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Topics - Il Grande Inquisitor

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1
The Opera House / Grimes on the Beach
« on: April 24, 2013, 10:30:08 am »
No, not a strange fusion between Britten and Glass, but performances of Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach in June. I gather the orchestral contributions are being recorded the previous week at Snape (when three concert performances are also planned) and the singers radio-miked on the night. For sheer atmosphere, I think it's going to be quite an event!

http://www.aldeburgh.co.uk/events/grimes-beach

Anyone else planning to venture across to Suffolk for this?

2
News and Current Affairs / Robert Poulton R.I.P.
« on: October 31, 2012, 05:31:02 pm »
Awful news about the death of baritone Robert Poulton in a car crash yesterday. I saw him only last week in Glyndebourne Touring Opera's production of Rusalka at Woking.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20159284

R.I.P.

3
The Opera House / Martinů: Julietta
« on: September 18, 2012, 01:32:47 am »
Have just returned from the first night of Julietta at ENO. Here's my hastily penned review:

http://www.opera-britannia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=777:julietta-english-national-opera-17th-september-2012&catid=8:opera-reviews&Itemid=16

It's such a surreal piece and so suited to Richard Jones to direct. Although the production has been around for a while - it premiered in Paris in 2002 - it's well worth catching one of the remaining five performances.

4
Proms / Prom 72: Nixon in China
« on: September 06, 2012, 07:15:05 pm »
I thoroughly enjoyed the Proms performance of John Adams' Nixon in China last night. My review is here: http://www.opera-britannia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=770:nixon-in-china-prom-72-5th-september-2012&catid=8:opera-reviews&Itemid=16 and was given a plug by Petroc on Breakfast this morning.



Other reviews include a similarly positive Tim Ashley: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/sep/06/prom-72-nixon-in-china-review

The Times (paywall...) http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/music/proms/article3530458.ece which calls Kathleen Kim's Madame Mao 'shrill'... Really? The same Kathleen Kim who Tim Ashley praises as 'a career-making interpretation, one suspects, of a scene-stealing role'?

An ungrumpy Rupert in the Torygraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/proms/9526178/Proms-2012-Prom-71-Nixon-in-China-review.html

and a rather curious piece on Classical Source: http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_prom_review.php?id=10433

5
The Opera House / OHP Yevgeny Onegin
« on: July 09, 2012, 11:34:51 pm »
I'm looking forward to this new production at Holland Park this week. In preparation, I met soprano Anna Leese who sings the role of Tatyana:

http://www.opera-britannia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=734:interview-anna-leese&catid=15:interviews&Itemid=14


6
The Opera House / English National Opera 2012-13 Season
« on: April 24, 2012, 07:04:09 pm »
I schlepped up to the Coli this morning for the press launch of ENO's new season and a very bold one it is, with new works - an opera about Walt Disney by Philip Glass (are they taking the Mickey?), new productions from controversial directors and some strongly cast revivals:

http://operabritanniauk.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/english-national-opera-unveils-2012-13-season/

7
Theatre / The Duchess of Malfi
« on: April 04, 2012, 11:49:24 pm »
Just thought I'd pop mu head round the door to put in a good word for Jamie Lloyd's new production of The Duchess of Malfi at the Old Vic. I was in London for the Verdi Requiem at tonight's Barbican concert with the Mariinsky forces, so thought I'd try and catch a matinee performance at the theatre. Lastminute had tickets for £15 available and, as it turns out, I got upgraded to the stalls, which struck me as an excellent deal.

The staging is wonderfully atmospheric - plenty of darkness, shadows and swirling incense - and a set which has a striking architectural feel, with bridges/ walkways above the action well utilised. There are a couple of excellent portrayals: Eve Best as a poignant Duchess and Mark Bonnar a very good Bosola, conveying the volte-face his character undergoes after the Duchess' death convincingly. Harry Lloyd was a passionate/ reckless Ferdinand, while Finbar Lynch's Cardinal was suave and seedy. It's many, many years since I studied the play for A Level, but it's surprising how much came back to me during the performance. Well worth a visit if you're in town.

8
News and Current Affairs / 2012 New Year Honours
« on: December 31, 2011, 01:09:21 am »
Good to see that Antonio Pappano has been awarded a knighthood for services to music in the 2012 New Year Honours list: http://www.opera-britannia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=624&Itemid=1

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16364855

Also, an OBE for Ronald Corp.

9
Television / Strina on telly
« on: December 03, 2011, 09:21:18 pm »
I was idly watching an all-Beethoven concert on SkyArts2, recorded a few days ago, when I suddenly spotted strina! But rather than the Academy of Ancient Music, this was with the OAE under Vladimir Jurowski - a rather hard-driven Coriolan, followed by a Fourth Symphony with plenty of nice contrasts, including a perky lightness of touch where required. What a fabulous woodwind line-up the OAE has (and has had for a number of years...)

Symphony No.7 to come later.

It looks to be in a French concert hall (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées?). I'm sure it'll be repeated soon.

10
News and Current Affairs / Kurt Sanderling R.I.P.
« on: September 18, 2011, 09:59:44 pm »
News through that Kurt Sanderling died yesterday, at the grand old age of 98. I shall remember him best conducting an electrifying Tchaikovsky 4 with the Leningrad Phil with the 5th and 6th conducted by Mravinsky on DG (mono).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/sep/18/kurt-sanderling-obituary?CMP=twt_fd

11
The Opera House / Salvatore Licitra R.I.P.
« on: September 05, 2011, 08:45:02 pm »
The death of tenor Salvatore Licitra has been reported. He suffered a cerebral haemorrhage following a crash on his motor-scooter last week, after which he was in a coma. He died earlier today.

He was an exciting tenor, making a splash when he stood in for Pavarotti at the Met.

New York Times report here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/arts/music/salvatore-licitra-tenor-at-the-met-dies-at-43-after-crash.html

12
Proms / Prom 13: Bychkov/ BBCSO - Verdi Requiem
« on: July 25, 2011, 11:40:06 pm »
Slightly surprised that nobody's commented on last night's prom, a staggering performance of Verdi's Requiem. I thought it was incredibly good, very 'operatic' in performance and the three choirs involved were splendid.

http://www.opera-britannia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=546:prom-13-verdi-requiem-royal-albert-hall-24th-july-2011&catid=10:concert-and-recital-reviews&Itemid=16

Best prom I've been to for a long time...

13
The Opera House / ENO/ Alden - A Midsummer Nightmare
« on: May 20, 2011, 11:01:27 am »
I went to the opening night of ENO's new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream yesterday. Director Christopher Alden has set it in the 1950s/60s, contemporary to the opera's composition, in a school, with Oberon a kiddy-fiddling teacher, Puck one of his vicitims who - as a grown up 'Theseus' on the eve of his wedding - revisits to relive the horrors of his schooldays.

Thankfully, I wasn't reviewing, but here's the assessment/ savaging by our critic: http://tinyurl.com/SJTMND

Musically, some strong performances. Unfortunately, Iestyn Davies was unable to sing, so mimed the role while William Towers sang from the side.

Reiner will be pleased to note(?!) that it's a co-production with the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre, so he'll doubtless have the opportunity to witness it firsthand...

14
The Opera House / Royal Opera Season 2011-12
« on: April 13, 2011, 08:34:26 pm »
Antonio Pappano unveiled the 2011-12 season this evening at the Royal Opera House. Very much a season of cycles to lead into the Olympics: The Ring, Il Trittico, Les Troyens and, um, Mozart/ da Ponte.

More details here: http://www.opera-britannia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=478&Itemid=1

Anything to excite/ tempt you here?

15
The Concert Hall / LSO 'Live'
« on: March 28, 2011, 07:03:35 pm »
See the LSO in Mahler 10 (Adagio) & 9 live from Salle Pleyel, Paris NOW (7pm start)... http://www.citedelamusiquelive.tv/Concert/0960360.html

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