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Oxford Lieder Festival 2015 - Sholto Kynoch interview

Last year's Oxford Lieder Festival made something of a splash when it encompassed all of Schubert's songs, performed in the space of three weeks. This year's festival, the 14th, which runs from 16 to 31 October 2015 has a rather different, yet still eye-catching theme; Singing Words: Poets and their Songs.

Bellini I puritani : gripping musical theatre

Vividly gripping drama is perhaps not phrase which you might expect to be used to refer to Bellini's I Puritani, but that was the phrase which came into my mind after seen Annilese

Strong music values in 1940's setting for Handel's opera examining madness

As part of their Madness season, presenting three very contrasting music theatre treatments of madness (Handel's Orlando, Bellini's I Puritani and Sondheim's Sweeney Todd) Welsh National Opera (WNO) presented Handel's Orlando at the Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday 3 October 2015.

Bostridge, Isserlis, Drake, Wigmore Hall

Benjamin Britten met Mstislav Rostropovich in 1960, in London, where the cellist was performing Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto. They were introduced by Shostakovich who had invited Britten to share his box at the Royal Festival Hall, for this concert given by the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra. Britten’s biographer, Humphrey Carpenter reports that a few days before Britten had listened to Rostropovich on the radio and remarked that he ‘“thought this the most extraordinary ‘cello playing I’d ever heard”’.

Falstaff at Forest Lawn

Sir John Falstaff appears in three plays by William Shakespeare: the two Henry IV plays and The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Music and Drama Interwoven in Chicago Lyric’s new Le nozze di Figaro

The opening performance of the 2015-2016 season at Lyric Opera of Chicago was the premiere of a new production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro under the direction of Barbara Gaines and featuring the American debut of conductor Henrik Nánási.

La traviata, Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia mixes boutique performances of avant-garde opera in a small house with more traditional productions of warhorse operas performed in the Academy of Music, America’s oldest working opera house.

Il Trovatore at Dutch National Opera

Four lonely people, bound by love and fate, with inexpressible feelings that boil over in the pressure cooker of war. Àlex Ollé’s conception of Il Trovatore for Dutch National Opera hits the bull’s eye.

The Barber of Seville, ENO London

This may be the twelfth revival of Jonathan Miller’s 1987 production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville for English National Opera, but the ready laughter from the auditorium and the fresh musical and dramatic responses from the stage suggest that it will continue to amuse audiences and serve the house well for some time to come.

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Bostridge, Barbican London

The third and final instalment of the Academy of Ancient Music’s survey of Monteverdi’s operas at the Barbican began and ended in darkness; the red glow of the single candle was an apt visual frame for a performance which was dedicated to the memory of the late Andrew Porter, the music critic and writer whose learned, pertinent and eloquent words did so much to restore Monteverdi, Cavalli and other neglected music-dramatists to the operatic stage.

English Touring Opera - Debussy, Massenet and Offenbach

English Touring Opera’s recent programming has been ambitious and inventive, and the results have been rewarding. We had two little-known Donizetti operas, The Siege of Calais and The Wild Man of the West Indies, in spring 2015, while autumn 2014 saw the company stage comedy by Haydn (Il mondo della luna) and romantic history by Handel (Ottone).

Boesch and Martineau Schubert Complete Songs, Wigmore Hall, London

The Wigmore Hall's complete Schubert Songs series of 40 concerts began with a recital by Florian Boesch and Graham Johnson. (Read my review here). If anything, though, the second concert, where Boesch was accompanied by Malcolm Martineau, was even better. The programme was beautifully planned, and the performance exceptional, even by the very high standards of the Wigmore Hall.

Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk - ENO London

It took artistic courage to choose Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of Mtensk to start the ENO's 2015-2016 season. Shostakovich isn't an easy sell, and so full of sex and violence that some minds - like Josef Stalin - would be aghast. But Mark Wigglesworth is passionate about Shostakovich , and as new Music Director of the ENO, he's making a point. Good opera needs artistic vision.

Berg Wozzeck Fabio Luisi Zurich Opera

Zurich Opera brought Alban Berg Wozzeck to the Royal Festival Hall, London . Fabio Luisi conducted Philharmonia Zurich and a very good cast in a concert performance. With all pretence at staging removed (apart from natural good acting) we could focus on the sheer musical audacity of Berg's writing, and pick up on the processes the music employs to create the drama.

“Nessun Dorma — The Puccini Album”

Sounds swirl with an urgent emotionality and meandering virtuosity on Jonas Kaufmann’s new Puccini album—the “real one”, according to Kaufmann, whose works were also released earlier this year on Decca records, allegedly without his approval.

Verismo Double Header in Los Angeles

LA Opera got its season off to an auspicious beginning with starry revivals of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci.

Viva Verdi at Opera Las Vegas

On September 9, 2015, Opera Las Vegas presented James Sohre’s production of Viva Verdi at the Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz. It was a delightful evening of arias, duets and ensembles by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). The program included many of the composer’s blockbuster arias and scenes from famous operas such as Aida, La traviata, and Macbeth.

Barbera Sings a Fascinating Recital in San Diego

On Saturday, September 19, San Diego Opera opened its 2015-2016 season with a recital by tenor René Barbera. This was the first Polly Puterbaugh Emerging Artist Award Recital and no artist could have been more deserving than the immensely talented Barbera.

Sweeney Todd at the San Francisco Opera

Did the iconic “off-beat” and “serious” American musical hold the stage of the War Memorial Opera House? The excited audience (standees three deep) thought so and roared their appreciation.

Sondra Radvanovsky Stars in the Title Role of Anna Bolena

The First of Three Donizetti Queens She Will Sing at the Met This Season



03 Jul 2015

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10 May 2010

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10 May 2010

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20 Apr 2010

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16 Apr 2010

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11 Apr 2010

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11 Apr 2010

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BSO/Jayce Ogren, Symphony Hall, Boston »

31 Mar 2010

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30 Mar 2010

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29 Mar 2010

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29 Mar 2010

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28 Mar 2010

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25 Mar 2010

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24 Mar 2010

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23 Mar 2010

La Voix humaine/Herzog Blaubarts Burg, Oper der Stadt Köln »

23 Mar 2010

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21 Mar 2010

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18 Mar 2010

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18 Mar 2010

Handel Festival: Apollo e Dafne and selected arias »

18 Mar 2010

This Prince: What a Piece of Work »

18 Mar 2010

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Thomas Adès in concert »

16 Mar 2010

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‘Degenerate’ Opera: Hear No Evil »

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Das Rheingold, Paris Opera (Bastille) »

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08 Mar 2010

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03 Mar 2010

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11 Feb 2010

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Opera San Jose revisits the "Marriage of Figaro" »

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Lulu, Grand Théâtre, Geneva »

08 Feb 2010

Ariadne auf Naxos, Metropolitan Opera, New York »

07 Feb 2010

Lucia di Lammermoor at the Coliseum »

03 Feb 2010

Opera music part of junk hauler's treasure trove »

02 Feb 2010

Wozzeck, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theatre, San Francisco »

30 Jan 2010

Bass-baritone eager to sing at home, in English »

30 Jan 2010

In perfect harmony »

28 Jan 2010

New Music Director for Opera Orchestra »

25 Jan 2010

Le Poème Harmonique »

25 Jan 2010

War and Peace, Theatre Royal, Glasgow »

25 Jan 2010

Florida Grand Opera's Eglise Gutiérrez lifts `Lucia di Lammermoor ' to modern heights »

25 Jan 2010

Stirring Storytelling and Amorous Rapture »

25 Jan 2010

War and Peace at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow »

24 Jan 2010

Opera review: Long Beach Opera stages 'Good Soldier Schweik' »

22 Jan 2010

Fischer, NSO mine the beauty in 'Das Lied von der Erde' »

21 Jan 2010

Netrebko and Hvorostovsky, Royal Festival Hall, London »

21 Jan 2010

Monteverdi, 1610: Vespers to Usher in the Baroque »

20 Jan 2010

Norma, Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris »

19 Jan 2010

For Verdi, Masquerading as a Baritone »

19 Jan 2010

Simon Boccanegra, Metropolitan Opera, New York »

18 Jan 2010

La Boheme at the Grand, Leeds »

18 Jan 2010

Henze weekend, Barbican, London »

18 Jan 2010

Winter Opera focuses on singing in 'Werther' »

18 Jan 2010

'Il Trovatore' casts show convoluted plot's versatility »

14 Jan 2010

A Space Opera in a Proper Galaxy »

14 Jan 2010

Immolazione, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome »

13 Jan 2010

Collection of Italian Opera Libretti Now Accessible at Harry Ransom Center »

07 Jan 2010

Juliane Banse / András Schiff, Wigmore Hall, London »

03 Jan 2010

Spoleto will showcase historic Dock Street Theatre »

03 Jan 2010

That Daring Gypsy Strikes Again, and Anew »

31 Dec 2009

ENO, our gateway to opera »

30 Dec 2009

Boston Baroque to conduct itself in comedic ways »

28 Dec 2009

Candide, Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp »

28 Dec 2009

Decade in review »

24 Dec 2009

The Maestro Was Miserable »

18 Dec 2009

Long wait rewarded with near-perfect production »

18 Dec 2009

Authenticity online: British Library allows virtual browsing of original Messiah score »

18 Dec 2009

Medical Miracle: Opera Singer's Lost Voice Returns »

11 Dec 2009

Notes of Ancient Greece in a Seldom-Seen Work »

10 Dec 2009

Andrea Chénier, Paris Opera (Bastille), Paris »

08 Dec 2009

'Threepenny Opera' makes most of grunge factor »

07 Dec 2009

Iphigénie, La Monnaie, Brussels »

04 Dec 2009

‘The Merry Widow’: Lyric Opera staging Franz Lehar classic,0,313070.column »

03 Dec 2009

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03 Dec 2009

New Schoenberg score stolen in Hungary »

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OperaUpClose: Puccini in the pub »

30 Nov 2009

Desert songs given an extra layer of drama »

30 Nov 2009

Vancouver Opera's Norma pleases, but takes no risks »

29 Nov 2009

Cecilia Bartoli, The Tsarina's Slippers, Swanhunter, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival »

27 Nov 2009

A beer at the opera with Falstaff »

26 Nov 2009

Le Balcon, Grand Theatre, Bordeaux »

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Swan Song of Offenbach, the Outsider »

24 Nov 2009

Two by Philip Glass »

22 Nov 2009

Elisabeth Söderström »

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11 Nov 2009

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Stunning portrayal of Verdi’s tale of love and tragedy »

10 Nov 2009

Lover of Birds and Opera Leaves Millions to Both »

10 Nov 2009

Sylvia McNair powerful in Weill-filled "Songspiel" from American Opera Theater »

10 Nov 2009

Bringing Melbourne in from the operatic cold »

08 Nov 2009

Reborn: Neglected Work and City Opera »

04 Nov 2009

The precious Hugo von Hofmannsthal »

20 Oct 2009

Opera star Bartoli explores music of the castrati »

19 Oct 2009

'Macbeth' toils with brain, not heart »

19 Oct 2009

'Death of Klinghoffer' at last »

19 Oct 2009

German soprano Nadja Michael gives a staggering performance as Salome at S.F. Opera »

19 Oct 2009

Casting choices spin gold in Seattle Opera's 'Traviata' »

16 Oct 2009

On opening night, the sounds of success fill Winspear Opera House »

10 Oct 2009

Dresden’s Gain is Munich’s Loss: Thielemann Signs With Staatskapelle »

10 Oct 2009

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09 Oct 2009

Tristan und Isolde — Christof Loy and Antonio Pappano's stark production of Wagner's opera is a haunting triumph »

09 Oct 2009

Tristan und Isolde — Christof Loy and Antonio Pappano's stark production of Wagner's opera is a haunting triumph »

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29 Sep 2009

James Levine to Undergo Back Surgery, Cancels Performances »

27 Sep 2009

'Siegfried' at Los Angeles Opera »

22 Sep 2009

The Met's Twist on 'Tosca'? It's the Audience That Gets the Knife. »

13 Sep 2009

The Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London »

13 Sep 2009

Technology changes the face of productions,0,7151605.story »

12 Sep 2009

'Il Trovatore' by the San Francisco Opera »

11 Sep 2009

Mid-19th-Century Tale With Oedipal Plot Twist »

11 Sep 2009

Linda di Chamounix, Royal Opera House »

07 Sep 2009

To aria is human, to tweet divine »

07 Sep 2009

Actus Tragicus, review »

07 Sep 2009

Rusalka, Norwegian National Opera, Oslo »

06 Sep 2009

Actus tragicus at the Festival Theatre »

05 Sep 2009

Musicologist says he has found 'Elise' »

20 Aug 2009

Soprano Acclaimed for Wagner Roles »

20 Aug 2009

Siegfried/Götterdämmerung, Seattle Opera »

10 Aug 2009

Opera being composed on Twitter »

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Undeniable Influence »

03 Aug 2009

Conjuring Mozart Themes and Sighs »

30 Jul 2009

Gergiev's Covent Garden Ring is a primary school travesty, so I walked out »

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Wo gibt's hier Spaghetti? »

29 Jul 2009

'L'Amico Fritz' stirs emotions »

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Kát’a Kabanová at Holland Park »

25 Jul 2009

Jedermanns Theater »

23 Jul 2009

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13 Jul 2009

Down on a Virginia Farm, a New Festival of Music »

13 Jul 2009

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13 Jul 2009

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11 Jul 2009

The Royal Opera's 2008-9 season ends in a blaze of glory with Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Puccini's Tosca »

10 Jul 2009

Bright lights among the shades — The passion of Orpheus pervades a historic Aldeburgh Festival »