sat 20/04/2024

sopranos

Alder, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - strings and soprano sing their hearts out

Had it taken place a week later, this concert might have gone under the dubious banner of "Valentine's Day Love Classics". But not of the bitty, Raymond Gubbay variety: Vasily Petrenko was absolute master of three late romantic scores which happened...

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Williams, Kenny, Wigmore Hall review - an afternoon of early-Baroque bliss

It’s hard to imagine that any London audience this winter will hear more thoroughly gorgeous singing – or more refined musical artistry all round – than Nardus Williams delivered at the Wigmore Hall on Sunday afternoon. This was a magical hour of...

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Album: Tarja - Dark Christmas

In Finland Tarja Turunen is an institution. There, she’s regarded as a kind of heavy rock-flavoured fusion of Sarah Brightman and Maria Carey. She first came to prominence as the multi-octave singer for symphonic metal kingpins Nightwish but, since...

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Paris Chapters, Barbier Serrano, Finegan, Ling, Bloomsbury Festival review - beguiling journey around Irishmen abroad

Young French soprano Clara Barbier Serrano has everything it takes to shine in an overcrowded singers’ world, including vivacious communicative skills – I witnessed those for the first time last Tuesday, when she performed at the Oxford...

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Un ballo in maschera, Chelsea Opera Group, Cadogan Hall review - Italianate vitality, if not much finesse

Eighteenth century Sweden is the nominal setting for A Masked Ball, but its essence is a unique mixture of Italian testosterone and French opéra-comique elegance. If this concert performance brought it closer to the indiscriminate vitality of early...

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La Traviata, Welsh National Opera review - memorable revival, unforgettable lead

It’s always tempting, at curtain-up in La Traviata, to settle back, half-close one’s eyes, and soak up the familiar without the anxiety of the new. Not this time you won’t. David McVicar’s lavish 2009 text-true staging is being revived with a...

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Davidsen, Oslo Philharmonic, Mäkelä, Barbican review - full workout for the nervous system

It could have been the most electrifying week of the musical year. Alas, Heathrow meltdown kept me from two of Klaus Mäkelä’s Sibelius concerts with his Oslo Philharmonic in Hamburg. But there was still what should have been the grand finale, the...

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Sandrine Piau, David Kadouch, Wigmore Hall review - the joy is in the detail

“It mustn’t be a surface thing. You have to put in the work,” Janet Baker once said. Sandrine Piau’s Wigmore recital of German song followed by French song was the perfect demonstration of that credo in action.Whereas Piau described the repertoire,...

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Album: Vangelis - Juno to Jupiter

Along with Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis is a key figure in the development of - to be loosely colloquial about it – trance and chill-out electronica. His 1970s work was proggy trip music, laced with classical aspirations that...

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Shakespeare Re-Shaped, Opera Up Close online review - Verdi on the sofa

The screen lights up, the Zoom link connects and there, blinking back at you (30% awkward, 70% enthusiastic) is a familiar face. Is it definitely working? Can you hear me? What do we say now? God, I'm getting old. Even after 12 months of...

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Hughes, Manchester Collective, Lakeside Arts online review - creating the occasion

There’s an atmosphere of tender restraint through most of the programme created by Ruby Hughes and Manchester Collective for Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham. It was streamed live yesterday afternoon, and, as is the way with most...

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Fatma Said, Joseph Middleton, Wigmore Hall review - song recital heaven

This was the first song recital back at the Wigmore Hall following the second lockdown with a (distanced, 25%) audience. And it was a joy to be back. Great singing. That superb acoustic. A completely rapt audience. And, miraculously, not a single...

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