Very occasionally you are lucky enough to encounter a performance in which a sort of mystical transformation takes place: when the music and the way it is performed simply embody the emotion that underlies it.
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Friday 30 October 2009
As a bass-baritone, Bryn Terfel regularly has to wear the metaphorical black hat in the standard operatic value-system, so this anthology of great bad-guy roles, from Iago and Mephistopheles to Sweeney Todd and Mack The Knife, is custom-built to showcase his dark, brooding qualities.
Tuesday 13 October 2009
Friday 18 September 2009
Help! – is there a bass-baritone in the house? When one of these rare beasts falls sick, as has just happened at Covent Garden, the search for a replacement becomes a nail-biter, particularly when the role is as demanding as that of King Marke in Tristan und Isolde. It just so happened that the perfect replacement was indeed in the house, just singing another role on other nights. Step forward Sir John Tomlinson, the Wotan of many critics' dreams – "magnificent", "towering", and "majestic" being the commonest epithets – and therefore the dream King Marke too. His magnificent etc performance as the Grand Inquisitor in Covent Garden's current Don Carlos will, from 29 September onwards, be complemented by this tormented royal victim.
Sunday 09 August 2009
Tuesday 04 August 2009
Sunday 14 June 2009
Monday 27 April 2009
Singing competitions are inherently dramatic, whether it’s Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Bryn Terfel slugging it out for the title of Cardiff Singer of the World in 1989 (Terfel got the consolation prize), or an obscure young Chinese textile worker named Guang Yang winning the mezzo title, and becoming an international star overnight.
Friday 27 March 2009
Doctor Atomic, Coliseum, London<br/>Der fliegende Holländer, Royal Opera House, London<br/>Five:15, Oran Mór, Glasgow
Sunday 01 March 2009
Thursday 26 February 2009
You knew from the palpable fizz of those open fifths in tremolando violins and the cut and thrust of the horns that conductor Marc Albrecht was very much at the helm of Wagner's Flying Dutchman and that he'd started exactly as he meant to go on. Add to that the flying Welshman, Bryn Terfel, weighing anchor in a performance of thrilling intensity more than matched on this occasion by a soprano, Anja Kampe, who simply knows no fear; throw in the Royal Opera Chorus on blistering form and a stage director, Tim Albery, for whom less is always more, and you have one of those rare evenings in the opera house that has you sitting so far forward in your seat that every muscle in your body is aching by close of play.
Tuesday 24 February 2009
You knew from the palpable fizz of those open fifths in tremolando violins and the cut and thrust of the horns that conductor Marc Albrecht was very much at the helm of Wagner’s Flying Dutchman and that he’d started exactly as he meant to go on.
Friday 20 February 2009
Wednesday 30 July 2008
Can there be a more charming and intimate chamber-music series anywhere in Britain than the Gower Festival? It takes place on the beautiful peninsula west of Swansea in the last fortnight of July, and has just completed its 32nd year. The concerts are all given in the local medieval churches and discovering these is a treat in itself: from Ilston, with its bat colony and kingfisher streams, to Oxwich, hidden in woods on a point almost out to sea.
Thursday 20 March 2008
When Bryn Terfel pulled out of Wagner's Ring cycle last year, the Royal Opera House issued an unusually terse statement, expressing "shock and surprise" at his decision.
Sunday 09 March 2008
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