David Pountney has been announcing his farewell summer at the Bregenz Festival. Among the fascinating premieres is a Merchant of Venice opera by Tchaikovsky.
Not Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Not even Boris Tchaikovsky, the highly engaging 20th cetury symphonist.
This opera is by Andre Tchaikovsky. Remember Andre? He was a Polish refugee living under an assumed name in London. When he died in 1982, he left his skull to the National Theatre for use in productions of Hamlet.
I have only ever heard his chamber music, but I felt a strong affinity for him because his mother, murdered in Treblinka, shared a family name with the hero of my novel, The Song of Names.
Here’s David Pountney, espousing his enthusiasm for this almost-forgotten composer.