mon 20/08/2018

Opera Features

The Seckerson Tapes: Christophe Rousset Interview

Edward Seckerson

The apartment is shared with a Burmese cat named Hermione and two no less exquisite and venerable harpsichords.

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The Seckerson Tapes: Edward Gardner Interview

Edward Seckerson

Edward Gardner is no longer English National Opera's best kept secret. The former choral scholar and repetiteur goes from strength to strength helming ENO through productive and interesting times. The world's stages are now beckoning. During a break in final rehearsals for Mozart's great opera seria Idomeneo in a new production from multi-media queen Katie Mitchell he talks informally about what being music director of a company like this entails.

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theartsdesk in Toronto: Luminato Hosts Wainwright and Malkovich

Rebecca Ritzel Operatic history of Aids: Peter McGillivray embraces Neema Bickersteth in Dark Star Requiem

To get a feel for whether an arts festival has truly penetrated a city’s psyche, it helps to strike up a conversation with local Starbucks baristas. That’s why I was grateful to be asked one recent evening in Toronto, “So what exactly is Luminato?”As the green-aproned server handed me a post-show cup of tea, I thought, good question: what is Luminato? Four years after the festival’s founding, it seems many Toronto residents remain unsure. I explained that it’s an arts festival with many...

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The Seckerson Tapes: Finishing Mozart's Unfinished Opera

Edward Seckerson Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: the restoration of his unfinished opera 'Zaide' is the current labour of love for Ian Page

The Classical Opera Company does exactly what it says on the tin and over the last few years has refreshed parts of the repertoire and corners of the nation that their bigger and more illustrious counterparts never reach. Conductor and artistic director Ian Page talks about questions of style, untapped repertoire and major restorations, like the company's recent staging of Thomas Arne's Artexerxes and its current labour of love rebuilding Mozart's unfinished opera Zaide....

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The Seckerson Tapes: Sarah Connolly Interview

Edward Seckerson

Acclaimed British mezzo Sarah Connolly prepares for the title role in Donizetti's battle royal of rival queens Maria Stuarda. Her return to Opera North in the bel cantorole of her choice will be one of the highlights of the UK opera season and in this revealing podcast she gives fascinating insight into her extensive preparation and "anatomisation" of the roles she performs - right down to the fine detailing here of Mary's temperament and bearing, and even her height....

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The Seckerson Tapes: Catherine Malfitano Interview

Edward Seckerson

She was the Tosca who played live to an audience of one billion in 107 countries; she is the director of English National Opera's new staging of the opera they once dubbed Puccini's "shabby little shocker". How times change. In this exclusive ENO podcast, Catherine Malfitano says that it's high time we moved on from the Tosca-as-diva portrayal - that, she says, should remain offstage where Puccini left it.

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The Seckerson Tapes: Catherine Malfitano Interview

Edward Seckerson

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theartsdesk in Helsinki: Sunflowers By the Frozen Baltic

David Nice

Venezuela's joyful musical education programme known as El Sistema is the phenomenon of the age, the success story that many western countries now seek to replicate. And that's great. But Britain, for a start, might re-engage its own back-to-basics in music quicker by looking closer to home and seeing how Finland does it. In a small population, every child has free access to an instrument until secondary school.

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The Seckerson Tapes: Fiona Shaw

Edward Seckerson Stage polymath Fiona Shaw talks Lady Gay Spanker and directing a Hans Werner Henze opera

Fiona Shaw talks about the not inconsiderable demands of juggling Restoration comedy with German Expressionism. It almost doesn’t bear thinking about. Between shows at the National Theatre, where she’s been delighting audiences with her rollocking Lady Gay Spanker in London Assurance, she enthuses about her second foray into the challenging business of...

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The Seckerson Tapes: Opera Holland Park

Edward Seckerson Opera Holland Park's dynamic duo: Artistic Director James Clutton and General Manager Michael Volpe

The auditorium has risen once more, the box office is open and busy, and the peacocks are out – Opera Holland Park in London is gearing up for the new season. In this “live and uncut” podcast Edward Seckerson talks to James Clutton (above, left) and Michael Volpe about opera rarities, exciting young talent, exciting older talent, the prospect of Wagner (could there be a Dutchman in the offing?), the X Factor, and much, much more. In keeping with the name...

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