As the Royal Opera opens its new Don Giovanni, Jessica Duchen argues that its theme of moral vacuity is as relevant now as in Mozart's day
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Monday 16 April 2012
A showcase for three young conductors, a malfunction at the printers, and for the first time in my experience no programmes for the audience and the prospect of blind-tasting their talents.
Friday 13 April 2012
First, it was Harrods and then Manchester City football club – now the Gulf is buying culture. Last week, the Royal Opera House (ROH) made its debut in the Gulf, in the culturally thirsty region of the UAE. I decided to pack my bags and head off to the Arab premiere of Beloved Friend at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival.
Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Joshua Bell, Cadogan Hall, London
Carole Cerasi, Foundling Museum, London
Sunday 08 April 2012
Former teen virtuoso Joshua Bell has an orchestra all of his own to play with, but are two hands really enough?
Wednesday 04 April 2012
Wagner made very sure people would pay attention to the meaning of the opera he called his 'farewell to the world', by decreeing that it should only be performed, like a sacred ritual, in his theatre in Bayreuth. And though it was conceived as – and undoubtedly is – a paean to peace and reconciliation, it has sowed remarkable discord among the cognoscenti.
Thursday 29 March 2012
So, Schubert. He's inescapable, or at least he is on Radio 3. If you're not an admirer but a regular listener, you'll either have to decamp to Classic FM or seek refuge in silence which is, of course, unthinkable. I can't claim to be an authority on the composer since my knowledge of classical music can pretty much be summed up in Music for Babies, a CD that someone who didn't know me too well gave me when I was pregnant after it was claimed that exposure to classical music would increase my child's IQ. (To what extent it succeeded isn't clear). Pretty much all I know about Schubert is that he's the greatest songwriter since The Beatles. Hang on, that doesn't sound right....
Wednesday 28 March 2012
Playing music to patients undergoing surgery reduces their anxiety and could improve healing, research suggests.
Friday 23 March 2012
Celebrating his 85th birthday later this year, Sir Colin Davis has been one of Britain's best-loved conductors for more than half a century. The death of his wife, Shamsi, in June 2010, was a severe blow to him; since then, his activities have slowed. "I don't have the energy I used to," he remarks. "After performing a big piece, one feels one should be put out to grass, like an old donkey."
Travel Agenda: Australian Grand Prix; Christoph Hagel; British Airways' pop-up venue; River Cottage's The Pop-Up Hotel
Friday 16 March 2012
Tomorrow: And they're off... the Australian Grand Prix gets under way in Melbourne this weekend, kicking off the 2012 Formula 1 season. It makes pit stops in 18 different cities before ending in Sao Paulo in November (formula1.com).
Monday 27 February 2012
The opera singer Elizabeth Connell enjoyed 10 successful years as a mezzo before becoming a soprano and enjoying over two decades more of international acclaim.
Sunday 22 January 2012
There is hell-fire enough at the close of Francesca Zambello’s 2002 staging of Don Giovanni to consume not just the Don but the entire production.
Monday 09 January 2012
The Place’s Resolution! season is older than many of the artists appearing in it.
Monday 09 January 2012
Horses for courses: the question of which keyboard instruments suit which composers’ music is as pertinent now as it was when the harpsichord and fortepiano were competing for dominance in the 18 century.
Sunday 08 January 2012
Wednesday 28 December 2011
It might seem a fool's errand to attempt to encapsulate the musical developments of the 18th century in a single package, given the era's heavyweight talents include Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn.
Monday 05 December 2011
On the London Symphony Orchestra’s website there’s a conversation between pianist Mitsuko Uchida and conductor Colin Davis in which they discuss the Beethoven and Nielsen works they are currently performing at the Barbican.
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