sat 25/11/2017

Opera Features

Remembering Dmitri Hvorostovsky (1962-2017)

david Nice

A certain online scandalmonger and coffin-chaser likes to preface news of deaths in the musical world with "sadness" or "tragedy", usually when neither he nor we have heard of the person in question.

Read more...

'Singers must act better than ever before'

Selina Cadell

"Vary the song, O London, change!" sings Tom Rakewell as he tires of the great metropolis. WH Auden and Chester Kallman's libretto for Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress strikes a chord with me too. London has magnificent opera but, at the top end, it comes at a price. Not just for the audience but for the singers. Lavish sets and costumes force historical productions into revivals.

Read more...

'Fanny Price’s pained silences gave me the impulse to write music for her'

Jonathan Dove

When I first read Mansfield Park, some 30 years ago, I heard music. That doesn’t always happen when I read, and it certainly didn’t happen when I read other novels by Jane Austen. There is something about this particular book that provoked musical ideas.

Read more...

‘A massive party full of treats and surprises’: Annabel Arden on six mini masterpieces at Opera North

Annabel Arden

The first day of rehearsals for The Little Greats was thrilling and terrifying in equal measure: the casts of six shows, the whole chorus, all the creative teams and management milling around and talking nineteen to the dozen in the big, reverberant Linacre Studio at Opera North. Old friends, new colleagues – it was like a mixture of freshers’ week and a first night party. The noise was stupendous.

Read more...

Michael Volpe on a Requiem for Grenfell: 'one of the most remarkable evenings in our history'

Michael Volpe

On the morning of the Grenfell Tower disaster, as the news of the fire gathered pace and gravity, our phones were abuzz with concern for our front of house colleague, Debbie Lamprell, who we knew lived in the tower. We all called her number time and again, sought to reassure one another with optimistic scenarios whereby her telephone may have been left at home as she escaped. My telephone rang again.

Read more...

Pick of the 2017 BBC Proms: from Orthodox chant to Oklahoma!

theartsdesk

It’s the best-looking Proms season on paper for quite a few years.

Read more...

'Oh, the glamour!' - Roderick Williams weighs up a singer's life

Roderick Williams

“So, what do you do for a living?” You might think this question, the mainstay of any polite conversation with a new acquaintance, would be just the moment any opera singer would relish. Here is the chance to declare who we are, what we do, and to bask in some adulation. “An opera singer? No, really? That must be so glamorous…” and so on.

Read more...

theartsdesk at Budapest Wagner Days: Bayreuth on the Danube

david Nice

While Merkel's Germany has won back world leadership, Wagner's festival shrine at Bayreuth lost its post-war pre-eminence years ago. There hasn't been a strong Ring there since Kupfer's, which I was lucky enough to see in 1991, and things will only improve with the departure of overweening Katharina Wagner and Christian Thielemann (fine conductor, disastrous people-person).

Read more...

'The challenge is to make something of not very much': Iestyn Davies on Britten's Oberon

Iestyn Davies

Tomorrow Britten’s opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream will begin a short run at the Snape Maltings, Suffolk in a new production directed by Netia Jones and conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth. It will mark the high point of the Aldeburgh Festival’s summer celebrations half a century on from the opening of the Snape Maltings concert hall.

Read more...

'You are my hero, dear Jiří': Karita Mattila and others remember Jiří Bělohlávek

theartsdesk

The first of Jiří Bělohlávek’s final three appearances in London, conducting his Czech Philharmonic in a concert performance of Janáček’s Jenůfa, came as a shock. The trademark grey curly hair had vanished.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Jools Holland and José Feliciano, Royal Albert Hall review -...

It really is quite something to be admired, the sheer longevity and staying power of the Jools Holland franchise. The...

The Bear, Mid Wales Opera review - small stage, big ambition...

Go west, opera-lover: Mid Wales Opera is back in business. In fact, it’s been back since spring this year, when it toured venues in...

Radically different: Horn player Anneke Scott on The Prince...

The Prince Regent’s Band was formed in 2013 and, like very many chamber ensembles, was created when a group of us found that we shared a number of...

CD: Neil Young + Promise of the Real - The Visitor

Not since the 1960s has there been so much global shit to protest about! The Sixties, of course, gave us the protest song – and how well the best...

Remembering Dmitri Hvorostovsky (1962-2017)

A certain online scandalmonger and coffin-chaser likes to preface news of...

Sylvia, Royal Ballet review - Ashton rarity makes a deliciou...

On paper, the appeal of a Sylvia revival is questionable. If even the choreographer (...

Modigliani, Tate Modern review - the pitfalls of excess

Modigliani was an addict. Booze, fags, absinthe, hash, cocaine, women. He lived fast, died young, cherished an idea of what an artist should be...