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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.


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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.