Classical Music

Classical Classroom, Ep. 144: Britten’s Herring With Isaiah Bell And Chris Mayell

No matter what your reading of it, this opera has a lot going on. Frankly, so does this episode.

Chris Mayell and Isaiah Bell
Chris Mayell and Isaiah Bell

In an epic Classical Classroom, tenors Isaiah Bell and Chris Mayell (who, among many other things, co-host the Overthought podcast) walk through the entirety of Benjamin Britten’s opera, Albert Herring. It is an incredible journey, not for the faint of heart, nor for the anti-Canadian. Discussed: townies, queer theory vs. non-queer theory interpretations of the opera, Sid and Nancy (no – not them – the other Sid and Nancy), and Ron Swanson. 

Music in this episode (all from Naxos and Decca recordings of Albert Herring):

  • “Right! We’ll have him!” (Bedford/Barstow)
  • “Albert the Good!” (Britten/Fisher)

  • “Sounds like Sid serenading” (Bedford/Barstow)

  • “Heaven helps those who helps themselves” (Bedford/Barstow)

  • “In the midst of life is death” (Britten/Fisher)

Audio production by Todd “Overtodd” Hulslander with meaningful encouragement from Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.