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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Sunday 07 February 2010
While Saracens director Francois Pienaar chuckles at Matt Damon's prosthetically enhanced (the nose, that is) portrayal of him in 'Invictus', the South African-backed club are missing nine England players for their LV Cup tie against Newport-Gwent Dragons this afternoon. This is the end of the pool stage, and yesterday's results leave Gloucester, Saracens and Harlequins with a chance of joining Northampton in the last four in March. Quins and Gloucester could stop the Cardiff Blues and the Scarlets going through.
Monday 16 November 2009
Bryn Terfel arrived in the capital armed with countless sneers and as many ways to make mischief. His latest album, Bad Boys – a comprehensive gallery of operatic rogues and villains – was now a tour, and there was a big, glossy, souvenir programme to prove it.
Thursday 12 November 2009
Bryn Terfel arrived in the capital armed with countless sneers and as many ways to make mischief. His latest album Bad Boys – a comprehensive gallery of operatic rogues and villains – was now a tour, and there was a big, glossy, souvenir programme to prove it. But at least this latest participant in the South Bank's "International Voices" series offered value for money – the big Welshman doesn’t short-change us, not even when he's in the guise of that prize quack Dr Dulcamara whose lotions and potions are cheap for a reason.
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.
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