sat 13/04/2024

mezzos

Classical CDs Weekly: Jonathan Dove, Ayako Fujiki, Anne Sofie von Otter

 Jonathan Dove: For an Unknown Soldier, An Airmail Letter from Mozart Nicky Spence (tenor), Melvyn Tan (piano), London Mozart Players/Nicholas Cleobury (Signum)Jonathan Dove originally wanted to use soldiers’ letters and diaries in his "cantata...

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The South Bank Show: Joyce DiDonato, Sky Arts

Take Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, and add Handel and Mozart and the Frenchman Massenet, and you have the composers whose operas the Kansas-born mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato has made her own. She's one of the few who has become a classic opera...

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Zazà, BBCSO, Benini, Barbican

Send in the clowns, as they sing in this palace-of-varieties first act, not for Pagliacci, Leoncavallo’s sole foothold on today’s operatic repertoire, but for the fool-for-love heroine of a sparkling, swooning rarity. Musically, Zazà is a notch...

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Being Both, Coote, English Concert, Bicket, Brighton Dome

Over the past decade Alice Coote has emerged as a singer of rare and exquisite vocal quality. Even when the direction of a project is questioned, there has generally been consensus that she generally sounds gorgeous. The concept of Being Both, a...

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10 Questions for Mezzo-Soprano Alice Coote

Alice Coote (b.1968) is one of the world’s leading mezzo-sopranos. She grew up in Cheshire, born to two painters, Mark Coote and Mary Moss, and learned her craft at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal Northern College of Music and the...

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DiDonato, Lyon Opera Orchestra, Minasi, Barbican Hall

At the end of last night’s giddy, triumphant concert at the Barbican, Joyce DiDonato was presented with a bouquet by a member of the audience. It included, among more conventional flowers, a tomato plant, complete with ripe tomato. That says it all...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo-soprano and Director Brigitte Fassbaender

The mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, who will be 75 on Thursday 3 July, was unsurpassed for dramatic impact and presence in roles such as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, during a singing career which spanned...

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Listed: 10 Great Trouser Roles

It's the genre of gender-bending and cross-dressing, where women play warriors and men sing like women (while playing warriors). But when it comes to opera, who really wears the trousers? For at least 300 years the answer has been pretty definitive...

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Anne Sofie von Otter, Milton Court

There’s nowt so French as the mélodie and the chanson, but I’m not convinced they make ideal bedfellows. Nor, I suspect, is Anne Sofie von Otter, since she split the salon and cabaret halves of her Douce France recital with an interval (and the CD...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Prokofiev, Dame Janet Baker, Henning Kraggerud

 Prokofiev: Works for piano 1908-1938 Roger Woodward (Celestial Harmonies)You don't often hear this music articulated with such steely power and intensity. Recently I've spent too much time listening to Prokofiev's more romantically-inclined...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato

She’s the Kansas mezzo-soprano whose ruby slippers have now taken her across the globe, singing in all the great opera houses, but who has never lost the common touch. She’s not a diva, she’s a “Yankee Diva” – a contemporary creature who would never...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Kate Lindsey and Katharina Thoma on Glyndebourne's Ariadne auf Naxos

What’s the perfect Glyndebourne opera? Mozart, of course, must have first and second places with Le nozze di Figaro – Michael Grandage’s lively production of country-house mayhem is revived again this season – and Così fan tutte. Then comes Amadeus’...

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