Recently in Commentary
I’m interviewing Stefano Mastrangelo in the immediate aftermath of his conducting La Traviata for the Chofu City Opera in Tokyo on 22 November 2014; he conveys an air at once of tiredness and exhilaration.
Apotheosis Opera is proud to announce their inaugural production
will be a fully-staged English translation of Richard Wagner’s early
masterpiece TANNHÄUSER on Friday, July 31, 2015, at 7pm and Sunday,
August 2, 2015, at 3pm at the theatre of El Museo del Barrio (1230 5th Avenue)
‘Competitions are for horses, not artists.’ The words of Béla Bartók seemed apposite on Sunday night at the Royal Opera House, as 11 soloists walked swiftly onto the Covent Garden stage, performed their chosen aria, briefly acknowledged the applause and then returned summarily to the wings.
Twin sisters – one pensive, the other gregarious – are soon to wed their beau, whose contrasting characters – one earnestly introverted,
the other a boisterous hedonist – perfectly match their respective betrotheds’.
Derrick Wang is a composer who graduated from law school and has an interest in this country’s highest court.
Sara Gartland is an emerging singer who brings an enormous talent and a delightful personality to the opera stage. Having sung lighter soprano roles such as Juliette in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette and Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata, Gartland is now taking on the title role in Leoš Janáček’s dramatic opera Jenůfa.
Madness descends upon Welsh National Opera for its autumn 2015 season, with three new productions that will explore human turmoil through some of the finest musical expressions of madness and the human condition.
American composer Jennifer Higdon has won many awards for her imaginative music. Her percussion concerto received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
Bratislava in Slovakia might seem an unlikely place to come across the opera
I gioielli della Madonna (The Jewels of the Madonna) a 1911 rarity
written by the Italian/German Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, a composer best known for
his one-act opera Il segreto di Susanna ( Susanna’s Secret)
and his comedies based on Goldoni.
Last year’s Strauss anniversary year — 150 years since his birth —
offered, at least in the United Kingdom, a typical number of opportunities and
On 6 June, Jonathan Dove’s Flight touches down in Kensington,
west London. Opera Holland Park is to stage the first London production of
Dove’s operatic presentation of the real-life story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri,
the Iranian exile who, lacking residency rights or refugee status, was forced
to live in the departure lounge of Terminal One at Charles de Gaulle Airport
for 18 years.
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.
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