Recently in Commentary
San Diego Opera, the company that General Manager Ian Campbell had scheduled for demolition, proved that it is alive and singing as beautifully as ever. Its 2015 season was cut back slightly and management has become a bit leaner, but the company celebrated its fiftieth season in fine style with a concert that included many of the greatest arias ever written.
Kathleen Ferrier may have been one of the world’s finest contraltos but this year’s Kathleen Ferrier Awards Final, held at the Wigmore Hall, was all about lyric sopranos.
East Coast Premiere at Opera Philadelphia next season. Performances from Cold Mountain at the Guggenheim in New York this Monday, March 30.
Five Young Singers Named Winners of the 2015 Met National Council Auditions, America’s Most Prestigious Vocal Competition
Julia Noulin-Mérat is the principal designer for the Noulin-Merat Studio, an intrepid New York City production design firm that works in theater, film, and television, but emphasizes opera and immersive site-specific theatre.
A brand new opera — especially one that is groundbreaking— can really put an opera company on the map. British composer Barry Seaman’s stunning new work, Mirabai, which explores the story of the free thinking, mystic
16th century Hindu princess, Mira, is ambitious on many levels —
artistically, technically and creatively.
Bampton Classical Opera has announced that applications are now open for the
company’s Young Singers’ Competition 2015. This biennial competition was
first launched in 2013 to celebrate Bampton Classical Opera’s 20th
birthday, and is aimed at identifying the finest emerging young opera singers
currently working in the UK.
Anita Rachvelishvili recently performed the title role in Carmen broadcast by The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Here she drops by for a little chat with our Maria Nockin.
This is a revised version of my review of the Sept 5th
1991American premiere of The Death of Klinghoffer, at the
Brooklyn Academy of Music. The opera was first performed at Brussels’ La
Monnaie the previous spring.
"Although there are now more people on this planet than there have ever been before, there are fewer dramatic voices. Something is wrong with that equation. I thought there needs to be some sort of helping hand so that dramatic voices don’t fall through the cracks in the system as they advance through their various stages of development."
Anna Prohaska sings Sister Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues des
Carmélites at the Royal Opera House. In the same month, she’s also in
London to sing a recital with Eric Schneider at the Wigmore Hall, and to sing
Henze with Sir Simon Rattle at the Barbican Hall.
Garsington Opera celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
Baritone Brandon Coleman’s mother, Linda, knew that 3-year old Brandon
would be a great singer when a stranger who had heard him, predicted it.
Professional opera returns to the Las Vegas Valley June 6th and 8th with performances of one of the best-known comic operas of all time, Gioachino Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
I met with the embattled artistic director of the Opéra et Orchestre National de Montepellier not to talk about his battles. I simply wanted to know the man who had cast and staged a truly extraordinary Mozart/DaPonte trilogy.
Maria Nockin interviews tenor Saimir Pirgu.
Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, has died aged 80
Matthew Polenzani reprises the role of the Chevalier des Grieux in Jules Massenet’s Manon at the Royal Opera House. “I love coming back to London”, he says, “It’s a very good house and they take care of you as a singer. And the level of music making is unbelievably high”.
On Saturday evening January 25, San Diego Opera opens its 2014 season with Ruggero Leoncavallo’s verismo blockbuster Pagliacci (Clowns).
03 Nov 2010
Overture to London’s Handel Festival 2011
The small but perfectly formed Grosvenor Chapel in London’s exclusive Mayfair was the venue last Monday night for a programme of Handel vocal and instrumental music of considerable quality — if minimal quantity.
hour-long concert, catchily entitled “Castrati to Countertenors”,
preceded the now-annual benefit Dinner which helps fund the following
year’s London Handel Festival. As hors d’oeuvres, it must have been
ideal — piquant orchestral playing combined with some fuller vocal
flavours courtesy of the excellent London Handel Players (is there a finer
small baroque band in this city?) and young countertenor Christopher Lowrey who
deservedly won the Festival’s Michael Oliver Prize in 2010.
The programme consisted of the overtures to and well-known airs and arias
from Saul and Rodelinda: “O Lord, whose mercies
numberless”, “Impious wretch”, “Dove Sei, amato
bene”, and “Vivi, tiranno!”, together with a scintillating
performance of the meatier Concerto Grosso, Op. 3 No. 5 in D Minor (HWV 316),
which showed off this small band’s command of colour, dynamic and
pinpoint accents. The Players were led with real joie de vivre and musicality
by their Musical Director Laurence Cummings from the harpsichord/keyboard.
Young Lowrey, we were warned, was suffering from a chest infection but there
was little sign of this (apart perhaps from some short-breathed lines and
restrained ornamentation) in his performance as he offered some real drama
combined with concise, accurate coloratura. He seemed most at home with the
material from Rodelinda and this confirmed the promise he showed in
2009 at the Festival/Britten International Opera School production of
Alessandro. He is an undoubted talent in the ever-increasing pool of excellent
young countertenors graduating now.
The concert series continues this Autumn with the traditional Christmas-time
Messiah on the 2nd December at St. George’s Hanover Square and
in 2011 we can look forward to performances of Rodelinda (fully
staged), Saul, the St Matthew Passion, Comus, the
Magnificat and many other concerts and recitals — not forgetting
the increasingly important Singing Competition Final in April. Full details can
be found at the LHF’s web site.
Sue Loder © 2010