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Jamie Barton at the Wigmore Hall

“Hi! … I’m at the Wigmore Hall!” American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton’s exuberant excitement at finding herself performing in the world’s premier lieder venue was delightful and infectious. With accompanist James Baillieu, Barton presented what she termed a “love-fest” of some of the duo’s favourite art songs. The programme - Turina, Brahms, Dvořák, Ives, Sibelius - was also surely designed to show-case Barton’s sumptuous and balmy tone, stamina, range and sheer charisma; that is, the qualities which won her the First and Song Prizes at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.

And London Burned: in conversation with Raphaela Papadakis

Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.

The Nose: Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

“If I lacked ears, it would be bad, but still more bearable; but lacking a nose, a man is devil knows what: not a bird, not a citizen—just take and chuck him out the window!”

Věc Makropulos in San Francisco

A fixation on death at San Francisco Opera. A 337 year-old woman gave it all up just now after only six years since she last gave it all up on the War Memorial stage.

The Pearl Fishers at English National Opera

Penny Woolcock's 2010 production of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers returned to English National Opera (ENO) for its second revival on 19 October 2018. Designed by Dick Bird (sets) and Kevin Pollard (costumes) the production remains as spectacular as ever, and ENO fielded a promising young cast with Claudia Boyle as Leila, Robert McPherson as Nadir and Jacques Imbrailo as Zurga, plus James Creswell as Nourabad, conducted by Roland Böer.

Center for Contemporary Opera presents Jane Eyre (World Premiere)

Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre, a full-length opera in three acts with a libretto by Diane Osen based on Charlotte Bronte’s novel, will receive its world premiere at The Kaye Playhouse (Hunter College) on Thursday, October 20, 7:30pm with a second performance on Saturday, October 22, 8pm. Jane Eyre is Karchin’s second opera, composed in 2014, following his critically acclaimed one-act comic opera Romulus.

A Venetian Double: English Touring Opera

Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto was the composer’s fifteenth opera, and the ninth to a libretto by Giovanni Faustini (1615-1651). First performed at the Teatro Sant’Apollinaire in Venice on 28th November 1651, the opera by might have been sub-titled ‘Gods Behaving Badly’, so debauched are the deities’ dalliances and deviations, so egotistical their deceptions.

Boston Early Music Festival announces the appointment of Melinda Sullivan to the new position of the Lucy Graham Dance Director

Cambridge, MA–The Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Melinda Sullivan to the new position of the Lucy Graham Dance Director.

Academy of Ancient Music: The Fairy Queen at the Barbican Hall

At the end of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theseus delivers a speech which returns to the play’s central themes: illusion, art and the creative imagination. The sceptical king dismisses ‘The poet’s vision - his ‘eye, in a fine frenzy rolling’ - which ‘gives to airy nothing/ A local habitation and a name’; such art, and theatre, is a psychological deception brought about by an excessive, uncontrolled imagination.

Vaughan Williams and Friends: St John's Smith Square

Following the success of previous ‘mini-festivals’ at St John’s Smith Square devoted to Schubert and Schumann, last weekend pianist Anna Tilbrook curated a three-day exploration of the work of Ralph Vaughan Williams and his contemporaries. The music performed in these six concerts was chosen to reflect the changing contexts in which it was composed and to reveal the vast changes in society, politics and culture which occurred during Vaughan Williams’ long life-time (1872-1958) and which shaped his life and creative output.

Bloodless Manon Lescaut at DNO

Trying to work around Manon Lescaut’s episodic structure, this new production presents the plot as the dying protagonist’s feverish hallucinations. The result is a frosty retelling of what is arguably Puccini’s most hot-blooded opera. Musically, the performance also left much to be desired.

English Touring Opera: Xerxes

It is Herodotus who tells us that when Xerxes was marching through Asia to invade Greece, he passed through the town of Kallatebos and saw by the roadside a magnificent plane-tree which, struck by its great beauty, he adorned with golden ornaments, and ordered that a man should remain beside the tree as its eternal guardian.

English National Opera: Tosca

Poor Puccini. He is far too often treated as a ‘box-office hit’ by our ‘major’ opera houses, at least in Anglophone countries. For so consummate a musical dramatist, that is something beyond a pity. Here in London, one is far better advised to go to Holland Park for interesting, intelligent productions, although ENO’s offerings have often had something to be said for them.

Don Pasquale in San Francisco

With only four singers and a short-story-like plot Don Pasquale is an ideal chamber opera. That chamber just now was the 3200 seat War Memorial Opera House where this not always charming opera buffa is an infrequent visitor (post WWII twice in the 1980’s after twice in the 40’s).

“Written in fire”: Momenta Quartet blazes through an Indonesian chamber opera

“Yang sementara tak akan menahan bintang hilang di bimasakti; Yang bergetar akan terhapus.” (“The transient cannot hold on to stars lost in the Milky Way; that which quivers will be erased.”) As soprano Tony Arnold sang these words of Tony Prabowo’s chamber opera Pastoral, with astonishingly crisp Indonesian diction, the first night of the second annual Momenta Festival approached its end.

English National Opera: Don Giovanni

Some operas seemed designed and destined to raise questions and debates - sometimes unanswerable and irresolvable, and often contentious. Termed a dramma giocoso, Mozart’s Don Giovanni has, historically, trodden a movable line between seria and buffa.

World Premiere Eötvös, Wigmore Hall, London

Péter Eötvös’ The Sirens Cycle received its world premiere at the Wigmore Hall, London, on Saturday night with Piia Komsi and the Calder Quartet. An exceptionally interesting new work, which even on first hearing intrigues: imagine studying the score! For The Sirens Cycle is elegantly structured, so intricate and so complex that it will no doubt reveal even greater riches the more familiar it becomes. It works so well because it combines the breadth of vision of an opera, yet is as concise as a chamber miniature. It's exquisite, and could take its place as one of Eötvös's finest works.

Walter Braunfels : Orchestral Songs Vol 1

New from Oehms Classics, Walter Braunfels Orchestral Songs Vol 1. Luxury singers - Valentina Farcas, Klaus Florian Vogt and Michael Volle, with the Staatskapelle Weimar, conducted by Hansjörg Albrecht.

Manitoba Underground Opera: Mozart and Offenbach

Manitoba Underground Opera took audiences on a journey — literally and figuratively — as it presented its latest installment of repertory opera between August 19–26.

Stars of Lyric Opera 2016, Millennium Park, Chicago

On a recent weekend Lyric Opera of Chicago gave its annual concert at Millennium Park during which the coming season and its performers are variously showcased. Several of the performers, who were featured at this “Stars of Lyric Opera” event, are scheduled to make their debuts in Lyric Opera’s new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold beginning on 1 October.



<em>And London Burned</em>
24 Oct 2016

And London Burned: in conversation with Raphaela Papadakis

Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London. »

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29 Aug 2010

BBC Prom 54; La fanciulla del West; Joyce DiDonato; Simon Keenlyside; Kronos Quartet »

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28 Aug 2010

Multimedia Opera Production to Debut at Roosevelt University »

28 Aug 2010

Opera San Jose plans 'gigantic' production for West Coast premiere of 'Anna Karenina' »

27 Aug 2010

La fanciulla del West/L’Heure espagnole, Usher Hall, Edinburgh »

27 Aug 2010

Us and them is the cultural problem, not Pomp and Circumstance »

27 Aug 2010

How we learned to start worrying and love Mahler »

27 Aug 2010

Rolando's musical passion for home »

26 Aug 2010

HGO to produce Wagner's massive Ring Cycle »

26 Aug 2010

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Unlocking the Mystery of Honegger »

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The Sixteen/Christophers, Usher Hall, Edinburgh »

25 Aug 2010

Mostly Mozart finale, Avery Fisher Hall, New York »

25 Aug 2010

Opera Lover Targets Young Patrons With $25 Seats »

24 Aug 2010

Les Enfants Terribles »

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A Globe-Spanning Musical Feast »

24 Aug 2010

Naxos founder Klaus Heymann on what lies ahead for classical recordings »

23 Aug 2010

Idomeneo, Usher Hall, Edinburgh »

23 Aug 2010

Edinburgh Festival 2010: Susan Bullock on playing Minnie in La fanciulla del West »

23 Aug 2010

The battle for Bayreuth »

22 Aug 2010

Spratlan’s arid, pretentious “Dream” proves dated and deadly in belated world premiere »

22 Aug 2010

A Rarely Heard Mozart Cantata Completes a Wide-Ranging Festival »

20 Aug 2010

A Response To Philip Kennicott’s “Ring Ideal” »

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Opera Australia in harmony again »

19 Aug 2010

New book, 'Opera for All Seasons,' depicts history of Indiana University Opera Theater »

18 Aug 2010

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17 Aug 2010

Elektra, Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg Festival »

17 Aug 2010

'Measure for Measure' adds a Southern twist »

16 Aug 2010

Metropolitan Opera Breaks Box Office Record »

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Opera goes in search of fresh talent »

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Santa Fe Opera sings a familiar note »

14 Aug 2010

Santa Fe's Busy 'Tales,' Bloody 'Butterfly,' Tinny 'Flute' »

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Unthinkable? Mid-opera clapping »

13 Aug 2010

Families get to go Behind the Curtain at Wolf Trap »

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Eugene Onegin, Royal Opera House, London »

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Life is a Dream/Albert Herring, Santa Fe Opera, New Mexico »

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Glimmerglass’s Le Nozze di Figaro: a handsome wedding, on a budget »

08 Aug 2010

Festival Opera plays it safe, soars with 'Lucia' »

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A Wagnerian Treat for Children: ‘Tannhäuser’ »

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BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London »

05 Aug 2010

Montezuma, Potsdam Music Festival »

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Glimmerglass’s Tosca: an economy of means, an extravagance of voice »

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The Rake's Progress: when Hockney met Hogarth »

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Dionysos, Haus für Mozart, Salzburg »

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Paul Groves shines in dizzying take on 'Tales' »

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Conductor Charles Mackerras dies »

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Mary Stuart, Grand Theatre, Leeds »

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Renée Fleming -- opera, pop and snobbery (and music samples) »

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