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Elsewhere

Rameau Grand Motets, BBC Proms

Best of the season so far! William Christie and Les Arts Florissants performed Rameau Grand Motets at late night Prom 17. Perfection, as one would expect from arguably the finest Rameau interpreters in the business, and that's saying a lot, given the exceptionally high quality of French baroque performance in the last 40 years.

Adriana Lecouvreur Opera Holland Park

Twelve years after Opera Holland Park's first production of Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur, the opera made a welcome return.

Back to the Beginnings: Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria at Iford Opera.

The Italianate cloister setting at Iford chimes neatly with Monteverdi’s penultimate opera The Return of Ulysses, as the setting cannot but bring to mind those early days of the musical genre. The world of commercial public opera had only just dawned with the opening of the Teatro San Cassiano in Venice in 1637 and for the first time opera became open to all who could afford a ticket, rather than beholden to the patronage of generous princes. Monteverdi took full advantage of the new stage and at the age of 73 brought all his experience of more than 30 years of opera-writing since his ground-breaking L’Orfeo (what a pity we have lost all those works) to the creation of two of his greatest pieces, Ulysses and then his final masterpiece, Poppea.

Schoenberg : Moses und Aron, Welsh National Opera, London

Once again, we find ourselves thanking an unrepresentable being for Welsh National Opera’s commitment to its mission. It is a sad state of affairs when a season that includes both Boulevard Solitude and Moses und Aron is considered exceptional, but it is - and is all the more so when one contrasts such seriousness of purpose with the endless revivals of La traviata which, Die Frau ohne Schatten notwithstanding, seem to occupy so much of the Royal Opera’s effort. That said, if the Royal Opera has not undertaken what would be only its second ever staging of Schoenberg’s masterpiece - the first and last was in 1965, long before most of us were born! - then at least it has engaged in a very welcome ‘WNO at the Royal Opera House’ relationship, in which we in London shall have the opportunity to see some of the fruits of the more adventurous company’s endeavours.

Rossini is Alive and Well and Living in Iowa

If you don’t have the means to get to the Rossini festival in Pesaro, you would do just as well to come to Indianola, Iowa, where Des Moines Metro Opera festival has devised a heady production of Le Comte Ory that is as long on belly laughs as it is on musical fireworks.

Gergiev : Janáček Glagolitic Mass, BBC Proms

Composed during just a few weeks of the summer of 1926, Janáček’s Slavonic-text Glagolitic Mass was first performed in Brno in December 1927. During the rehearsals for the premiere - just 3 for the orchestra and one 3-hour rehearsal for the whole ensemble - the composer made many changes, and such alterations continued so that by the time of the only other performance during Janáček’s lifetime, in Prague in April 1928, many of the instrumental (especially brass) lines had been doubled, complex rhythmic patterns had been ‘ironed-out’ (the Kyrie was originally in 5/4 time), a passage for 3 off-stage clarinets had been cut along with music for 3 sets of pedal timpani, and choral passages were also excised.

Donizetti and Mozart, Jette Parker Young Artists Royal Opera House, London

With the conclusion of the ROH 2013-14 season on Saturday evening - John Copley’s 40-year old production of La Bohème bringing down the summer curtain - the sun pouring through the gleaming windows of the Floral Hall was a welcome invitation to enjoy a final treat. The Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Showcase offered singers whom we have admired in minor and supporting roles during the past year the opportunity to step into the spotlight.

Glyndebourne's Strauss Der Rosenkavalier, BBC Proms

Many words have already been spent - not all of them on musical matters - on Richard Jones’s Glyndebourne production of Der Rosenkavalier, which last night was transported to the Royal Albert Hall. This was the first time at the Proms that Richard Strauss’s most popular opera had been heard in its entirety and, despite losing two of its principals in transit from Sussex to SW1, this semi-staged performance offered little to fault and much to admire.

Il turco in Italia at the Aix Festival

Twenty years ago stage director Christopher Alden introduced Rossini’s then forgotten comedy to Southern California audiences in a production that is still remembered. In Aix Alden has revisited this complex work that many critics now consider Rossini’s greatest comedy.

First Night of the BBC Proms : Elgar The Kingdom

The BBC Proms 2014 season began with Sir Edward Elgars The Kingdom (1903-6). It was a good start to the season,which commemorates the start of the First World War. From that perspective Sir Andrew Davis's The Kingdom moved me deeply.

Le nozze di Figaro, Munich

One is unlikely to come across a cast of Figaro principals much better than this today, and the virtues of this performance indeed proved to be primarily vocal.

Winterreise and Trauernacht at the Aix Festival

That’s A Winter’s Journey and A Night of Mourning for metteurs-en-scène William Kentridge (South Africa) and Katie Mitchell (Great Britain), completing the clean sweep of English language stage directors for the Aix Festival productions this year.

James Gilchrist at Wigmore Hall

Assured elegance, care and thoughtfulness characterised tenor James Gilchrist’s performance of Schubert’s Schwanengesang at the Wigmore Hall, the cycles’ two poets framing a compelling interpretation of Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte.

Music for a While: Improvisations on Henry Purcell

‘Music for a while shall all your cares beguile.’ Dryden’s words have never seemed as apt as at the conclusion of this wonderful sequence of improvisations on Purcell’s songs and arias, interspersed with instrumental chaconnes and toccatas, by L’Arpeggiata.

Nabucco at Orange

The acoustic of the gigantic Théâtre Antique Romain at Orange cannot but astonish its nine thousand spectators, the nearly one hundred meter breadth of the its proscenium inspires awe. There was excited anticipation for this performance of Verdi’s first masterpiece.

Richard Strauss: Notturno

Richard Strauss may be most closely associated with the soprano voice but this recording of a selection of the composer’s lieder by baritone Thomas Hampson is a welcome reminder that the rapt lyricism of Strauss’s settings can be rendered with equal beauty and character by the low male voice.

Saint Louis: A Hit is a Hit is a Hit

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has once again staked claim to being the summer festival “of choice” in the US, not least of all for having mounted another superlative world premiere.

La Flûte Enchantée (2e Acte)
at the Aix Festival

In past years the operas of the Aix Festival that took place in the Grand Théâtre de Provence began at 8 pm. The Magic Flute began at 7 pm, or would have had not the infamous intermittents (seasonal theatrical employees) demanded to speak to the audience.

Ariodante at the Aix Festival

High drama in Aix. Three scenarios in conflict — those of G.F. Handel, Richard Jones and the intermittents (disgruntled seasonal theatrical employees). Make that four — mother nature.

Lucy Crowe, Wigmore Hall

The programme declared that ‘music, water and night’ was the connecting thread running through this diverse collection of songs, performed by soprano Lucy Crowe and pianist Anna Tilbrook, but in fact there was little need to seek a unifying element for these eclectic works allowed Crowe to demonstrate her expressive range — and offered the audience the opportunity to hear some interesting rarities.


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17 Dec 2004

Philip Gossett Receives Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award

Philip Gossett, one of the world's foremost experts on Italian opera, will receive one of four Mellon Distinguished Achievement Awards, an honor that carries with it a $1.5 million prize. Gossett, the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor in... »

16 Dec 2004

Major Losses at the Berlin Opera Houses

Berliner Opernhäuser haben Millionenverluste gemacht 19:45 Uhr Die Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin - Die drei Berliner Opernhäuser haben im ersten Jahr der gemeinsamen Opernstiftung weniger Besucher als erwartet gehabt und damit Millionenverluste gemacht. Insgesamt kamen in diesem Jahr in... »

16 Dec 2004

Trouble Down Under

Discord rings out as new opera director takes up the baton By Sharon Verghis December 16, 2004 Richard Hickox barely had time to adjust to the time difference before he walked into his first industry controversy. "I'm sorry that I... »

15 Dec 2004

Journal of Musicological Research

The Journal of Musicological Research has announced the release of Volume 23, Issue 3-4. The following is the table of contents from this issue: Paul Christiansen: "The Meaning of Speech Melody for Leos Janácek" Nathan Hesselink and Jonathan Christian... »

13 Dec 2004

Troubles at the Münchener Bach-Chor

Riss im Ensemble Bach-Chor ins Schlingern geraten Es schien perfekt eingefädelt: ein Konzert zum 50-jährigen Jubiläum, dann sogar mit dem künftigen Chef am Pult. Doch Ralf Otto, der charismatische Wunschkandidat aus Mainz, gab dem Münchener Bach-Chor kurz vor dem Weihnachtsoratorium... »

10 Dec 2004

An Invitation to the Opera

A Night At The Opera Dec. 10, 2004 - That's the title of a very famous Marx Brothers movie--a movie that makes fun of all sorts of opera stereotypes. But you might be surprised to hear that the number of... »

09 Dec 2004

Musicians Unite!

New, Musician-Run FM Station Plans Music Radio Revival A group led by two nationally known musicians has been awarded a contract to operate the Milwaukee Public Schools' FM station, WYMS-FM (88.9), and is developing a format to support musicians and... »

08 Dec 2004

The Guardian Reports on the Reopening of La Scala

Photo: AP/ Silvia Lelli/ Teatro Alla Scala. Glitz and clamour mark La Scala's reopening night John Hooper in Rome Wednesday December 8, 2004 The Guardian Decked out in red roses and surrounded by riot police, Milan's expanded and refurbished La... »

08 Dec 2004

Di Stefano Recovering

Opera singer recovering after stabbing Doctors 'hopeful' about Giuseppe Di Stefano ROME, Italy (AP) -- Italian tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano was being taken off sedatives and doctors were hopeful about his recovery from injuries sustained in an attack at his... »

07 Dec 2004

Grammy Awards Nominations

The nominations for the 47th annual Grammy Awards were announced Tuesday in Los Angeles. The following were the nominees for opera and classical vocal performance recordings: Opera Recording: Monteverdi: L'Orfeo Emmanuelle Haim,conductor/harpsichord/organ; Ian Bostridge, Patrizia Ciofi and Natalie Dessay; Daniel... »

07 Dec 2004

Elena Souliotis

MUSICA: E' MORTA SOPRANO ELENA SOULIOTIS 04/12/2004 - (ANSA) FIRENZE, 4 DIC E' morta improvvisamente oggi pomeriggio a Firenze la soprano drammatico Elena Souliotis, nota cantante lirica, amica di Fedora Barbieri e di Maria Callas. Aveva 61 anni e si... »

07 Dec 2004

Music in the Making of Europe 1000-1300

Royal Holloway-British Library Lectures in Musicology Christopher Page, the founder and director of the ensemble Gothic Voices, will give a series of one-hour lectures at the British Library Conference Centre on Music in the Making of Europe 1000-1300. The first... »

04 Dec 2004

Teatro Colón Sings

Britten's Venice Is Eclipsed by the Wonders of Colón By BERNARD HOLLAND BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 29 - The Teatro Colón is grand opera all by itself. Enter its front door to an ensemble of Italian marbles singing to the eye... »

04 Dec 2004

Mozart's Lucio Silla

The teenage Mozart and the trinity By Shirley Apthorp Published: December 3 2004 02:00 | Last updated: December 3 2004 02:00 The walls of the set model can be lifted out and swapped around, like a dolls' house for the... »

02 Dec 2004

Glimmerglass Opera 2005

GLIMMERGLASS OPERA ANNOUNCES 2005 FESTIVAL SEASON Four New Productions to Run in Repertory June 30 through August 23, 2005 COOPERSTOWN, NY. Glimmerglass Opera has announced the repertory for its 2005 Festival Season. Four new productions, of works by Mozart, Donizetti,... »

30 Nov 2004

Tristan und Isolde at LA Philharmonic

L.A. Phil: A 'fresh context' for 'Tristan und Isolde' By Valerie Scher UNION-TRIBUNE CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC November 28, 2004 Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" is an epic melodrama, a mythic love story about the doomed romance between a knight and a... »

30 Nov 2004

La Scala Resurrected

Milan's La Scala stands ready to reopen on Dec. 7 after a two-year makeover, which includes the latest in acoustics and stage mechanics, a revamped floor, and new rehearsal rooms and offices. (Luca Bruno -- AP) The Very Model... »

29 Nov 2004

Satellite Radio: The Future is Now

At XM, Boldly Going Under Hugh Panero, Satellite Radio Is a Hit. Just Ask Howard Stern And Mel Karmazin. By Annys Shin Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, November 29, 2004; Page E01 Hugh Panero has never had much patience for... »

29 Nov 2004

Visual Aids in Live Performances

Classical buffs wary of letting eyes have it By David Patrick Stearns Inquirer Music Critic In the anti-MTV world of classical music, there's rarely been a video screen that didn't make great music seem worse. Years ago, the Philadelphia Orchestra... »

29 Nov 2004

Sleepless in Seattle

Money woes prompt panic at Seattle opera, ballet By PEGGY ANDERSEN ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER SEATTLE -- With the local economy flying high with dot-com dollars and public and private money gushing, Seattle built a grand, airy new space in its... »

28 Nov 2004

Grand Théâtre de Genève to Present Isabelle Aboulker's Les Enfants du Levant

During its 2004-2005 season, the Grand Théâtre de Genève will present Les Enfants du Levant by Isabelle Aboulker. Performances will be at 1930 on 11, 14, 15 and 16 December 2004 and at 1430 on 12 December 2004. Synopsis... »

28 Nov 2004

An Overview of Salzburg Festival – Summer 2005

Artistic Director Peter Ruzicka and Director of Drama Martin Kusej presented the program for the 2005 Salzburg Festival at the annual press conference, which consists of 183 events. The following is an overview of opera productions and vocal recitals:... »

25 Nov 2004

On Opera in Berlin

The Real Drama of Berlin Opera Berlin's three opera houses are no strangers to eluding closure and nursing the wounds of financial incision. Although they are currently on safe ground, they're having to learn to sing for their supper in... »

25 Nov 2004

Viktoriya Dodoka Wins Lockwood Aria

Opera: A Russian opera star is born John Daly-Peoples [National Business Review] Lockwood Aria Rotorua Convention Centre The Lockwood Aria has become the major proving ground for emerging opera talent in New Zealand. Some of the previous winners have gone... »

25 Nov 2004

Baroque Opera in Sydney

Baroque opera gets a new lease of life Matthew Westwood [The Australian] 26nov04 LAST month, at the final performance of Madeline Lee - John Haddock and Michael Campbell's emotionally involving new opera - market researchers for Opera Australia were handing... »

25 Nov 2004

Changes at NYCO

New Director for City Opera The New York City Opera has appointed a new executive director, Jane M. Gullong, right, promoting her from the job of director of development. Ms. Gullong replaces Sherwin M. Goldman, who the opera said has... »

25 Nov 2004

Universal, Sony BMG and Warner Reach Pact

3 Music Companies Will Use Online File-Sharing Service By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LOS ANGELES, Nov. 24 (AP) - Three major recording companies have agreed to make their music available to be shared and sold over a new online file-swapping service... »

23 Nov 2004

Opera Orchestra of New York Opens 2004-2005 Season

On Monday, 22 November, Opera Orchestra of New York opened its 2004-2005 season with La Fanciulla del West. According to its website: The OONY season kicks off with Puccini's "horse opera," arguably the greatest opera ever created in New York... »

23 Nov 2004

L'Opéra-Comique Named as National Theater

Le Figaro is reporting that L'Opéra-Comique has been decreed an "établissement public à caractère industriel et commercial" under French law. Its charter is to provide a broad diversity of "expressions" from Baroque to contemporary creations. This decree goes into effect... »

22 Nov 2004

La Scala Readies for Opening Night on December 7

'Beautiful lady' regains her looks and rediscovers her voice John Hooper in Milan Saturday November 20, 2004 The Guardian Mauro Meli, the artistic director of the world's most famous opera house, raised the lapel of his jacket, buried his head... »

19 Nov 2004

Thomas Quasthoff Releases Autobiography

Quasthoff, der Grosse Der Bariton hat in einer aufwühlenden Biographie aufgeschrieben, wie er trotz seiner Behinderung zum Weltstar wurde "Rechts, links, rechts, links, rechts, links metronomt mein Kopf auf dem Laken. Ich liege halb nackt da, Hüfte und Beine festgeklemmt... »

19 Nov 2004

Lady Macbeth at the Bolshoi

Dangerous Music When Stalin pulled Shostakovich's opera "Lady Macbeth" from the Soviet stage, the composer had good reason to fear for his life. By Raymond Stults Published: November 19, 2004 Widely considered the greatest Russian opera -- and perhaps even... »

19 Nov 2004

The Cost of Doing Business

Opera House faces price scrutiny Arts organisations such as the Royal Opera House face the risk of losing their charitable status over ticket prices under a proposed bill. According to the draft charities bill, organisations granted charitable status will have... »

18 Nov 2004

Merkur Interviews Edita Gruberova and Friedrich Haider on the Dissolution of the Rundfunkorchester

Von Gefühl und Geist keine Ahnung Edita Gruberova und Friedrich Haider zur Auflösung des Rundfunkorchesters Für den Bayerischen Rundfunk mit Intendant Thomas Gruber an der Spitze mag das Münchner Rundfunkorchester bald Geschichte sein, für viele Künstler ist es das allerdings... »

17 Nov 2004

Wiener Staatsoper Announces Program Remembering 50th Anniversary of Rebuilding of Opera House

On 5 November 2005, the Wiener Staatsoper will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the rebuilding of the opera house, which had been destroyed near the end of World War II. The program will include: Leonore Overture No. 3, Seiji... »

17 Nov 2004

More on the Reopening of La Fenice and La Scala

Opera house rises from the ashes -- again After fire and years of controversial renovations, Venice's La Fenice and Milan's La Scala raise the curtains By PAUL FRENCH Special to The Globe and Mail Wednesday, Nov 17, 2004 VENICE --... »

17 Nov 2004

Pro Ópera on Daniel Catán's Salsipuedes at HGO

Salsipuedes ha llegado a buen puerto Modelo que muestra a Ulises y Chucho a bordo de "El invencible" Dentro de la presente temporada de la Gran ópera de Houston, se llevará a cabo el estreno mundial de la ópera Salsipuedes,... »

15 Nov 2004

Phoenix Rising

Venetian Phoenix Rises Operatically From the Ashes By ALAN RIDING [NY Times] VENICE, Nov. 14 - Destroyed by fire on the night of Jan. 29, 1996, and rebuilt during eight years of noisy scandals, lawsuits and delays, Venice's legendary Teatro... »

14 Nov 2004

Bodies Beautiful?

Should the Fat Lady Diet Before She Sings? By ANTHONY TOMMASINI [NY Times] THE dramatic soprano Deborah Voigt returns to the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday as Elisabeth in Wagner's "Tannhäuser," and opera buffs are abuzz with anticipation over this popular... »

12 Nov 2004

Northern Virginia to Have New Performing Arts Center

Concert Hall to Rise Near Manassas GMU, Pr. William To Share Funding By Eric M. Weiss and Michele Clock Washington Post Staff Writers Friday, November 12, 2004; Page A01 Prince William County and George Mason University have agreed to help... »