“Florent Schmitt was a French composer of the 20th century who made a lot of music but didn’t catch on enough for symphonies to perform his orchestral and chamber works after his death in 1958,” writes Mike Holtzclaw in Thursday’s (5/16) Daily Press (Newport News, VA). “Schmitt’s 1920 score for Shakespeare’s ‘Antony and Cleopatra,’ however, has enjoyed a renaissance” following the Buffalo Philharmonic’s 2015 Naxos recording conducted by Music Director JoAnn Falletta. Bill Barclay, music director of Shakespeare’s Globe theater in London, “is teaming up with Falletta for two productions of ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ this weekend as part of the Virginia Arts Festival” with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, where Falletta is also music director. “Barclay’s new version of ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ has been staged a few times, but this weekend’s performances … will mark the North American premiere. The production offers a trimmed version of the play with a small cast… Barclay [will] direct … and Falletta will conduct the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.” Barclay describes Falletta as “amazing—as generous and supportive and cheerful as they come…. It feels like coming back home to the person who rediscovered this work and championed it.”

Posted May 17, 2019