Beatles photographer shoots his last
The death of Robert Whitaker has been reported. He was 71. Whitaker caught Brian Epstein’s eye when the group toured Australia in 1964 and he was giving an interview for Jewish News. “I photographed Epstein, saw he was a bit of a peacock and a cavalier, and put peacock feathers around his head in photographic relief, […]
Minnesota's new concertmaster is…
Erin Keefe. She’s 31 and she’s been named top fiddle in the Twin Cities. Congratulations.
Oh, no! Great singer announces retirement at 70 (+video)
The mighty voice of Cap Verde will sing no more. Cesaria Evora arrived in Paris in a state of such weakness that doctors ordered her to cancel the tour. Report here. Having survived a stroke and heart problems, she decided to call it quits altogether. Known as the ‘barefoot diva’, she sang in the ‘morna’ […]
Lee Hall in movie deal for Elton John's life
The writer of Billy Elliott, recently in conflict with Opera North over alleged homophobia, is off to Hollywood, we learn. He’s writing a biopic of his pal and show angel, Sir Elton. Provisional title: Rocketman. I wonder if they’ll film early scenes at the Royal Academy of Music, where young Elt was taught to tinkle, or […]
Alagna's Faust crippled by strike
First, he got the conductor kicked out. (According to Le Monde, the great tenor arrived late for rehearsal and didn’t like getting told off.) Then, on opening night, the backstage crew walked out. Just another strike at the Paris Opéra. Last night’s premiere was performed in concert version, it’s reported.
Barenboim to perform at Sanderling memorial concert
The late Kurt Sanderling will be laid to rest in a private, family ceremony in Berlin on Monday. A memorial concert will be held on October 9 at 8pm at the Konzerthaus in East Berlin, where the great and humble man was chief conductor from 1960 to 1977. Daniel Barenboim will play a concerto. Two […]
Russia, Israel and China to receive The Met: Live in HD
With 1,600 theatres signed up in 54 countries, the Met is rapidly mopping up the market for opera in cinema. Fightback attempts by La Scla, Glyndebourne and Covent Garden are often thwarted by restrictive clauses in the Met’s contract with cinema chains. For the moment, the Met’s initiative is mostly welcomed. But it’s steadily becoming […]
23 neutral scholars denounce London Philharmonic suspensions
Unlike yesterday’s letter to the Daily Telegraph, which was signed by hardcore pro-Pal sympathisers, today’s in the Guardian draws on the whole on academics with no past stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Several are known to me as reasonable people and good thinkers. Nevertheless, their reasoning is profoundly flawed. The thrust of their argument is to […]
Now he's a baritone, he's got a new record contract
Sony Classical have just announced the signing of an exclusive new artist. His name’s Placido Domingo, and they don’t breathe a word about repertory. Not a whisper or a tease. So what’s it going to be – a late reprise of his tenor glories at the age of 70? More likely a baritone rumble and […]
Exclusive: Alberto Vilar's appeal is being heard. He deserves to go free.
Alberto Vilar, the financier who gave more money to opera than any other man or bank, has presented his appeal against conviction for consiracy to commmit fraud, for which he is serving a nine-year sentence at Fort Dix, New Jersey. A source close to the defence tells me that the appeal argues there was no […]
'Usual suspects' call on London Philharmonic to rescind player suspensions
The Daily Telegraph has published a letter from cultural individuals, urging the LPO to re-admit the four players it suspended for calling on the BBC to ban the Israel Philharmonic. It is a position with which I have some sympathy, having publicly urged the orchestra to mitigate itssentence. However, the list is distinguished by its […]