fri 14/05/2021

Opera Features

Christa Ludwig, 1928-2021: a selective tribute

David Nice

I only saw Christa Ludwig twice live in concert, but those appearances epitomise her incredible dramatic and vocal rage as well as her peerless artistry in everything she did. The first event was Schubert’s Winterreise with pianist Charles Spencer at the Southbank Centre, at a time when it was less common for women to take on the role of the heavy-hearted wayfarer: the intensity still resonates.

Read more...

First Person: Anna Lucia Richter on Monteverdi and a transition from soprano to mezzo

Anna Lucia Richter

It’s actually quite a strange feeling to know that my CD Il delirio della passione is now out. I recorded this amazing, all-embracing Monteverdi project with Luca Pianca and Ensemble Claudiana over a year ago, in January 2020. That was another world, another time.

Read more...

Classical musicians on life after Brexit - 4: singers speak out

Nicky Spence

Forget the pandemic, it's Brexit which could ring the death knell for artists who are currently hoarse from begging to be taken seriously as a respected export.

Read more...

First Person(s): soprano Susan Bullock and baritone William Dazeley on filming Britten’s Owen Wingrave

Susan Bullock A

Two of the singers in an ambitious project to film Britten’s opera based on a Henry James story – part timeless tale of repressive tradition which chimed with the composer's pacifist beliefs, part ghost story – which was originally “made for television” and premiered on the BBC, give their impressions close to the time of...

Read more...

‘Our whole industry is supported by vulnerable freelance creators': Chen Reiss on the artist in a time of Coronavirus

Chen Reiss

I am not the first to say this, and I won’t be the last, but what a strange year 2020 has become!

Read more...

First Person: tenor Nicky Spence on working with Blackheath locals on screen Stravinsky

Nicky Spence

As patron for a community organisation, I see clearly how opera is the biggest collaboration going. Between stage, orchestra  pit, school liaisons, chorus leaders, make-up bays and the magicians of the technical team, every cog is of equal importance.

Read more...

Eavesdropping on Rattle, the LSO and Bartók’s Bluebeard

David Nice

One source of advance information told us to expect a reduced version of Bartók’s one-act Bluebeard’s Castle, among the 20th century’s most original and profound operatic masterpieces.

Read more...

First Person: Antonia Bain on directing a short kitchen opera for film

Antonia Bain

The Narcissistic Fish is a brand new opera specifically created to be filmed.

Read more...

Classical music/Opera direct to home 14 - sound and vision at the highest level

David Nice

As more musicians emerge from lockdown to conduct, play and sing in audience-less venues - ongoing kudos to the Wigmore Hall for its weekday lunchtime concerts, a fixure for so many viewers and listeners - here are some more off-piste treasures, a past glory from the...

Read more...

Avoiding meltdown from lockdown: Michael Chance on The Grange Festival's strategy for survival

Michael Chance

Where to start? We at The Grange Festival began in mid-March (the 15th) with a letter to our company, all those few hundred who come and work for us during the festival months and who are all, almost without exception, employed on a freelance basis, warning of a likely cancellation but urging a commitment to stage the summer festival over June and July (with preparations stating in mid-April) if at all possible.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Music books to end lockdown: Sam Lee, Hawkwind, Dylan, Richa...

It won’t be long now before concert halls and back rooms, arts centres and festival grounds fill with people again, and...

Album: Jorja Smith - Be Right Back

With all eyes on her in 2018, Jorja Smith’s debut was surprisingly level-headed and mature, filled with the introspection and storytelling of...

Sam Riviere: Dead Souls review – whip-smart literary satire...

In 1992 Martin Amis published a story, “Career Move”, in which the writers of sensational screenplays with titles like Decimator and ...

Some Kind of Heaven review - a Florida retirement community...

In the UK, we usually get a peek inside The Villages in Florida...

Danny Boy, BBC Two review - when law and war collide

The issue of public inquiries into the conduct of the military is in the headlines again, with a current focus on Northern Ireland, but at the...

Album: Paul Weller - Fat Pop (Volume 1)

“The Changingman” came to sound a little rich in the years after it introduced Stanley Road, as...

Lucy Caldwell: Intimacies review - exploring the empty space...

In the first short story of Lucy Caldwell’s collection Intimacies, “Like This”, one of the worst possible things that could ever happen...

Blu-ray: Columbia Noir #3

Anxiety, injustice and desperate disorder are the themes of these six disparate noirs. In one, The Dark Past, Lee J. Cobb’s...

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Déjà Vu 50th Anniversary Del...

With over eight million copies sold in its 50-year lifespan, Déjà Vu was,...