thu 17/10/2019

Opera Features

theartsdesk in Lyon: A contemporary opera house taking a bold approach

alexandra Coghlan

“There are three rivers in Lyons: the Rhône, the Saône and the Beaujolais.” Thus goes the popular saying – as apt today for France’s gastronomic and wine-quaffing capital as it was back in the 15th century, when the city first became a hub of European political and social life.

Read more...

Newcomers triumph at BBC Music Magazine Awards

David Nice

We had, as presenter James Naughtie so wryly remarked, set aside our mourning weeds for the low-key glamour of celebrating a far from moribund classical recording industry. Movers, shakers and humble BBC Music Magazine contributors all shifted from the airy dining space at the ever-accommodating Kings Place yesterday - I won't forget the mint marshmallow - and descended to woody Hall One for the magazine's 2013 awards.

Read more...

Q&A Special: Conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch on Strauss and Wagner

David Nice

In many ways the most well-tempered of conductors, Wolfgang Sawallisch (1923-2013) brought a peerless orchestral transparency and beauty of line to the great German classics. Even the most overloaded Richard Strauss scores under his watchful eye and ear could sound, as the composer once said his opera Elektra should, “like fairy music by Mendelssohn”.

Read more...

Galina Vishnevskaya on Britten and his War Requiem

David Nice

One of Russia’s greatest and most inspirational sopranos, Galina Vishnevskaya died on 11 December at the age of 86. To the world at large, she will probably be most famous for taking an heroic stand alongside her husband, cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, against the Soviet authorities over the treatment of Alexander Solzhenitsyn; in 1974, the couple were stripped of their citizenship as a result.

Read more...

Royal Opera House chief Tony Hall to the BBC - now what?

ismene Brown

So Tony Hall moves from heading the Royal Opera House to taking over the BBC as its new Director-General. I can't for a moment imagine a rerun of that crucial mini-conversation between Helen Boaden and George Entwistle over the Jimmy Savile programming (if you can remember all the way back to mid-October through the cannonfire since) taking anything like a similar course had it been Tony Hall rather than Entwistle.

Read more...

theartsdesk Olympics: Athletes at the opera

alexandra Coghlan

Triumph, despair, glory and struggle: the Olympic Games might technically be a sporting event, but in spirit and essence they are pure drama. Film-makers may have shouted loudest about this discovery, generating hit after Olympic-themed hit throughout the 20th century, but composers also know a thing or two about sporting thrills, with almost 300 years of Olympic action in the opera house.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Buxton: G&S live on (and on)

philip Radcliffe

Within hours of the opera buffs leaving town, having had their fill of Buxton Festivalia, the old spa changes gear for operetta. For three weeks, the town becomes the jolly international capital for Gilbert & Sullivan. Enthusiasts and performers from all over the country and foreign parts gather to celebrate the seemingly never-ending attraction of those old familiar tunes, characters and satirical send-ups.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Cape Town: Mandela Trilogy

Simon Broughton

“Come to the front with those guns. You need to frighten those poor Brits – pah, pah, pah, pah, pah!” Michael Williams hurls his fist forward as if wielding his own weapon as he urges the demonstrators with their sticks and guns forward. The crowd of black singers in front of him are recreating an anti-apartheid protest in Cape Town Opera’s production of Mandela Trilogy, which gets its European premiere in Cardiff on 20 June.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Göttingen: Handel Festival 2012

alexandra Coghlan

Other towns may choose national heroes as their emblems – posing generals, politicians or sword-wielding officers on horseback, glaring sternly down from their plinths – but not Göttingen. It is entirely in keeping with the unassuming, unobtrusive loveliness of this small town in Lower Saxony that its symbol should be not a grandee but a goose-girl.

Read more...

A Monstrous Reflection: on staging Caligula

Benedict Andrews

"How light power would be and easy to dismantle no doubt, if all it did was to observe, spy, detect, prohibit, and punish; but it incites, provokes, produces. It is not simply eye and ear: it makes people act and speak." Michel Foucault, Power

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

In the Long Run, Series 2, Sky 1 review - Idris Elba's...

Dust off the record player: Idris Elba’s Eighties comedy...

Richard Hawley, Barrowland, Glasgow - black clad crooner...

When Richard Hawley arrived onstage, he had a confession to make. “I like to talk”, he declared, before adding “and play rock n’ roll”. Both were...

theartsdesk Q&A: Gianandrea Noseda on conducting Mahler...

There's something about the very opening of a Mahler symphony...

The Peanut Butter Falcon review - sentimental comedy is so d...

It’s an uncomfortable feeling to find oneself completely at odds with an audience in a cinema, but it happens. The recent London Film Festival...

Lenny Henry's Race Through Comedy, Gold review - illumi...

Sir Lenny Henry, PhD and CBE, is scarcely recognisable as the teenager who made his TV debut on New Faces in 1975. He’s been a stand-up...

Bill Frisell's Harmony, Cadogan Hall review – superb Am...

“Bill Frisell is all about sound and melody and enhancing whatever context he is in.” That quote, which defines both the American guitarist’s...

Zauberland, Linbury Theatre review - an adaptation that adds...

Dichterliebe is a song-cycle full of gaps, silences, absences. Where is the piano at the start of “Ich hab’ im Traum geweinet” when the...

Chaos in the Cockpit: Flights from Hell, Channel 5 review -...

Apparently your odds of dying in a plane crash are about one in 11 million, while chances of death in a car accident are about one in 5,000....

Bevan, The Sixteen, Genesis Sixteen, Christophers, Barbican...

Verdi, Elgar, Janáček, John Adams - just four composers who achieved musical transcendence to...