Classical and Opera: News and Features

Renee FlemingFeature: Opera Review of 2009 - the ups and downs of the past twelve months The financial crisis has dominated every aspect of life in 2009, and the opera world is no exception. Slashed budgets have led to the cancellation of new productions and even the closure of several opera companies in America; touring companies have reduced their number of performances... more>


San FranciscoNews: San Francisco Opera announces the 2010-11 Season, including Placido Domingo, Karita Mattila and the complete Ring While in the middle of an exciting season with Nicola Luisotti as new music director, the San Francisco Opera has just announced its 2010-11 season, revealing an equally exciting series of operas and events. Ten productions will be on the War Memorial... more> BBCNews: BBC Music Magazine Announces Public Voting for its 2010 Awards The BBC Music Magazine Awards are now in their fifth year, and they have become firmly established as a reliable benchmark of mainstream classical repertoire assessment. These particular awards are one of the few opportunities the public have to take active part in the deciding of major classical prizes. The... more>
Christian ThielemannConcert News: The LSO and the Barbican announce details of their forthcoming seasons Valery Gergiev continues his (generally) acclaimed tour through Russian repertoire with a number of concerts featuring major works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Rodion Shchedrin. His Mahler cycle continues alike. Highlights include Shchedrin's Carmen Suite and Pianos ... more> birtwistleFeature: Concerts Review of 2009 - the highlights of the past twelve months Despite the ongoing global financial crisis, the past year has seen a strong showing from all of London's major concert halls, with the resurgent LPO, Philharmonia and BBC SO having particularly strong years. Smaller and newer venues such as Café Oto, the Warehouse... more>
BrownleeNews: The Rosenblatt Recital at St John's Smith Square present an exciting 2009-10 season Shining as ever, the 2009-10 season of the Rosenblatt Recitals opens on 23 September at St. John's Smith Square. Many are the reasons that make of this venue an superb place for music, and the main one is certainly the excellency of the artists involved in the recital series. First... more> Simon RattleConcert News: Simon Rattle looks to new directions in London and Baden-Baden When some months ago the entire future of the Easter Festival by the Berlin Philharmonic, traditionally held in Salzburg, was for technical reasons in jeopardy, Sir Simon Rattle and the Management of the orchestra approached Dr. Andreas Molich-Zebhauser, Intendant of the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden... more>
Top Story: Christmas Preview It's coming on Christmas - a time of year when music plays a particular part of society's events - so why not take yourself to a concert? The problem is, it's also the time of year when musical fakes tend to creep out of the woodwork. Orchestras that nobody's ever heard of give concerts of so-called 'light classics'... more> Renee FlemingReview: November at the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus There are many reasons why one would like to spend one's retirement in Baden Baden, this attractive, cultured Spa-town, without sprawling industrial suburbs, beautifully nestled in the foothills of the Black Forest, and where a waitress never fails to ask if you enjoyed your cup of coffee. There is one that the writer considers... more>
NovemberTop Story: Previewing major events during November 2009 We take a look at the exciting events we're going to review this month, including Tchaikovsky's Tsarina's Slippers at Covent Garden, Handel's Messiah, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Bartok's Bluebeard at ENO, Otello in San Francisco, Semele at the Royal Academy, and the BBC's tribute... more> Oxford LiederPreview: The Eighth Oxford Lieder Festival Within less than a decade, Oxford Lieder has become one of the most important promoters of song in the UK, and the Eighth Oxford Lieder Festival, which runs from 16 to 31 October, looks set to build on the success of previous years in considerable style. As fans of the festival have come to expect, the event offers an exciting mixture of... more>
October PreviewFeature: October Preview Already opened is Bizet's Carmen at the Royal Opera House, with by far its most stellar pairing to date: Roberto Alagna is Don Jose to Elina Garanca's Carmen. Bertrand de Billy conducts Francesca Zambello's colourful production. Also at Covent Garden this month is the annual Meet the Young Artists Week, which is now firmly set as a highlight... more> CosiOpera News: Glyndebourne announces its 76th Season Fresh from the success of its seventy-fifth birthday celebrations, Glyndebourne Festival Opera has announced next summer's season, which is scarcely less exciting. Two new productions and four revivals form the skeleton of the festival in 2010, which is notable for the company's first-ever production of Britten's... more>
September PreviewPreview: A look ahead at September's opera and concerts The Royal Opera's new season got underway last night, and in spite of the credit crunch there's an impressive line-up for most of the rest of the year. This month alone sees a revival of Don Carlo with Jonas Kaufmann stepping into Rolando Villazon's shoes, and a new production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde conducted... more> Dawn FrenchOpera News: Dawn French returns to the Royal Opera's La fille du regiment The Royal Opera has just announced updates to the casts of various productions for the coming season – and amongst them is the return of British comedienne Dawn French. She'll appear in the revival of Donizetti's La fille du regiment, in which she appeared when the production was first unveiled... more>
Berlin PhilNews: Berlin Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle go on US Tour The long-awaited Berliner Philharmoniker tour is about to start. Thousands of music lovers in the US will have the chance to attend concerts featuring one of the most prestigious orchestras in the world lead by Sir Simon Rattle. The Berlin orchestra will perform ten concerts in six North American cities. The opening night will see them... more> MattilaNews: New York Met announces free Open Houses After the success of the previous years, the New York Met has announced the fourth season of an exceptional initiative: free Open Houses, a scheme that will allow thousands of people to attend the final dress rehearsals of several productions in one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world. First opera to feature in this project is Luc Bondy's new... more>
Berlin PhilNews: Berlin Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle go on US Tour The long-awaited Berliner Philharmoniker tour is about to start. Thousands of music lovers in the US will have the chance to attend concerts featuring one of the most prestigious orchestras in the world lead by Sir Simon Rattle. The Berlin orchestra will perform ten concerts in six North American cities. The opening night will see them... more> MattilaNews: New York Met announces free Open Houses After the success of the previous years, the New York Met has announced the fourth season of an exceptional initiative: free Open Houses, a scheme that will allow thousands of people to attend the final dress rehearsals of several productions in one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world. First opera to feature in this project is Luc Bondy's new... more>
Kiri Te KanawaFeature News: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa brings her Marschallin back to life The Dame's operatic silence seems to have come to an end. Kiri Te Kanawa, one of the most beloved opera stars of the last forty years, has confirmed in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times that she will appear at the New York Met and Oper Köln in 2010, finally marking her return to the opera stage after six years of absence. After her... more> Richard FarnesOpera News: Sarah Connolly's first Maria Stuarda, Alice Coote in Werther and a Dove premiere for Opera North in 2009-10 There can be no doubt that the Opera North's newly announced operatic season is one of the most elegantly balanced programmes around. The music features has not only been handpicked, but also positioned very expertly in the overall design of the season... more>
Edward DownesObituary: Sir Edward Downes Legendary conductor Sir Edward Downes, CBE, and his wife Joan ended their lives at the assisted suicide clinic Dignitas in Switzerland last Friday. Their son and daughter released a statement referring to their parents' painful physical condition: 'It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our parents Edward and Joan Downes on Friday 10 July. After 54 happy years together... more> GheorghiuOpera News: Nelly Miricioiu and Angela Gheorghiu take over from Deborah Voigt in The Royal Opera's revival of Tosca with Bryn Terfel The Royal Opera has announced the withdrawal of Deborah Voigt from the high-profile revival of Tosca, opening on 9 July. The American soprano has cancelled all her appearances as the title role of the opera due to 'acute colitis'. In her stead... more>
ROH Un balloReview of Reviews: Un Ballo's revival at the Royal Opera inspires both praise and criticism Political duties, private torments and supernatural undertones are only a few among the elements that intertwine in Verdi's powerful Un ballo in maschera. The latest Royal Opera revival of Mario Martone's 2005 staging opened on 26 June with Daniel Dooner acting as revival director. Despite the fact that... more> Il barbiereReview of Reviews: A magic Barbiere conquers the critics Only a couple of weeks after a terrific high profile Traviata, the Royal Opera scored another success: the first revival of Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier's 2005 production of Il barbiere di Siviglia left both audience and critics breathless, and standing ovation in the theatre and five star reviews followed the opera's first night on 4 July.... more>
Chelsea Opera GroupNews: Chelsea Opera Group announces 2009-10 season The Chelsea Opera Group has announced its three-opera programme for the forthcoming season, confirming once again its commitment to the rediscovery of rarely performed and yet unmissable works. The COG plans include concert performances of Gluck's 1776 version of Alceste, Verdi's La traviata and Rossini's Guillaume Tell.... more> FlemingReview of Reviews: Renee Fleming shines in the last ROH revival of La traviata In the current season at the Royal Opera, rarely has the critics' response been more in unison than for the latest revival of Sir Richard Eyre's production of La traviata. With a stellar cast featuring Joseph Calleja, Thomas Hampson, and a terrific Renée Fleming, Verdi's masterpiece came to life .. more>
The SixteenNews: Christophers and The Sixteen are named Classic FM Magazine's Artist of the Year The Sixteen and their conductor and founder Harry Christophers are the subject of some thrilling piece of news in the year of their 30th anniversary. Describing them as an 'Ace chamber choir in pursuit of perfection in everything it does', Classic FM Magazine has nominated.... more> ROH LuluReview of Reviews: Critical clashes over Loy's new Lulu at Covent Garden Reactions to the Royal Opera House's latest production of Berg's Lulu range from the enthusiasm of The Telegraph and the Evening Standard (who gave the production a rating of four stars), to the lukewarm three stars of The Times and Financial Times, down to the bitter disappointment of The Guardian and The Stage... more>
NosedaNews: The BBC Philharmonic announces 2009-10 season The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra's 2009-10 season will be an extended and exciting celebration of Gustav Mahler's 150th anniversary. The BBC Philharmonic opens and closes the season with its Mahler tribute (16 January to 5 June) and performs five of the symphonies, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda... more> Don Carlo ROHOpera News: The Royal Opera announces change of cast for Don Carlo The Royal Opera has announced the withdrawal of Italian mezzo-soprano Sonia Ganassi from the role of Princess Eboli in Don Carlo, opening in the next season at Covent Garden on 15 September 2009. Ganassi decided to cancel her engagement due to her pregnancy. The role will be now interpreted... more>
The Met PlayerFeature Review: The Met Player experience I have spent the last few days exploring the Met Player, the new opera streaming facility offered to a worldwide home computer audience by the Met, and very exciting it is too. You may have seen a Metropolitan Opera production in a cinema near you over recent months, and now the same experience is available over the internet... more> Peter Grimes Review of ReviewsReview of Reviews: Alden's Peter Grimes opens to great acclaim at ENO Few operatic events are bound to gain as much press attention as a new production of Britten's Peter Grimes. American director David Alden's dark, nightmarish production has elicited many of the the most passionately positive responses the British press has seen in a long time. And while the superb... more>
DamrauReview of Reviews: The ROH's L'elisir d'amore is revived Daniel Dooner's revival of Laurent Pelly's 2007 production of L'Elisir d'Amore has arrived on the stage of the Royal Opera House. Set in the sun-drenched Italian countryside of the 1950s, this sweet, gently amusing production did not quite succeed in charming the critics off their feet, although it has undeniable assets... more> DomingoOpera News: Domingo returns twice in the Royal Opera's 2009-10 Season The Royal Opera House has announced details of the resident companies' 2009-10 season at Covent Garden.New productions of Tristan und Isolde, Manon, Tchaikovsky's The Slippers, Tamerlano, The Gambler and Aida provide several of the highlights of the season. The stars lined up to appear include... more>
Abbas KiarostamiOpera News: Abbas Kiarostami is unable to attend his production of Così fan tutte at ENO Abbas Kiarostami, director of the forthcoming Così fan tutte at ENO, will not be able to participate in the performances of his production. This is due to complex issues related to his visa application at the British Embassy in Tehran, Iran. Associate Director Elaine Tyler-Hall, who worked with... more> Richard FarnesOpera News: Sarah Connolly's first Maria Stuarda, Alice Coote in Werther and a Dove premiere for Opera North in 2009-10 There can be no doubt that the Opera North's newly announced operatic season is one of the most elegantly balanced programmes around. The music features has not only been handpicked, but also positioned very expertly in the overall design of the season... more>
Scottish OperaOpera News: Scottish Opera announces the 2009-10 season Scottish Opera recently announced details of their forthcoming 2009/2010 season, and it promises some fascinating collaborations, the continuation of innovative schemes such as the Five:15 new works in progress endeavour, and revivals of some classic shows from the company’s past.... more> JurowskiReview of Reviews: Problematic responses to the LPO/Jurowski's  'Post-Soviet Tapestries' Concert It is not often that a concert exclusively programming classical music written in the past 30 years manages to elicit dramatically strong reactions in press and audiences alike. Last Wednesday’s Post-Soviet Tapestries evening with the LPO and Jurowsky, hosted by the Royal Festival Hall... more>
DeccaNews: Paul Moseley returns to Decca as part of label's reorganisation An announcement by Michael Lang, President of the newly-formed Deutsche Grammophon Decca (DGD), and Christopher Roberts, President of Universal's (UMGI) Classics & Jazz, seems to allay some of the widespread fears for the future of Decca, in particular, and its recording activities. A press-release announces... more> DidoReview of Reviews: Critical clashes over ENO's After Dido Theatre director Katie Mitchell’s latest experiment inspired intriguing reflections on the British press. Her After Dido, a multimedia re-elaboration of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas co-produced by ENO and the Young Vic, received both utterly enthusiastic and less positive reviews. Sam Marlowe of The Times is enthused by the lyrical effect of... more>
 NetrebkoOpera News: Netrebko and Villazon in Idomeneo in Paris Opera's 09-10 Season The Opéra National de Paris recently announced their 2009-2010 season, with nine new productions across their two houses, some strong, occasionally unexpected casting, and plenty of musical variety. They open in September with Gounod's Mireille at the Palais Garnier. Their use of the... more> ROH/BBCOpera News: ROH and BBC bring opera to millions in the summer The summer brings spectacular news for opera-lovers all over the world: the Royal Opera House and the BBC announced a partnership which brings the work of the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet to millions of viewers and listeners. Covent Garden productions will be available across many different digital platforms... more>
Roberto AlagnaClassical News: The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra announce their 2009-10 seasons It is going to be a rich season for two of the main Scottish orchestras. In recent weeks, both the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra have announced details of their 2009-10 seasons. Mackerras will record Ariadne auf Naxos... more> Janet PriceClassical News: The BBC announces the 2009 Proms season Handel's Partenope, a tribute to the MGM musicals, Bernard Haitink's 80th birthday, Purcell's Fairy Queen, Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience, a celebration of Cambridge University's 800th anniversary and a weekend commemorating the 75th anniversary of the deaths of Elgar, Delius and Holst are just a selection of the concerts on offer... more>
Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sondra RadvanovskyReview of Reviews: How did Il trovatore fare with the critics? The latest revival of Il trovatore directed by Elijah Moshinsky opened at Covent Garden a few nights ago. Its critical reception was slightly controversial: although it was in many ways a memorable event, it is interesting to see the different perspectives of the first-night critics to highlight some of the (often contrasting) positive and... more> Gustavo DudamelNews: Southbank announces details of Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra Residency The moment has finally come for the return to London of one of the world’s most acclaimed youth orchestras. After their celebrated performance at the 2007 BBC Proms, Gustavo Dudamel and his  Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra will be at the Southbank Centre for a five-day residency from today... more>
Adam FischerFeature Review: Haydn Rarity and Wagner's Tannhäuser in a Week of Opera in Budapest Haydn's last opera, composed in 1791 for the King's Theatre in London, was not performed during Haydn's life. Indeed, the premiere did not take place until 1951. Although the current Haydn year resulted in sporadic performances of this opera in various parts of the world, few could have had... more> Edward GardnerBroadcast Review: Handel's Messiah hits the UK cinemas live from King's College Cambridge Once again Picturehouse Cinemas has offered to the British audience a jewel from the crown of classical music panorama. This time the English tradition was to be celebrated: Handel's Messiah was performed and broadcast live from King's College Chapel, Cambridge, featuring the Academy... more>
Dido and AeneasReview of Reviews: Critical perspectives on the ROH's baroque double bill Generally positive and yet contrasting reviews have welcomed Covent Garden’s latest production, a double bill including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Handel’s Acis and Galatea. This event has also marked a rare collaboration between the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet, with Wayne McGregor creating... more> Edward GardnerOpera News: English National Opera announces the 2009-10 season New productions of Turandot, Tosca, The Elixir of Love, Handel's Messiah, Katya Kabanova, Duke Bluebeard's Castle, The Pearl Fishers, Idomeneo and Le Grand Macabre form the backbone of a fresh 09-10 season for ENO, announced at a press conference this morning. Revivals of Rigoletto, The Turn of the Screw... more>
Archive ClassicsClassical News: Archive Classics launched today April 3 is going to be a memorable day for music-lovers and collectors of historical recordings. Award-winning independent radio producers Classic Arts will launch Archive Classics, the world's first podcast devoted to historical recordings. The portal for this initiative is Accessing this website, users... more> ROHPreview: Looking forward to Classical and Opera Events in April 2009 As we head into April, the focus is on new announcements for London's opera lovers. The next four weeks bring about the declaration of what English National Opera (2 April) and the Royal Opera (22 April) will perform during the 2009-10 season, as well as the Proms (8 April). ENO's new season is expected... more>
VickersRecordings News: The launch of Music Preserved LIVE An exciting new development for anyone interested in historical performances comes in the form of Music Preserved LIVE. The new label will be launched and released exclusively on Chandos's The Classical Shop from mid-April and will see never before released gems from a variety sources introduced into the catalogue... more> Valery Gergiev, who conducts Parsifal Act IIIPreview: Looking forward to London's Opera and Classical events in March 2009 With the Edinburgh Festival, Royal Opera, BBC Proms and English National Opera all due to announce their forthcoming plans over the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see how badly the economic crisis is really affecting the arts, especially in light of The Metropolitan Opera's well-publicised pruning... more>
FoylesNews: Foyles to host early evening concerts in Gallery With the opening of a new branch of MDC Music & Movies in the music department of Foyles, the legendary Charing Cross Road bookshop and one of London's few remaining independent classical music retailers have entered into an exciting partnership. The bookshop's third floor now not only offers sheet music and books ... more> ApolloOpera News: New recording and completion of Zaide in Classical Opera Company's future plans Operatic rarities, exceptional recording projects and insight events are on the programme of the Classical Opera Company, one of the most interesting British groups, founded in 1997 by conductor Ian Page. The Company’s reputation has grown rapidly, and its artists are now widely... more>
Gergiev's RingOpera News: Valery Gergiev brings the Mariinsky Ring to Covent Garden The Royal Opera House is involved in what seems to be one of the most exciting musical projects of the coming summer. From 29 July, the Mariinsky Theatre (with producer Victor Hocchauser) brings to London Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, in a production conceived by Valery Gergiev... more> Elina GarancaReview of Reviews: Critical perspectives on Netrebko & Garanca in ROH's Capuleti The praise is fairly unanimous for this latest revival of Pier Luigi Pizzi's 1984 staging of Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Royal Opera House. More than mere set design, it was a couple of outstanding and amazingly cast artists, Anna Netrebko and Elīna Garanča, that made this production memorable, together with... more>
Snape MaltingsClassical Preview: The 62nd Aldeburgh Festival Aldeburgh has a new Artistic Director. After a decade at the helm of a music and arts festival that seems constantly to be reinventing itself, Thomas Ades has passed the baton to the French pianist, conductor and musical thinker Pierre-Laurent Aimard. The 2009 Festival is the first that bears Aimards full imprint, although continuity is assured by the... more> Dr AtomicReview of Reviews: Critical perspectives on Doctor Atomic at ENO This week, John Adams's Doctor Atomic received its UK premiere at the London Coliseum, in a new version co-produced by ENO and the Metropolitan Opera. Originally directed by its librettist Peter Sellars, this new production is directed by Penny Woolcock and designs by Julian Crouch. As Rupert Christiansen... more>
Christopher RaeburnNews: Decca announce deaths of Christopher Raeburn and James Lock Decca have released the sad news of the death of Christopher Raeburn, one of the greatest classical record producers in history, only a matter of days after the death of one of his long-term colleagues, the legendary sound engineer James Lock. Between them, the pair notched up just under a hundred... more> Daniel BarenboimPreview: Barenboim, Fleming, Haitink, Gheorghiu in 09-10 Southbank Centre season Details have been announced for the new Southbank Centre 2009-10 classical music season. The programme includes concerts by Resident Orchestras), monographic cycles (focusing on Beethoven, Bernstein, Leonidas Kavakos) and international singers and instrumentalists such as... more>
Jakub HrusaNews: Glyndebourne on Tour appoints Jakub Hrůša as next Music Director Young Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša has been appointed next Music Director and Chief Conductor of Glyndebourne on Tour (GOT). Hrůša's collaboration with the GTO will start in January 2010, when he will take the post currently held by Robin Ticciati. Hrůša, born in 1981, was a pupil at the Academy of Performing... more> HenzeNews: Barbican announces 2009-10 Great Performers season The Great Performers season at the Barbican is a project that brings on stage the best international singers, ensembles and composers, as well as offering special in-depth events that allow the audience to familiarise themselves with these artists. The 2009-10 programme was announced yesterday, and... more>
Beyond the wallPreview Feature: Beyond the Wall - Chinese music at the Barbican The Barbican, LSO St. Luke's and Union Chapel in Islington will host a remarkable series of concerts over the next few months as part of their Beyond the Wall festival. Focusing on a wide range of Chinese music - from folk to classical, crossover to underground - the festival boasts an impressive line-up of performers... more> Amanda EchalazOpera Preview: Tosca on the road and full casting for Opera Holland Park's 2009 season Details have been announced for the 2009 productions at Opera Holland Park. Highlight of the season is a series of performances of Puccini's Tosca at Richmond Theatre from 24 February to 1 March. It's the first time that the Opera Holland Park soloists, together with the City of London Sinfonia and... more>
BarberNews: Italy's Grand Operas in Britain's Cinemas from February 2009 Cinema-goers in London are given the opportunity to attend some of the most prestigious productions from Italy's 2007-08 operatic season. These events are presented by alternative content distributor More2Screen in partnership with Emerging Pictures, both leading companies in providing a great audience with the best classical... more> Dr AtomicOpera Preview: John Adams' Doctor Atomic comes to ENO John Adams is at the forefront of contemporary opera composition. Only Harrison Birtwistle rivals him for fecundity and invention in theatrical composition amongst the senior ranks of contemporary composers. Favouring engagement with modern political issues and the experiences of the key players involved thereof, Adams' operas... more>
Renee FlemingOpera News: Fleming's Armida, Domingo's Boccanegra & Gheorghiu's Carmen in the Met's 09-10 season It won't be news to anybody that opera is just as susceptible to the effects of the global economic situation as any other business.  The Metropolitan Opera's endowment of $300m is said to have had a third of its value wiped out as investments have become depressed... more> The MinotaurNew opinion column: The Airing Cupboard - Stephen Pettitt on Music Why am I here? About three years ago my name slipped very quietly from the arts pages of the London Evening Standard. I was at least allowed to bid a modest adieu to my readers in my last review, which at my own request was of a recital by Mitsuko Uchida, but there were no farewell parties, no announcements, and... more>
Gerald Finley in Doctor AtomicPreview: Classical and Opera highlights for February 2009 As orchestras and opera companies start to announce their 2009-10 seasons, it's interesting to observe how the credit crunch is impacting on the opera and classical worlds. The two WNOs – Welsh National Opera and Washington National Opera – have both gone for box office safety, with the cancellation of the Washington... more> Beyond the wallPreview Feature: Beyond the Wall - Chinese music at the Barbican The Barbican, LSO St. Luke's and Union Chapel in Islington will host a remarkable series of concerts over the next few months as part of their Beyond the Wall festival. Focusing on a wide range of Chinese music - from folk to classical, crossover to underground - the festival boasts an impressive line-up of performers... more>
Maria FriedmanClassical News: BBC appoints Gruber and Knussen to Orchestral Posts It has been an eventful week for the BBC musical division. Austrian composer HK Gruber has been appointed the BBC Philharmonic's Composer/Conductor, starting from September 2009.  Moreover, a further announcement reveals that Oliver Knussen has become the BBC Symphony Orchestra's new Artist... more> Amanda EchalazOpera Preview: Tosca on the road and full casting for Opera Holland Park's 2009 season Details have been announced for the 2009 productions at Opera Holland Park. Highlight of the season is a series of performances of Puccini's Tosca at Richmond Theatre from 24 February to 1 March. It's the first time that the Opera Holland Park soloists, together with the City of London Sinfonia and... more>
DomingoOpera News: Washington and Los Angeles Opera companies announce their 2009-10 seasons With Plàcido Domingo serving as General Director, Washington and Los Angeles have become inspiring stages for operatic performances along the years. Their respective 2009-10 seasons include interesting artistic projects, such as a new production of Thomas's Hamlet with Damrau ... more> TerfelOpera News: Terfel's Sachs among the highlights announced in WNO's 2009-10 Season Welsh National Opera has announced details of its 2009-10 season, the first under new Music Director, Lothar Koenigs. New productions of Wagner's Meistersinger, Verdi's La traviata and Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio and revivals of Rigoletto and Madama Butterfly are amongst the other highlights... more>
Opera RaraRecording News: Opera Rara announces studio and release plans for 2009 Opera Rara – the world's foremost bel canto specialist record label – has announced the full line-up of recordings and releases for 2009. Five new recordings will be released during the next twelve months, including complete operas by Donizetti, Offenbach and Mercadante, while a further three complete operas will be... more> LSOClassical News: The LSO announces the 2009-10 season Complete performances of Strauss' Elektra and Verdi's Otello, a cycle of the Nielsen symphonies and a celebration of the music of Henri Dutilleux are at the heart of the London Symphony Orchestra's 2009-10 programming, announced today. Returns from regular LSO conductors Bernard Haitink, John Eliot Gardiner and Marin Alsop... more>
RLPONews: RLPO is oldest surviving UK orchestra according to new book The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is the UK's oldest surviving symphony orchestra, it has been revealed. In The Original Liverpool Sound – The Story of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, to be published 4 February 4 2009, authors Darren Henley and Vincent McKernan have discovered that the Royal Liverpool... more> Helene GrimaudClassical and Opera January 2009 Preview With the New Year firmly rung in and the Christmas trees headed for the shredder, a certain ennui can set in at this time. So we've decided to take a look at some of the classical music events taking place during January 2009 in order to whet your appetite for the weeks ahead. The opera schedules are relatively quiet in January... more>
Anne SchwanewilmsOpera news: Royal Opera announces cast changes for Tote Stadt, Lohengrin The Royal Opera has announced cast changes to three of its productions in the current season. The new production of Korngold's Die Tote Stadt, which is from a co-production between the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival (2004) and opens in late January 2009, will now feature American tenor Steven Ebel... more> Netrebko and KaufmannReview of the Year: we look back on the ups and downs of 2008 and pick our highlights Money makes the world go around, and as we approach 2009 the big question is whether the arts can survive at a time when many people are forced to prioritise their spending. Music, and art in general, is a key method of personal expression, and its importance in our lives goes far beyond... more>
Bampton Classical OperaOpera news: Operatic rarities by Schubert, Haydn, Gluck and Mozart for Bampton Opera in 2009 The enterprising small Bampton Classical Opera company has announced plans for its 2009 season. Operas by Schubert, Haydn, Gluck and Mozart will feature in a range of venues, including London's Wigmore Hall and St John's Smith Square. The season opens in March with... more> ETO at 30Opera news: English Touring Opera announces full casting details for Spring 2009 tour Entering their 30th year of touring productions - of which there have been more than 100 to date - English Touring Opera has just announced full details of their Spring 2009 season, including new stagings of The Magic Flute and Katya Kabanova, as well as concert performances of Bellini's Norma... more>
Richard HickoxNews: Conductor Richard Hickox dies aged 60 Only a few days in advance of being due to conduct English National Opera's new production of Vaughan Williams' opera Riders to the Sea, the leading conductor Richard Hickox has died of a suspected heart attack. He was just 60 years old. Hickox is survived by his wife, the mezzo-soprano Pamela Helen Stephen, and his three children, Tom... more> HandelOpera News: English Touring Opera celebrates Handel's 250th Birthday with a Festival English Touring Opera has announced a five-production festival of the operas of Handel for autumn 2009 to celebrate the composer's 250th birthday. This extremely ambitious project will begin the weeks of 12 and 19 October 2009 with fully staged productions of five of Handel's operas at the Britten... more>
Danielle De NieseOpera News: Glyndebourne Festival Opera announces 75th Anniversary Season for 2009 Still the UK's premiere summer opera festival at the ripe age of 75, Glyndebourne has announced details of next summer's season, which will run from 21 May to 30 August and include three new productions. In the year of the Purcell and Handel anniversaries, Glyndebourne will present its first... more> Richard BonyngeOpera News: Bel canto legend Richard Bonynge conducts Opera Holland Park's opening production of 2009 Korn/Ferry Opera Holland Park has announced that Richard Bonynge will conduct their new production of Donizetti's Roberto Devereux in June 2009. Working alongside him on the staging of the bel canto classic will be double-Olivier-Award-winning Director, Lindsay Posner. more>
Stephen GaddOpera News: Chelsea Opera Group chairman steps down as 1857 Boccanegra replaces William Tell The Chairman of the London-based Chelsea Opera Group, R. W. Montgomery, has announced his decision to retire after twenty-two years in charge. At the end of his fifty-seventh thrice-yearly newsletter, just published, Montgomery writes that it has 'been a great privilege...' more> DudamelReview-Feature: 'Risen from the Ashes' - Ten Years of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden Ten years ago, barely three months after its opening, as maliciously and vociferously predicted by many who felt that building Europe's largest opera house in a town of barely 50000 inhabitants smacked of illusions of grandeur, went bankrupt. It was only an unprecedented act... more>
MinotaurOpera News: Birtwistle's The Minotaur comes to Opus Arte DVD Opus Arte, the DVD company owned by the Royal Opera House, is to release Covent Garden's acclaimed production of Sir Harrison Birtwistle's The Minotaur on 1 October. Given its world premiere in April, The Minotaur opened to almost universally positive reviews: The Independent described it as... more> Judith HowarthOpera News: Opera Rara announces plans for 2009 Opera Rara, the world's foremost record label specialising in the bel canto repertoire, has disclosed initial plans for its recording schedule in 2009. In addition to releasing recordings of music by Offenbach, Donizetti, Mercadante, Ricci and Rossini made this year, the company will record three new accounts of operas by Rossini & Donizetti... more>
ETO: Leah-Marian JonesOpera News: English Touring Opera announces the Autumn 2008 tour Taking opera to the regions is no easy task, but after a strong spring season including Anna Bolena, English Touring Opera has now announced the two productions for its autumn tour. Dvorak's underrated masterpiece Rusalka will be presented alongside La tragédie de Carmen, Peter Brook's revision of Bizet's Carmen. more> Gregory KundeNews: Opera stars Kunde, Poplavskaya and Alvarez in Rosenblatt Recitals announced for 08-09 season The new season of the Rosenblatt Recital Series has just been announced for 2008-09. Mostly taking place at St John's Smith Square, the concerts bring together a range of operatic talent, from young singers at the start of their careers to established names. Gregory Kunde... more>
Ben HeppnerNews: A complete Götterdämmerung with Ben Heppner for the Halle's 2008-09 Season Manchester's Halle Orchestra has announced details of the 2008-09 season at the Bridgewater Hall, including a complete performance of Götterdämmerung, the last part of Wagner's Ring, under Music Director Mark Elder. A leading Wagnerian, Elder has long desired to bring the Ring to Manchester. more> McVicarNews: Scottish Opera announces 2008-09 Season Scottish Opera has announced its first season under new Music Director, Francesco Corti. Five new main-stage productions, a concert presentation of Bellini's I Puritani, the second instalment of Five:15 and a touring production of The Merry Widow make for an optimistic line-up for the beleaguered company in 2008-09. more>
OHPNews: Opera Holland Park announces 2009 & 2010 Seasons Their current season is only two days old, but the ever-forward-looking Opera Holland Park has already announced productions for the 2009 and 2010 summer festivals. As is customary, six operas will be performed each summer, with the repertoire ranging from Offenbach to Janacek and Mozart to Debussy. more> Richard Farnes, Music Director of Opera NorthNews: Opera North stages Gershwin, Shostakovich, Bellini rarities in 08-09 You really have to hand it to Opera North. While most companies rely staunchly on operatic war horses to keep the budget ticking over, their newly-announced 2008-09 season includes only one work, Puccini's Tosca, from the standard repertoire. The rest is so exciting and innovative that it's slightly difficult... more>
BudapestOpera feature: A history of the Budapest Opera House and reviews of three productions Nearing its 125th birthday, the Budapest Opera House remains what Hungarians lovingly call 'the world's most beautiful opera house'. Built after years of wrangling and financial difficulties, its very concept was an act of proud defiance, proving that the new partner in the Austro-Hungarian Empire... more> Gianandrea NosedaClassical news: BBC Philharmonic announces 2008-09 under Noseda Since Gianandrea Noseda's arrival at the BBC Philharmonic in 2002, the Manchester orchestra has gone from strength to strength. In the coming season, he conducts an opera by Rachmaninoff, Haydn's Creation and Te Deum, Berlioz's La damnation de Faust and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, amongst other highlights. more>
VillazonOpera news: Villazon, Voigt, Kaufmann in Opera national de Paris 08-09 season The Opéra national de Paris has announced details of its 2008-09 season, which will feature appearances by opera stars Rolando Villazon, Waltraud Meier, Jonas Kaufmann, Deborah Voigt, Ramon Vargas, Susan Graham, Joyce DiDonato and Violeta Urmana. The season proper starts on 24 September... more> Edward Gardner Opera News: English National Opera announces 2008/09 season Details have been announced for the opening productions of ENO 's 2008-09 season, providing a broad range of repertoire including new productions of Cav and Pag, Handel's Partenope and, in his anniversary year, Vaughan Williams's rarely-heard Riders to the Sea. Peter Rose will take on the title role in Boris Godunov ... more>
Harrison BirtwistleFeature: Contemporary Opera in London: Three Premieres, a New Staging and a Revival For Londoners committed to the cause of contemporary music, and for those interested in adventurous productions of fresh and innovative operatic works, the coming months should prove something of a boon. Starting in March and concluding in May, this de facto mini-festival of contemporary opera... more> Proms 2008Classical News: Proms 2008 announced Details have been announced for BBC Proms 2008 which run from 18 July to 13 September. It is the 114th season and the first under the festival's new Director, Roger Wright. The headlines are likely to draw attention to the Doctor Who Prom on the morning of 27 July, which features music from the TV series, and is followed in the evening... more>
ROH PreviewOpera news: ROH announces Fleming, Terfel, Alagna for 2008-09 The Royal Opera has announced details of the 2008-09 season at London's Covent Garden. The new productions include Cavalli's La Calisto, Rossini's Matilde di Shabran with Juan Diego Florez, Hansel und Gretel with Angelika Kirchschlager, Korngold's Die todte Stadt with Gerald Finley, Wagner's Der fliegende Hollander with Bryn Terfel... more> Alice CooteNews: Operatic highlights with De Niese, Evans and Coote at Barbican's Mostly Mozart Festival The Barbican Hall has announced details of this summer's annual Mostly Mozart Festival, which is this year rich with operatic treasures. Rebecca Evans, Danielle de Niese, Alice Coote and Toby Spence are just some of the big names which the major venue has attracted for the summer concert season. more>
Karl JenkinsCD competition: WIN Copies of Karl Jenkins' new Stabat Mater EMI Classics have recorded a major new work by Karl Jenkins, the Stabat Mater, and to celebrate we are giving you the opportunity to win your very own copy! The work will be released to coincide with the world premiere performance on Saturday 15 March 2008 in Liverpool Cathedral, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. more> Anja HarterosOpera news: Harteros replaces Stemme in ROH Boccanegra Following the announcement that Swedish soprano Nina Stemme will no longer be making her role debut as Amelia Grimaldi in the Royal Opera's revival of Simon Boccanegra in May 2008, the company has now confirmed that she will be replaced by German soprano Anja Harteros for most of the performances, with Austrian... more>
Bach CantatasPreview: Baden-Baden's Festspielhaus If Rome is the Eternal City, Baden-Baden is the Eternal Spa. During this season, Baden-Badeners can witness the Glyndebourne Tristan as well as new productions of The Flying Dutchman, Fidelio (a co-production with the Teatro Real Madrid under Claudio Abbado) and the new Mariinsky Tannhäuser; Cecilia Bartoli in La sonnambula... more> Gustavo DudamelNews: Royal Festival Hall's 2008-09 season The Southbank Centre has announced the line-up for its 2008-09 Shell Classic International Series.Featuring several of the world's greatest orchestras, conductors and soloists, it will see the Royal Festival Hall play host to mouth-watering visits from the Vienna Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta... more>
SalonenNews: Philharmonia's 2008-09 season The Philharmonia Orchestra has announced initial details of the 160 concerts which make up its 08-09 season – Esa-Pekka Salonen's first as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor. There's a project based around the music and culture of Vienna between 1895-1935, and the return of Muti, Schiff, Mackerras & Dohnányi, plus Alfred Brendel's last-ever UK concerts. more> Valery GergievNews: LSO announces 2008-09 season Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev will lead ten concerts of music by composers who went into exile from their homeland, including Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Bartók, plus Act III of Parsifal with René Pape, while President Sir Colin Davis will return for seven programmes including the Verdi Requiem and a series focusing on British music of the 1930s. more>
Jacques ImbrailoNews: ROH Young Artists' Summer Concert; BP Big Screens; Aronica in ROH Boheme; Copley stages ENO Widow; Buxton Festival The Royal Opera House has unveiled details of the annual summer concert given by the talented professionals on its Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. In their most ambitious concert yet, the Young Artists will perform two fully-staged extracts. more> JurowskiNews: LPO announces 2008-09 season Tchaikovsky is the order of the day as Vladimir Jurowski slides into his second season as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The LPO will present a feast of the Russian composer's lesser-known works under the heading Revealing Tchaikovsky. World premieres and opera in concert form the backbone of the rest of the season more>
Lang LangNews: ITV's South Bank Show to profile Lang Lang Chinese Pianist Lang Lang is to be profiled on ITV1's flagship arts programme, the South Bank Show. The pianist is already a mega-star in his native China as well as a Unicef Ambassador and 'global ambassador' for Rolex and Audi. He records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon and is credited with bringing classical... more> Judith WeirNews: BBCSO cancels Composer Weekends in favour of Composer Days The BBC Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its annual January Composer Weekend format after 21 years of highly-acclaimed programmes celebrating the work of a single composer over a weekend packed full of events. Today the orchestra announced that the festival of the music of Judith Weir which took place... more>
Anna NetrebkoCasting news: Anna Netrebko cancels two performances of ROH Traviata After a thrilling performance as Violetta on the first night of Covent Garden's current revival of Verdi's La traviata, Anna Netrebko has had to withdraw from the third performance of the run tomorrow, Sunday 20 January 2008. She also withdrew from last Thursday's performance, after a bronchial infection from which... more> Nina Stemme/Kristin ChenowethCasting news: Nina Stemme out of ROH Boccanegra; Kristin Chenoweth in ENO Candide The Royal Opera has fallen victim to yet another star singer withdrawing from a major production. Nina Stemme will not now perform the role of Amelia Grimaldi in the 2008 revival of Simon Boccanegra. Tony Award-winner Kristin Chenoweth will sing Cunegonde in ENO's production of Bernstein's Candide. more>
WNO previewNews: WNO announces 2008-09 season International opera stars Rebecca Evans, Dennis O'Neill, Ann Murray, Sally Burgess, Amanda Roocroft and Rosemary Joshua will all appear in Welsh National Opera's 2008-09 season. Sir Charles Mackerras will also return to conduct a one-off concert performance of Mozart's Mitridate, re di Ponto. The season is characterised by strongly-cast... more> Barbican joins Met Opera HD SchemeOpera news: Barbican joins Met Opera HD Broadcasts scheme London's Barbican Cinema has announced that it will broadcast six of the Metropolitan Opera's productions live from New York. Audiences in London will be able to experience a range of productions starring world-class singers, many of them in roles we might not normally get to see them perform at Covent Garden. more>
Simon KeenlysideFeature: January 2008 Concerts Preview With the Christmas rush out of the way, it's time to start thinking of how to fill those long January nights. The wealth of concerts on offer can be bewildering, with as many as five different venues presenting a diverse range of programmes on any one night. The temptation may be to stick to safe bets such as Gergiev's Mahler cycle.... more> Top 12 Operas of 2007Top 12 Operas and Review of the Year 2007 The 61 performances of operas reviewed in these pages since the creation of Musical Criticism are a salutary reminder of the breadth of productions staged every year in the UK. For me, the reports in the national press about the demise of ENO and the consistency of the ROH... more>
Branagh's Magic Flute Movie review: Kenneth Branagh's The Magic Flute I am all in favour of the idea of making films of operas. So many of them seem to invite cinematic treatment, since they frequently contain stage directions which are impossible to realise convincingly in the theatre. The Magic Flute has its fair share of fantastical goings on, so I was very excited at the prospect of a film version. more> CosiBarbican: Great Performers 2008 The first details have been released for the Barbican's flagship Great Performers series for the 2008-2009 season. In a press reception before the first concert of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Sibelius cycle – a highlight of this season's series – the Barbican's Managing Director, Nicholas Kenyon, and Head of Music, Robert van Leer, seemed impatient to reveal the delights they... more>
Top 20 Concerts of 1207Top 20 Concerts and Review of the Year 2007 After only ten months of existence, has covered nearly a hundred concerts in London, Manchester, Dublin, Edinburgh and beyond, and if nothing else this collection of reviews is an ample reminder of the vast amount of high-quality music making available to us in the UK. Our experiences have varied... more> Rene JacobsTop 12 Recordings and Review of the Record Industry in 2007 Each year there's more gloom-mongering yet each year music-lovers remain spoilt for choice in terms of recordings. Opera fans in particular have been enjoying the fruits of several unusual and exciting projects. Naxos continue with their issues of Rossini operas, the universally acclaimed Vivaldi series on Naïve... more>
Deutsche GrammophonRecordings news: Deutsche Grammophon launches DG Web Shop As record companies look for ways to exploit technology and reach a larger audience, one of the classical world's oldest and most established players, Deutsche Grammophon (part of Universal Classics) has unveiled their DG Web Shop offering CD quality downloads of 'the majority of their huge catalogue.' more> Christopher Maltman withdraws from ROH AriadneCast change: Christopher Maltman withdraws from ROH Ariadne Hot on the heels of the announcement of Elina Garanca's departure from The Royal Opera's forthcoming production of Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos has come the news that British baritone Christopher Maltman will no longer appear as Harlequin in the same production. He will be replaced by Markus Werba. more>
Wigmore Hall featureFeature: Why is the Wigmore Hall at the forefront of London's classical music scene? The Wigmore Hall has retained its distinction as the UK's premier venue for smaller scale concerts ever since it opened as The Bechstein Hall in 1901. A change in ownership during the First World War saw it renamed and reopened in 1917 in its current guise, but the interior is essentially unchanged. more> Elina Garanca withdraws from ROH AriadneCast change: Elina Garanca withdraws from ROH Ariadne Yet another high-profile singer has pulled out of a Royal Opera House production. Elina Garanca, the glamorous Latvian mezzo whose performance in the company's recent revival of Cosi fan tutte won high plaudits all round, will not be singing in the June 2008 revival of Ariadne auf Naxos. She will be replaced by Kristine Jepson. more>
Chelsea Opera Group 2007News: Star singers in Chelsea Opera Group's 2007-08 season A number of excellent singers, including Majella Cullagh, Sally Silver, Nelly Miricioiu and Liora Grodnikaite, will appear in this year's performances of Italian bel canto and Romantic French rarities by the Chelsea Opera Group. The season opens this coming Saturday with Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, a work which was lost for many years... more> Scottish Opera's General Director comments on the Five: 15 project: opera news'I hope Five:15 will help to make opera an important energy in Scotland' says Scottish Opera When Alex Reedijk, General Director of Scottish Opera, announced his plans for the 2007-08 season, the big news was the commissioning of Five:15, 5 new 15-minute operas by leading Scottish composers and writers who are new to the art form, including Ian Rankin and Craig Armstong. more>
Charles MackerrasNews: Mackerras appointed Honorary Member of the Guildhall At an awards ceremony in Central London yesterday, The Guildhall School of Music & Drama appointed the great opera and orchestral conductor Sir Charles Mackerras an Honorary Member of the School. In addition, ten further distinguished professors and past students of the School have been made Fellows. more> Feature: Opera on the Big ScreenFeature: Opera on the Big Screen Two leading opera houses have taken the initiative to bring opera out of the theatre and into the cinema in the coming months. The Met's 'HD Live' scheme premiered in the 2006-07 season and was so successful that they have increased the number of relays this year. Hot on their heels, Glyndebourne Festival Opera has hatched a deal with Odeon to broadcast... more>
News: Opera Holland Park Announces 2008 ProductionsNews: Opera Holland Park Announces 2008 Productions Opera Holland Park has announced the six operas which will make up its summer 2008 season. According to the London-based summer opera company, Verdi's Il trovatore, Donizetti's La Fille du régiment, Mozart's The Magic Flute, Puccini's Tosca, Ponchielli's La Gioconda and Tchaikovsky's Iolanta will make up the season. more> Feature: The ROH's Student RheingoldFeature: The ROH's Student Rheingold It has to be one of the boldest and most admirable initiatives in the recent history of the Royal Opera, then, to put on a performance of Das Rheingold exclusively for students. Tickets for last Friday's performance were sold at a fraction of their normal cost (top price tickets, normally costing over £200, were made available for under forty pounds). more>
ENO's Carmen: Opera review roundup featureReview round-up: ENO's Carmen 'Free your mind of every picture-postcard image of Bizet's Carmen.' So opens Edward Seckerson's review for the The Independent. He could be talking directly to the critics of the other national broadsheets, whose reviews displayed a bewildering range of disagreements regarding the key performances and the designs, but all felt excluded by Potter's production. more> Announcement of Rolando Villazon's replacements for The Royal Opera's new production of L'elisir d'amoreCast change: Korchak and Secco replace Villazon at the ROH The Royal Opera House has announced who will step into Rolando Villazón's shoes in an important new production of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore after the tenor cancelled all his autumn engagements for health reasons. Two young singers will now share the role of Nemorino. more>
Glyndebourne Festival Opera announces the 2008 season: Opera featureOpera news: Glyndebourne Festival Opera announces the 2008 Season Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the original and most prestigious summer opera festival in the UK, has announced details of its productions and some casting information for next year's season, which runs from 18 May-31 August. A world premiere, two new productions and three revivals... more> Sir Colin Davis at 80: Classical Music News FeatureClassical Feature: Sir Colin Davis at 80 A champion of the works of Mozart, Berlioz, Sibelius and Tippett, Sir Colin has brought many previously neglected works back into the repertoire, while his substantial discography includes many recordings that are considered benchmarks against which few others compete. He has held many of the major conducting jobs this country has to offer. more>
CosiOpera Feature: Opera North 2007-08 Preview Following on from another season in which the company has received almost unanimously positive reviews, Opera North has announced its plans for the 2007-8 season and beyond. And in spite of the Government's delayed decision as to the future financing of the arts in this country, the company's plans include five new productions. more> Pavarotti dies aged 71Feature: Luciano Pavarotti dies aged 71 Amongst the most iconic figures of the twentieth century, Luciano Pavarotti will probably be remembered by the majority of people for his concert appearances in outdoor arenas. He entertained the crowds with arias such as 'Nessun dorma' and Neapolitan songs such as 'Torna a Surriento'. But what the world has lost through his death at 71... more>
Rolando Villazon withdraws from The Royal Opera's new production of L'elisir d'amoreCast change: Rolando Villazon at the ROH Only a week after The Royal Opera announced that Bryn Terfel has withdrawn from the new production of The Ring Cycle, a further press release has just announced that tenor Rolando Villazón has similarly withdrawn from all performances of the company's new production of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. more> A review of the 2007 PromsFeature: BBC Proms 2007 retrospective And so, the world's greatest classical music festival, the 113th season of Henry Wood Promenade Concerts presented by the BBC (to give it its full title!), is over, at least for this year. It marks the end, too, for Nicholas Kenyon, who after twelve years as Director of the BBC Proms leaves the BBC for the Barbican Centre, where he will replace Sir John Tusa. more>
ScotScottish Opera: 2007-08 the beleaguered company's fortunes have been turning round. Last year, a highly-acclaimed new production of Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier by David McVicar became one of the big events of the opera calendar, and will be seen next year at English National Opera. Their current tour includes Lucia di Lammermoor and Madama Butterfly, both of which have been extremely... more> CosiENO: 2007-08 For a company that is supposedly on the brink of collapse (though haven't we been hearing that for years now?), English National Opera's 2007-8 season shows remarkable artistic confidence and imagination. Every production without exception features at least one singer of international importance; and there are 11 new productions... more>
naughtieRoyal Opera: 2007-08 An important new account of the history of music written and presented by one of Britain's most respected broadcasters is the focus of this special competition. The Making of Music shows the BBC at its best, devoting significant airtime to this important project. more> CosiLSO: 2007-08 After more than a decade as Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis recently became their President, with Russian maestro Valery Gergiev taking charge in his place. Gergiev has inherited the LSO in top condition and it's clear from his plans for his first complete season as Principal Conductor that he intends to cherish and sustain their history and musicianship. more>
naughtieSouth Bank Centre: 2007-08 Perhaps the most important event for classical music enthusiasts this year is the reopening of the Royal Festival Hall after a two-year refurbishment. Time will tell whether the new facilities and reconfigured acoustics are up to scratch but there's no doubt that the programming for the new season is thoroughly exciting. more> CosiBarbican: Great Performers 2007 Building on an exciting mix of music and artists in the current season, the Barbican's Great Performers Series 2007-8 once more brings together the best of the world's singers, conductors and musicians in an eclectic feast of great music. As ever, some of the most renowned singers are appearing in a number of programmes. more>
naughtieAndras Schiff: Bartok Festival 2007 The forthcoming Bartók mini-festival at the Queen Elisabeth Hall (5, 7 and 10 June) is likely to be of an exceptional artistic quality and it provides an unusual programme. All six of Bartók's string quartets will be performed; each concert will feature two of them (at the beginning and at the end of the concert respectively)... more> CosiBirthday Honours 2007 Mezzo-soprano Rosalind Plowright and tenor Stuart Burrows have been awarded the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to music. In addition, the early music soprano Emma Kirkby has been appointed Dame of the British Empire. One of Britain's most beloved singers, Rosalind Plowright has graced the stages of all the world's great opera houses. more>
naughtieOpera Holland Park: 2007 It's business as usual this summer for Opera Holland Park - which means a selection of six diverse operas, both well-loved and almost unknown, performed in tranquil surroundings. The good news is that the old tent that used to house the productions is to be replaced by a new, larger canopy, which will provide an even better environment for performers and audiences alike. more> CosiEdinburgh Festival: 2007 The new director of the Edinburgh International Festival, Jonathan Mills, has just announced his plans for this year's programme. From the classical music point of view it promises to be as ambitious and varied an event as is traditional, marrying musical works to their ideal performers in many cases. Running from 10 August to 2 September 2007, the Festival starts two days earlier than has normally been the case in the past. more>
naughtieRoyal Opera House buys Opus Arte The Royal Opera House has long wanted to consolidate its transmission of productions to a wider audience by releasing more recordings by the Royal Ballet and Opera companies, so it ought to come as little surprise that the House has today announced the purchase of the leading DVD label, Opus Arte UK Ltd, in order to do just that. more> CosiCast changes: Thais/Benvenuto Cellini Concert performances of two operas in London have just announced late artist replacements. At the Royal Opera House, baritone Thomas Hampson has withdrawn from the role of Athanaël in next week's sold-out concert performances of Massenet's Thaïs. Simone Alberghini will now play Athanaël. Alberghini has appeared in the role in Louisville, USA. more>
naughtieCardiff Singer of the World: 2007 Twenty-three-year-old bass-baritone Shen Yang from China was crowned BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2007 last night after a nail-biting final. The youngest competitor, Yang performed Banquo's aria from Verdi's Macbeth, Mozart's 'Mentre ti lascio, o figlia' (K. 513) and Aleko's cavatina from Rachmaninov's Aleko. more> naughtieThe Making of Music: competition An important new account of the history of music written and presented by one of Britain's most respected broadcasters is the focus of this special competition. The Making of Music shows the BBC at its best, devoting significant airtime to this important project. more>
PromsBBC Proms 2007: preview There are a number of very high-profile conductors and symphony orchestras appearing throughout the summer. Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of Santa Cecilia, Rome, in Rossini's Stabat Mater on 16 July; Kurt Masur conducts both his orchestras - the London Philharmonic and Orchestre National de France... more> Bryn Terfel withdraws from The Royal Opera's Ring CycleRoyal Opera Ring Cycle Cast Changes Bryn Terfel, one of the most beloved singers of today, has withdrawn from The Royal Opera's production of the Ring Cycle in Autumn 2007, the company announced today. He will be replaced in the role of Wotan/Wanderer by Sir John Tomlinson, widely acclaimed for his assumptions of the role around the world... more>