fri 26/05/2017

Opera Interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter

david Nice

What's a world-renowned mezzo-soprano in her middle years to do? Slimline of voice, tall and handsome in person with piercing and slightly intimidating blue eyes, Stockholm-born Anne Sofie von Otter isn't likely to sing what is known in the operatic world as "all those old bag parts", though she's a good enough actress to have carried off a few.

Read more...

Save ENO: The Chorus Speaks

david Nice

"Just listen". That's an imperative, of course, but it can be a very fair and reasonable one if the tone is right. It was Claudio Abbado's encouragement to his Lucerne Festival Orchestra players to make chamber music writ large. It also sounds persuasive and not at all militant coming from the mouths of ENO chorus members as their plea to the dramatic changes proposed by Chief Executive Officer Cressida Pollock, appointed a year ago.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Elizabeth Watts

david Nice

Not many people write conspicuously brilliant tweets, but Elizabeth Watts is someone who does. Working on the most demanding aria on her stunning new CD of operatic numbers and cantatas by the lesser-known of the two Scarlattis, father Alessandro rather than son Domenico, she tweeted: “Good news – I can sing 88 notes without a breath. Bad news – Scarlatti wrote 89.”

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Edward Gardner

jasper Rees

It’s odd seeing the whole of Edward Gardner, as upright as a guardsman until a passionate passage unleashes a repertoire of fierce jabs, deft feints and rapid thrusts. For nine years Gardner's main post was on the podium in the pit of the London Coliseum where all you could see were his disembodiied hands and, slowly silvering over the course of his tenure, his schoolboy haircut.

Read more...

10 Questions for Mezzo-Soprano Alice Coote

thomas H Green

Alice Coote (b.1968) is one of the world’s leading mezzo-sopranos. She grew up in Cheshire, born to two painters, Mark Coote and Mary Moss, and learned her craft at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio. Her breakthrough came in 2000 when, within the time frame of a fortnight, she sang Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina at the Edinburgh Festival, and Poppea in Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea at the ENO.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Jonathan Nott

david Nice

When I entered the light and spacious chief conductor’s room in Bamberg’s Konzerthalle, Jonathan Nott was poised with a coloured pencil over one of the toughest of 20th century scores, Varèse’s Arcana.

Read more...

10 Questions for Soprano Sandrine Piau

Sebastian Scotney

French soprano Sandrine Piau, born in 1965 in a south-western suburb of Paris, has an agile, supple voice. It soars, so critics reach readily for all those bird metaphors: nightingale, sparrow, "she leaves the earth on wings of song" and so on.

Read more...

10 Questions for Conductor Vladimir Jurowski

Jessica Duchen

The Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski, chief conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, heads its major new series devoted to the music of Sergei Rachmaninov, in context with his forerunners and successors.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Tenor Michael Fabiano

david Nice

You can usually trust the buzz around rehearsals. From Glyndebourne, five weeks into preparation for La traviata, which opens tomorrow, one of the team working on Tom Cairns’ new production declared in an e-mail conversation that newcomer soprano Venera Gimadieva was possibly the most definitive Violetta yet.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo-soprano and Director Brigitte Fassbaender

Sebastian Scotney

The mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, who will be 75 on Thursday 3 July, was unsurpassed for dramatic impact and presence in roles such as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, during a singing career which spanned from the early 1960s to the mid-1990s.

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 £2.95 per month or £25 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

Paula, BBC Two review - Denise Gough's the real thing

Playwrights have long migrated to the small screen in search of better pay and room to manoeuvre. Most don’t leave it as long as Conor McPherson,...

Deposit, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - capital'...

Matt Hartley's personal take on London's housing crisis returns to the...

The Other Side of Hope review - Aki Kaurismäki at his tragic...

It takes real skill to make a film about a desperate Syrian refugee and a dour middle-aged...

theartsdesk on Vinyl 28: Manic Street Preachers, Joep Beving...

While the 36 records reviewed below run the gamut of Wreckless...

Sachin: A Billion Dreams review - the incredible feats of cr...

There are great sportsmen, and on top of those there’s a handful of...

DVD/Blu-ray: Lino Brocka - Two Films

With some re-releases, the fascination is not only discovering the work of a...

Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's Globe review - Emma Rice g...

The Globe’s artistic director Emma Rice has made no secret of her desire to go out with a bang, in this, the final season of her brutally...

White Gold, BBC Two review – rattling pace and razor-edged d...

In the dog-eat-dog world of White Gold it’s 1983,...

The Mikado review - Sasha Regan's all-male operetta for...

Men playing boys playing girls, women and men, all female parts convincingly falsettoed and high musical standards as backbone: Sasha Regan's...

CD: Vieux Farka Touré - Samba

The river of sound from Mali never stops flowing. War in the...