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Friday 24 May 2013
To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Andrew Parrott and his Taverner Consort & Players have aptly chosen to record the first great operatic masterwork, Monteverdi's L'Orfeo.
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Germany today celebrated the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner, the 19th-century composer whose music has been hailed as sublime art at the height of Western culture even as he remains tainted by his visceral anti-Semitic views, which later found favour with the Nazis.
Friday 17 May 2013
Gioachino Rossini's La Donna del Lago (“The Lady of the Lake”), which has just opened at the Royal Opera House, is an operatic rarity of the first order – hardly ever performed, according to its director, John Fulljames, because its leading roles are so demanding. “You have to have the right constellation of stars to pull it off,” he says. “That only happens once in a generation.”
Friday 10 May 2013
People like a shed – especially if they are creative. For writers it is often a peaceful bolt-hole.
Controversial Nazi-themed staging of Wagner's Tannhäuser pulled because audiences 'forced to seek medical help' after watching
Thursday 09 May 2013
A controversial staging of Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser set in a concentration camp during the Holocaust has been cancelled after it proved so shocking some audience-members were forced to seek medical help after watching.
Thursday 09 May 2013
The news that OperaUpClose were planning to stage Verdi’s A Masked Ball in an IKEA store did not sound promising, as we’d been there before. In 2009 Flatpack Opera made Wembley IKEA the venue and subject of a work whose audience was joined by bemused shoppers, not all of whom were keen to be plunged into an art event which began in the bedsit department and ended in kitchens. At least OperaUpClose were doing it in a kosher theatre.
Saturday 04 May 2013
Grimeswatch: in the concert hall, on the beach, round town …
Friday 03 May 2013
Floraleda Sacchi's harp lends itself particularly well to the minimalist logic of Philip Glass's progressions on this anthology of transpositions, never better than on the “Opening” from Glassworks, where the bass pulse beds beautifully among the mirroring figures of the theme.
Tuesday 23 April 2013
It's hard to believe it, but it's internet giant YouTube's eighth birthday today.
Monday 22 April 2013
In his latest dispatch, Michael Volpe reveals how music is crucial to Alice
Monday 22 April 2013
Verdi or Wagner? Posing the musical question of the year, tenor Jonas Kaufmann answers it by saying that he has vacillated between them, unable to decide whose music he prefers. He finally declares that they are mutually beneficial: "After singing Wagner you have an extra dose of power for the drama in Verdi, and after singing Verdi, it is much easier to sing Wagner, as the composer intended, with Italian legato." It was this latter course that he adopted at the Royal Festival Hall, backed by the Philharmonia Orchestra under Jochen Rieder.
Friday 19 April 2013
The Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne have relayed live operas to cinemas. But for the first time next week, an opera will premiere at a London cinema.
Tuesday 16 April 2013
Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo is in the UK today to receive the ceremonial Freedom of the City of London.
Monday 15 April 2013
In Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell's collaboration with Michel van der Aa we neither know nor care what is going on - it is a work of remarkable arrogance
Monday 08 April 2013
Ethnomusicologists are like bees, with melodies being the pollen they transfer from culture to culture. In the 1950s the great American ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax went on a song-collecting trip to Italy, and brought back recordings of a wealth of music which is now mostly extinct.
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
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