fri 10/07/2020

Opera Interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn

David Nice

Could English National Opera be about to right the wrong done to a national treasure?

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Director Sir Jonathan Miller

Igor Toronyi-Lalic

Doctor, writer, sculptor, curator, comedian, presenter and director, Sir Jonathan Miller (1934-2019) was one of the mighty cultural and intellectual omnivores of our age.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: composer Alastair White on his new opera ROBE

Miranda Heggie

A robe can be many things. Sure, it’s a garment, but it can also be cover, a disguise, a costume or a uniform. It’s also something composed of many different threads woven together to create something much bigger. It’s these kinds of layers of multiplicity which form the basis of the inspiration for Scottish composer Alastair White’s new opera, ROBE, premiering at this year’s Tête à Tête opera festival.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Composer, chansonnier and conductor HK Gruber at 75

David Nice

You haven't lived until you've witnessed Viennese maverick H(einz) K(arl) Gruber – 75 today (3 January, publication day) – speech-singing, conducting and kazooing his way through his self-styled "pandemonium" Frankenstein!!.

Read more...

Robin Ticciati on conducting Mozart - 'I wanted to create a revolution in the minds of the players'

David Nice

When Glyndebourne's Music Director Robin Ticciati conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in the new production of Mozart's La clemenza di Tito starting tonight, you can be sure that it will sound utterly fresh, startling even.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Aida Garifullina

David Nice

There are certain roles where you’re lucky to catch one perfect incarnation in a lifetime. I thought I'd never see a soprano as Natasha in Prokofiev's War and Peace equal to Yelena Prokina, Valery Gergiev’s choice for Graham Vick’s 1991 production.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter

David Nice

What's a world-renowned mezzo-soprano in her middle years to do? Slimline of voice, tall and handsome in person with piercing and slightly intimidating blue eyes, Stockholm-born Anne Sofie von Otter isn't likely to sing what is known in the operatic world as "all those old bag parts", though she's a good enough actress to have carried off a few.

Read more...

Save ENO: The Chorus Speaks

David Nice

"Just listen". That's an imperative, of course, but it can be a very fair and reasonable one if the tone is right. It was Claudio Abbado's encouragement to his Lucerne Festival Orchestra players to make chamber music writ large. It also sounds persuasive and not at all militant coming from the mouths of ENO chorus members as their plea to the dramatic changes proposed by Chief Executive Officer Cressida Pollock, appointed a year ago.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Elizabeth Watts

David Nice

Not many people write conspicuously brilliant tweets, but Elizabeth Watts is someone who does. Working on the most demanding aria on her stunning new CD of operatic numbers and cantatas by the lesser-known of the two Scarlattis, father Alessandro rather than son Domenico, she tweeted: “Good news – I can sing 88 notes without a breath. Bad news – Scarlatti wrote 89.”

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Edward Gardner

Jasper Rees

It’s odd seeing the whole of Edward Gardner, as upright as a guardsman until a passionate passage unleashes a repertoire of fierce jabs, deft feints and rapid thrusts. For nine years Gardner's main post was on the podium in the pit of the London Coliseum where all you could see were his disembodied hands and, slowly silvering over the course of his tenure, his schoolboy haircut.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

theartsdesk on Vinyl 58: Joy Division, Alma, Prince, African...

Lockdown’s easing and the record shops are opening here and there. So, to help...

Finding The Way Back review - alcoholism on the rebound

Gavin O’Connor has made a career out of sturdy films that make grown men cry. His best was Warrior - a hulking, tear-jerking...

The Golden Age of Modern Spanish Art, Colnaghi review - the...

When Picasso left Barcelona for Paris in 1900, he took what by...

The Deep Blue Sea, National Theatre at Home review - hauntin...

Helen McCrory is an actor who can inject a world of feeling into one syllable that many actors would struggle to muster in an entire script....

Litigante review - an unflashy film which rings true

Colombian director Franco Lolli’s debut feature...

@TheDriveIn, Blackheath review - comedy and caraoke

Drive-ins are now firmly establishing themselves as the only method by which culture fans can see live arts in person for the future. Hot on the...

Album: The Streets - None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life...

Given the collaborator list on this album, it should be a bit of a mess. Brit punks IDLES,...

Theatre Lockdown Special 13: Early Lloyd Webber, vintage Rat...

Stop the presses! For the first time in nearly four months, The Arts Desk can point to the first of several live theatre events amongst the...

Steven Isserlis, Fidelio Orchestra Café review – distilled r...

What music would you choose to hear for your first live event after nearly four months of lockdown? For me, it would be...

The Old Guard review - serious silliness

It’s hard to take The Old Guard seriously — it’s an ...