sun 26/06/2016

David Nice

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Bio
David writes, lectures and broadcasts on music. A former music critic for The Guardian and The Sunday Correspondent, he is a regular voice on BBC Radio 3. He has written short studies on Elgar, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky and the history of opera, and is currently working on the second volume of his Prokofiev biography for Yale University Press. He runs his own lecture series, Opera in Depth, at the Frontline Club in Paddington.

Articles by David Nice

theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Nocturnes for Midsummer

After a grey start, there was a spectacular sunset around midnight on the second of my two days in Reykjavik. It's what brings one of Iceland's most brilliant younger-generation talents, pianist...

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Werther, Royal Opera

All 23 of Massenet's mature operas boast memorably melodious quarters of an hour and fastidious orchestration, so why Werther’s special status as a repertoire staple? Three or four great arias may...

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Jenůfa, English National Opera

ENO's new artistic director Daniel Kramer must regret having gone on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week to talk about suspending Janáček "and other obscures" from the company's repertoire for several...

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Idomeneo, Garsington Opera

Natural disaster, in the shape of a metaphorical sea-monster ravaging classical Crete, might make a director's imagination work overtime on Mozart's first, jagged masterpiece. Alas, only unnatural...

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Catalogue d'Oiseaux, Aimard, Aldeburgh Festival

"He is one of the few pianists who will not make them sound like angry birds," said young pianist-animateur Víkingur Ólafsson in Reykjavík when I told him that in little over 24 hours' time I'd be...

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Be With Me Now, Britten Studio, Snape

As the hand-held credits popped up on screen to pianist and musical director Manoj Kamps's superb quartet arrangement of Mozart's Magic Flute Overture, the European Union's Culture Programme logo...

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theartsdesk at the Istanbul Music Festival: classics alla Turca

Flashback to 1981, when the Bolshoy Ballet danced Swan Lake Act Two to a tinny Melodiya recording in Istanbul's Open-Air Theatre (seats were cheap for Interrailing students). Turkey was friends with...

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Phaedra(s), Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, Barbican

Britten fathomed Phaedra's passion for her stepson in a shattering quarter of an hour's dramatic cantata. Euripides' Hippolytus takes about 90 minutes in the playing. Director Kryzsztof...

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Tristan and Isolde, English National Opera

"Bad Star Trek episodes" is how one director describes a certain unfortunate look in would-be intergalactic opera productions. The late Nikolaus Lehnhoff came perilously close to it in his...

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Iris, Opera Holland Park

"Better than Puccini," raved one Tweeter after the final rehearsal of Opera Holland Park's season-opener. Nonsense: "nearly as good as Puccini" is the best any of his Italian contemporaries could...

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theartsdesk in Prague: Czech Spring with Smetana and Martinů

On the itinerary of musical tourists around Europe, the opening of the Prague Spring Festival comes a close third to the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year's Day Concert and the Bayreuth experience. That...

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Ariane/Alexandre Bis, Guildhall School

Common wisdom has it that the prolific output of 20th century Czech genius Bohuslav Martinů is very uneven, a judgment surely made without a complete hearing. Some listeners shrink from his fidgety...

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Znaider, LSO, Pappano, Barbican

Anger and fear in Elgar, introspection in middle-period Beethoven: these are undervalued qualities in each composer’s music. Yet such moods were vividly present in two hyper-nuanced interpretations...

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Oedipe, Royal Opera

"Unjustly neglected masterpiece" is a cliché of musical criticism, and usually an exaggeration. Romanian master Enescu's vast journey through aspects of the Oedipus myth seemed like an unacknowledged...

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Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Glyndebourne

"We're off to Glyndebourne, to see a ra-ther bor-ing op-ra by Rosseeeni," quoth songwriting wags Kit and the Widow. So here it was at the Sussex house after a 34-year absence, the most famous of all...

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theartsdesk in Göttingen: HandelFest 2016

What Auden called "the sexy airs of summer" arrived early in Göttingen this year. Frog action in the Botanical Gardens of the town's pioneering University may have been less clamorous than when I...

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How to contact David Nice

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Little pomp but plenty of eclectic entertainment at the EIFF's 70th ed...