sun 17/11/2019

Opera Buzz

Villazon refunds for his seven-minute concert

Peter Culshaw

It's come to light that the star tenor Rolando Villazón did the decent thing and refunded his fee after singing for only seven minutes at a concert in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen 10 days ago.

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Tête à Tête Opera Festival previews Martinů rarity

David Nice

The anything-goes context of Tête à Tête's enterprising opera festival at the Riverside Studios, now in its fourth year, seemed like a good place to try it out before a packed and intrigued audience (a full production is on the way, and will feature the film sequences that constitute such a novel and integral part of the experiment).

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Ayrton Senna, the opera

Adam Sweeting

Senna_1_trimSince his death at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994, the legend of charismatic Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna has grown to almost mythic proportions. Last year the three-time world champion was voted Best Driver in F1 History in a drivers’ poll in Autosport ...

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Opera Holland Park invites audiences to try Zandonai for free

David Nice

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Verbier remembers Anthony Rolfe Johnson

David Nice

Somehow I hadn't expected the death three days ago of the great British tenor, though unquestionably a world-class artist, to be commemorated among the international set of the Verbier Festival. Yet last night, before he raised his baton to conduct the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, conductor Marc Minkowski had a few words to say about Anthony Rolfe Johnson.

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Site-specific theatre goes commercial

Jasper Rees

Last weekend we posted a round-up of the vast array of site-specific work happening in the theatre over the summer. Most of them are shows which are so boldly experimental that they haven't much realistic hope of a commercial future. Plays for an audience of one are not the producer's friend. But it turns out that it's not just the mighty Punchdrunk who can shift...

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Now Newsnight is at it...

Jasper Rees

The BBC's cultural conscience has been pricked, it would seem, by the World Cup now reaching its endgame in South Africa. Either that or departments don't talk to one another. Singing for Life, Sunday night's documentary on BBC Four about the young singers who aspire to trade the township choir for the opera stage, also focused on Fikile Mvinjelwa, a Cape Town...

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The Tom Paine effect: Billy Budd in Lewes

David Nice Set-up for a link between Glyndebourne and the 'Rights of Man' at the Tom Paine Printing Press

When Billy Budd, too-innocent hero of Britten's opera by way of Melville's trouble-at-sea novella, bids farewell to the Rights o'Man, his superior officers prick up their ears at the implications of mutiny. It's a ship he hymns, but the connection is first and foremost with Thomas Paine's revolutionary tract.

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Opera down the phone

Igor Toronyi-Lalic The remarkable world of the Théâtrophone

It's amazing to think that Marcel Proust first heard Wagner's four-and-a-half-hour opera Die Meistersinger down his telephone. That same day, in 1911, he also ingested three hours of Debussy's Pélleas et Mélisande. We learn all this from Edward Seckerson's brilliant new Radio Three documentary about the remarkable world of the Théâtrophone, a device that used telephone transmitters to relay operas - and later news and sermons - live from wherever (the Opéra...

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Glyndebourne announces 2011 operas

David Nice Rusalka and her sisters: Melly Still's bewitching production returns to Glyndebourne next summer

It used to be a treat saved up for the end of the season, when a Christie of Glyndebourne would step before the curtain and announce the next year's operas. Now, like everyone else, Glyndebourne is jumping in quick with its plans, partly, I guess, to raise money for its most expensive project yet - Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg as next year's very festive opening gambit.

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