fri 17/08/2018

Opera Features

theartsdesk in Stockholm - HK Gruber and sacred monsters

David Nice

It was excellent, flesh-creepy fun back in 1978, when a young Simon Rattle conducted the Liverpool world premiere with the composer declaiming, but how well has Austrian maverick H(einz) K(arl) "Nali" Gruber's "pandemonium" for chansonnier and orchestra Frankenstein!! stood the test of time? One word: brilliantly.

Read more...

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...

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

Prom 45, Capuçon, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Nott - sci...

Who is the greatest British conductor in charge of a major orchestra? It's subjective, but my answer is not what you might expect. Jonathan Nott...

theartsdesk on Vinyl 42: Flaming Lips, Blacklab, Juno Reacto...

Initially, this month’s theartsdesk on Vinyl began with the sentence after this one, but it's so dry readers might drowse off, so...

Jake Shears, Concorde 2, Brighton review - a blitz of glitz

One of the biggest crowd roars of the night comes right at the start when Jake Shears runs onstage. He is wearing a grey top hat, a white tail-...

Disenchantment, Netflix review - Matt Groening show has prom...

It’s an event that only comes around once a generation: a new ...

Edinburgh Fringe 2018 reviews: Rosie Jones/ Marcus Brigstock...

Rosie Jones ★★★

There are two versions of Rosie Jones, she tells us; one nice, one not so nice. And who...

DVD: Al Berto

There are plenty of reasons to be apprehensive about biopics...

Emilia, Shakespeare's Globe review - polemic disguised...

It feels like Michelle Terry’s first summer season at the Globe...

The Guardians review - beautifully crafted drama

A slow tracking shot over the gassed corpses of soldiers, their masks having failed the ecstasy of fumbling, opens The Guardians....

Prom 44, Gringytė, CBSO, Morlot review - eloquently sculpted...

This should have been the third much-anticipated Prom of the...