tue 19/10/2021

Wagner

'Rest now, you God': remembering bass-baritone Norman Bailey (1933-2021)

Few singers really change your life. Norman Bailey did that for me [writes David Nice of theartsdesk]. The occasion wasn't my first experience of a Wagner opera, but it was the first time I'd been to a performance of his great human comedy Die...

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Tristan und Isolde, Glyndebourne, BBC Proms review - endless love, perfect pace

“Now I’ve conducted Tristan for the first time,” the 27-year-old Richard Strauss wrote from Weimar to Wagner’s widow Cosima in 1892, “and it was the most wonderful day of my life”. Robin Ticciati, over a decade older but still young in terms of his...

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RhineGold, Birmingham Opera Company, Symphony Hall review - music-drama at the highest level

The love of power corrupts, the power of love falters or fails. The essence of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung is also what Graham Vick communicated so stunningly in many of his unforgettable productions with his Birmingham Opera Company (...

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Die Walküre, Longborough Festival Opera review - heroic defiance of farcical constraints

Whatever might be said about Longborough Festival’s first live opera since 2019, the first and most important thing is to praise the company without reservation for putting on a show of anything like this quality in the face of obstacles of the sort...

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Siegfried, Göteborg Opera online review - a hero for our times

The team of Stephen Langridge (director), Alison Chitty (design) and Paul Pyant (lighting) produced a quietly radical Parsifal at the Royal Opera in 2013, finding both beauty and horror in unexpected corners. On the strength of its third instalment...

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Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester online review - re-consecration of the house

The Hallé have been slow off the mark, compared with some, in their response to the challenge of concert-giving in the Covid era. But now that they have delivered on the first of their winter season performances, it has clearly been worth the wait....

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GogolFest:Dream review - the best music festival of the summer?

GogolFest:Dream in Kherson, somewhere near the Crimea in Ukraine was the music festival of the summer. Admittedly, in my case and for many, having missed out on WOMAD, Glastonbury, Fez, and others it was the only festival of the summer, and the bar...

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Classical music/Opera direct to home 15 - opening up at different rates

It's taken time, but at last we have two major musical figures speaking up for cultural institutions in dire straits. Following a crucial, detailed article by Charlotte Higgins in The Guardian, Simon Rattle and Mark Elder have finally taken up the...

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 6 - Parsifals for Easter

Wagner's final drama, of learning, suffering and redemption through compassion, is second only to Bach's Passions at this time of year, and seems likely to strike a special note in the present crisis. Opera companies around the world, making much in...

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Siegfried, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - an incandescent journey to the mountain top

Of Wagner's four Ring operas, Siegfried poses the biggest casting problem. Most heroic tenors with the lungs to last the evening are not going to be ideal incarnations of the stroppy adolescent who learns and fights his way through an often...

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Ted Gioia: Music: A Subversive History review – an informative, giddying ride

People who derive comfort from Classic FM’s strapline that European classical music is “The World's Greatest Music" are going to have a major problem with this book. American music historian Ted Gioia has marshalled 25 years' worth of his own life...

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Prom 68: Goerke, Gould, RPO, Albrecht review - the art of transition

Known as "Heldenmommy" to her fans on Twitter, Christine Goerke is a Wagner soprano of and for our time. You won’t find her recordings on the major-label behemoths but her reputation is built on two decades of producing the goods night after night...

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