Zorba no more
It belongs to every list of iconic movies: the first sight a mass audience had of modern Greece. Its director, Michael Cacoyannis, has died aged 89. Obit here. The music by Mikis Theodorakis is profoundly atmospheric, with a theme tune that was later used to whip up crowd support at football matches.
Operalia – the winners: a South African and an American
The results are just in: Soprano Pretty Yende is top lady, tenor Rene Barbera top bloke. Here’s a full report (in Dutch). Lucky winners, with a 30,000 Euro prize. The losers, as reported earlier, are the Russian players in the orchestra.
Another young Venezuelan gets his foot on the maestro ladder
I hear word that Diego Matheuz has been appointed principal conductor at La Fenice in Venice. He’s 27, Venezuelan, another product of the Sistema. Here‘s the agent’s biog. That Dude, he’s starting to breed.
Breaking: who's been named for the bicentennial Bayreuth Ring?
The year after next is a big one for Bayreuth – 200 years since the birth of the saviour – oops, founder. So the director who gets to stage the 2013 Ring will face all the sentimental scrutiny associated with major musical anniversaries. It should have been Wim Wenders, but he couldn’t see eye to […]
What Placido Domingo is paying his Russian musicians
It’s the final in Moscow tonight of Operalia, billed as Placido Domingo: The World Opera Competition. An orchestra of the finest musicians in the Russian capital is being assembled to accompany the hopeful contenders for the grand prize. Past winners include Erwin Schrott and Rolando Villazon. A professor at the state university, an acquaintance of […]
A good news story – from the heart of the Norway horror
A colleague in Oslo reports: VG, the country’s largest tabloid, is situated across from the government buildings. It had a glass front, a mall inside, and then another glass front around the actual offices and a glass roof. The blast broke every single window pane, and the glass roof fell in. Amazingly, there was no […]
The most powerful woman in classical music – on the next Lebrecht Interview
You know who she is without my having to name her. Deborah Borda, boss of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl, former boss of the New York Phil and the force behind the Dude. Deborah has spent her entire working life managing orchestras: she knows their problems deeper than anyone alive. We discuss […]
Was Amy Winehouse hacked to death?
The most depressing images that come to mind from the short, tragic life of Amy Winehouse are of her being hounded at every turn by hack photographers, who knew they could always place an angry Amy image with tabloid newspapers. This one’s from the Daily Mirror, and it is by no means the worst. (c) […]
Great composer caught in the slips
The Daily Telegraph published a photograph of the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, enjoying a day of Test cricket at Lords. The imputation was that he should have been managing the fiscal crisis back at the office. (c) Telegraph.co.uk What the financial page failed to spot was that one row behind the […]
News just in: Now Bryn Terfel quits Verbier (update)
The Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel has pulled out of the Verbier Festival, where he was meant to be singing Tosca. No reason has been gieven, but coming so soon after the very public withdrawal of Gidon Kremer it accentuates the sense of crisis at the Swiss mountain Festival. Terfel, unlike Kremer, is not a stranger […]
Verbier latest: resident composer appeals to defecting Kremer
Lear Auerbach, a young Russian-American composer, has taken it upon herself to address Gidon Kremer’s dissatisfaction with the festival ratrace. Here’s her open letter, just in: Dearest Gidon, Your integrity, hard work, your talent and vision have been an inspiration to me and to generations of artists. Your position is unique in the history […]