mon 27/05/2019

Opera Features

Remembering Joan Sutherland, 1926-2010

ismene Brown

Joan Sutherland’s was the voice of my childhood, the voice on the record-player when my mother, a coloratura soprano, practised her Lucia and Traviata. It was a clear and ravishingly carefree sound, as fluid as a stream bubbling in sunlight, effortlessly scintillating in the highest registers, a voice that almost sounded regretful as it descended to earth.

Read more...

Romeo and Juliet in Opera and Ballet

ismene Brown

Those teenage lovers Romeo and Juliet will be dying nightly on a stage near you in various guises for much of the autumn - not as Shakespeare’s play, but as ballets and operas based on it. Next week both Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Ballet field two of the more famous versions on their autumn tours, while at the end of the month the Royal Opera stages a rare revival of Gounod’s opera.

Read more...

The Seckerson Tapes: Opera North Double Bill

Edward Seckerson Opera North explores the creation of the violin in a new opera 'The Gypsy Bible' (above) and unveils a new production of 'The Turn of the Screw'

"It is a curious tale. I have it written in faded ink, a woman's hand, governess to two children, long ago..." So begins Benjamin Britten's operatic re-imagining of Henry James's ghostly chiller The Turn of the Screw. Oscar Wilde called it "a most wonderful, lurid, poisonous little tale" but how are we supposed to interpret it? In a remote country house, a governess fights to protect two children from menacing spirits. But are these spirits real or imagined?

Read more...

The Seckerson Tapes: Soprano Amanda Roocroft

Edward Seckerson

Amanda Roocroft was a star from the moment she graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music. At 25, Sir Georg Solti asked her to sing Pamina at the Salzburg Festival. She declined. It was too soon. Where would there be left to go? "Hurry slowly" would seem to have been her motto and now that she is playing - for the first time - a diva with 300 years of experience, the decisions she has made in her career are more than ever falling into perspective.

Read more...

Rights Grab at The Royal Opera House

Natalie Wheen

For a creator of any kind, keeping control over what happens to their original work is essential. Their creativity is their livelihood, and their reputation is built on it. They protect it fiercely from other people copying it, altering it, selling it - anything in fact which devalues the work and damages the creators’ earning capacity from it.

Read more...

The Seckerson Tapes: Director Des McAnuff

Edward Seckerson Des McAnuff, whose Broadway shows have garnered a staggering 18 Tony Awards

In the 1960s Des McAnuff played guitar and wrote songs to meet girls. Subsequently life became a little more complicated for the multi-talented writer/ director. His long-standing commitment to the Shakespeare Festival Theatre at the other Stratford - in Ontario, Canada - has won him many plaudits and he is now director emeritus of the La Jolla Playhouse in California where so many important projects have germinated, including his Tony Award-winning production of The Who's Tommy...

Read more...

The Seckerson Tapes: Melody Moore Interview

Edward Seckerson Melody Moore: The aptly named American soprano

Melody Moore is well named. Her parents must have had a sixth sense that she would be "melodious". This exciting young American soprano has been making waves on both sides of the Atlantic. She has established footholds at both San Francisco and Los Angeles Opera and in the 2008/9 season made her English National Opera debut in Jonathan Miller's new production of La bohème. She returns to the ENO this season as Marguerite in Des McAnuff's new staging of Gounod's Faust, a...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Berlin: Requiem for a Shaker-Upper

Kate Connolly Christoph Schlingensief: 'described as Germany's most disciplined anarchist'

It is tempting to playfully twist the German language a little to come up with a word that best describes the avant garde German theatre and film director Christoph Schlingensief. A “Wachrüttler”, literally a shaker-upper or rouser, is probably the best title to describe a man who seemed to put every vein and sinew of his body into shaking German society awake. The loss of Schlingensief, who died of lung cancer last Saturday aged 49, has left a gaping hole in the German arts world.

Read more...

Remembering Charles Mackerras

David Nice

Perhaps we can drop the "sir" here, as he preferred, though most of the contributors below only knew him in his knighted later years. No death of a musical great, at least since the departure of Mstislav Rostropovich, has caused such a flurry of tributes and reminiscences, even if many of us were long prepared for the end and marvelled at the way he soldiered on to give more great performances in his final year. Tributes from Kit Armstrong, Isobel Buchanan, Colin Currie, ...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Buxton: The Buxton Festival

Hilary Whitney

As I alight from the train at Macclesfield and scramble into the back of the taxi which will take me on the 20-minute journey across the Pennines to Buxton and its eponymous festival, the driver announces with grim satisfaction, “I am now going to take you on one of the most dangerous roads in Britain.”

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

Our Town, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review – small...

Our Town was written shortly before World War Two about a small town in America in...

The Strokes, All Points East Festival review - let them ente...

Back in 2001, after the release of their debut album This Is It, The Strokes weren’t just the most fashionable band in the world, they...

Haley Fohr: Salomé, Brighton Festival 2019 review – potently...

Haley Fohr’s disquiet at the “wildly outmoded” sexual politics of this notorious 1923 Wilde adaptation led her to...

CD: Richard Hawley - Further

Richard Hawley’s eighth solo album, Further is, like so many of his previous discs, a masterclass in good taste and relaxed easy...

Hiromi Kawakami: The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino review - Don Ju...

My first, beguiling taste of Hiromi Kawakami’s fiction came when, in 2014, I and my fellow-judges shortlisted Strange Weather in Tokyo...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Bernard Herrmann

Debates about whether 1964’s Marnie presaged Alfred...

CD: Youssou N'Dour - History

Yousou N’Dour has come a long way from his cassettes with Super Etoile de Dakar, that wild mbalax energy, fed by the clatter of the high-...

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Cardiff Castle revi...

Blessed with a red sunset and an adoring crowd, Noel Gallagher brought life to the ruins of...

Spice Girls, Croke Park, Dublin review - uncomplicated fun

They’re back and they’re looking and sounding good – and Spice Girls mania took over Dublin’s city centre for several hours before...