Julian Budden

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Julian Medforth Budden OBE FBA (9 April 1924 in Hoylake, Wirral – 28 February 2007 in Florence, Italy) was a British opera scholar, radio producer and broadcaster. He is particularly known for his three volumes on the operas of Giuseppe Verdi (published in 1973, 1978, & 1981), a single-volume biography in 1982 and a single-volume work on Giacomo Puccini and his operas in 2002. He is also the author of numerous entries in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians .

Fellow of the British Academy award granted by the British Academy to leading academics for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences

Fellowship of the British Academy (FBA) is an award granted by the British Academy to leading academics for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences. There are three kinds of fellowship

  1. Fellows, for scholars resident in the United Kingdom
  2. Corresponding Fellows, for scholars not resident in the UK
  3. Honorary Fellows, an honorary academic title
Hoylake seaside town in Merseyside, England

Hoylake is a seaside town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, Merseyside, England. The town is located at the north western corner of the Wirral Peninsula, near to the town of West Kirby and where the River Dee estuary meets the Irish Sea. Historically part of Cheshire, at the time of the Domesday it was within the Hundred of Wilaveston.

Wirral Peninsula area of Great Britain

Wirral, also known as The Wirral, is a peninsula in North West England. The Metropolitan Borough of Wirral is part of the Liverpool City Region. It is bounded to the west by the River Dee, forming a boundary with Wales, to the east by the River Mersey, and to the north by the Irish Sea.

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Personal life

His parents were the then professor of architecture at Liverpool University, Lionel Budden, and a poet, writer and journalist Maud, (née Fraser) who from 1938 until 1964 provided the rhymes for the strip 'Curly Wee and Gussie Goose', which was syndicated in newspapers throughout the world. Neither of his parents was especially musical and were not interested in what little opera was available locally. His operatic awakening occurred at school when a touring company with piano accompaniment and spoken recitatives performed The Marriage of Figaro. [1]

He attended Stowe School and read Classics at Queen's College Oxford. [2] [3] The war interrupted his studies; he worked in the Friends' Ambulance Unit from 1943–46, serving in Austria and Italy. He completed his BA in 1948 and then studied piano (with Thornton Lofthouse) and bassoon (with Archie Camden) at the Royal College of Music. [2]

Stowe School independent school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire, England

Stowe School is a selective independent school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire. It was opened on 11 May 1923, initially with 99 schoolboys, and with J. F. Roxburgh as the first headmaster. The school is a member of the Rugby Group, the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, and the G20 Schools' Group. Originally for boys only, the school is now coeducational, with some 550 boys and 220 girls.

The Queens College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

The Queen's College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford, England. The college was founded in 1341 by Robert de Eglesfield (d'Eglesfield) in honour of Queen Philippa of Hainault. It is distinguished by its predominantly neoclassical architecture, which includes buildings designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor.

Friends Ambulance Unit

The Friends' Ambulance Unit (FAU) was a volunteer ambulance service, founded by individual members of the British Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), in line with their Peace Testimony. The FAU operated from 1914–1919, 1939–1946 and 1946–1959 in 25 different countries around the world. It was independent of the Quakers' organisation and chiefly staffed by registered conscientious objectors.

Career

From 1951 until 1983 Budden worked for the BBC, progressing from junior posts to become a producer, then Chief Producer of Opera (1970–76) and External Services Music Organizer (1976–83). This time saw many little-known works produced and important revivals, including the original versions of Macbeth , La forza del destino and Simon Boccanegra and the full French version of Don Carlos . [2] He also produced programmes for others, and was meticulous in checking scripts and encouraging contributions. [4]

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

<i>Macbeth</i> (opera) opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Macbeth is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, with an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and additions by Andrea Maffei, based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. Written for the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, it was Verdi's tenth opera and premiered on 14 March 1847. Macbeth was the first Shakespeare play that Verdi adapted for the operatic stage. Almost twenty years later, Macbeth was revised and expanded in a French version and given in Paris on 19 April 1865.

<i>La forza del destino</i> opera by Giuseppe Verdi

La forza del destino is an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi. The libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on a Spanish drama, Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino (1835), by Ángel de Saavedra, 3rd Duke of Rivas, with a scene adapted from Friedrich Schiller's Wallensteins Lager. It was first performed in the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre of Saint Petersburg, Russia, on 10 November 1862 O.S..

Concurrently Budden pursued a career as a writer, starting with the BBC publication, The Listener . Then came his major study of Verdi, built on the foundation of "patient archival research, practical musicianship, a sense of history and wide cultural sympathies", with every opera covered by a detailed discussion of the literary background, compositional process, and the music as part of the drama. The books were "free from obscure technical analysis or deconstructionist jargon". [4] His writing style was "generous to past scholars... generous to his readers. [His prose was] full of wit and relaxed communication". [2] Budden was considered a key person in securing the reputation of Verdi during the second half of the twentieth century. [4]

The Listener was a weekly magazine established by the BBC in January 1929 which ceased publication in 1991. The entire digitised archive was made available for purchase online to libraries, educational and research institutions in 2011.

After leaving the BBC he was based in both London and Florence (he spoke fluent Italian), where he was a regular correspondent for Opera magazine and was a presence at the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani in Parma. He was president of the Centro di Studi Giacomo Puccini in Lucca until his death. [2]

Opera is a monthly British magazine devoted to covering all things related to opera. It contains reviews and articles about current opera productions internationally, as well as articles on opera recordings, opera singers, opera companies, opera directors, and opera books. The magazine also contains major features and analysis on individual operas and people associated with opera.

Parma Comune in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Parma is a city in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its architecture, music, art, prosciutto (ham), cheese and surrounding countryside. It is home to the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world. Parma is divided into two parts by the stream of the same name. The district on the far side of the river is Oltretorrente. Parma's Etruscan name was adapted by Romans to describe the round shield called Parma.

Lucca Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the Serchio, in a fertile plain near the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital of the Province of Lucca. It is famous for its intact Renaissance-era city walls.

He was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1987 and appointed an OBE for services to opera in 1991. [5]

Publications

Related Research Articles

Giacomo Puccini 19th and 20th-century Italian opera composer

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<i>Les vêpres siciliennes</i> opera by Giuseppe Verdi

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Deborah Burton is an American music theorist, pianist, and academic. She is particularly known for her publications on Giacomo Puccini and his works, including the 2004 book Tosca's Prism: Three Moments of Western Cultural History. She has contributed articles to numerous music journals, including Nuova Rivista Musicale, Opera Quarterly, Studi Musicali, and Theoria.

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References

Notes

  1. Budden, J., "I can't live without ...Le nozze di Figaro", Opera (London), November 2000, Vol. 51 No. 11, p. 1392.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Parker, Roger, "Julian Budden 1924–2007", Opera (London), May 2007, pp. 538–39.
  3. Later in life he returned to review opera productions at Stowe. See: Rusalka (review). Opera (London), December 2001, pp. 1525–26.
  4. 1 2 3 Obituary – Julian Budden, The Times , 13 March 2007.
  5. Amis, John, "Julian Budden - Masterful guide to opera's magic". The Guardian (London), 7 March 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2010