patric Schmid who was devoted to the exploration, restoration and recording of the lost operatic heritage of the 19th century. It enabled the company to research and introduce 43 works to its catalogue of rare
operas, thus opening up to the public an immensely rich repertory previously only accessible to scholars.
Fundamental to the Foundation is the encouragement of new work which led to substantial funding for a number of groups commissioning new opera. Since the early 1990s this commitment to new work has been enhanced by the funding of a number of recordings of new work with a variety of record labels.
'It has been an enormous pleasure to participate in Chandos Opera in English series. I am happy to use the experience of years at English National Opera communicating in English directly with our audiences. There is a call for opera in the vernacular. There's nothing like it if you want to get through to people.'
'Even without Patric (Schmid, who died in 2005), who had a love of all things rare and wonderful, Opera Rara remains committed heart and soul to full opera recordings. It has a great fan base and for the regular team of singers it can feel like the old contract system at 20th Century Fox. We are all very loyal to each other.'
22 December 2014