Opera premiere cancelled in Beijing 'for political reasons' (important updates)
An opera that should have premiered this week in Beijing has been cancelled, according to its promoter, ‘for political reasons’. The opera deals with the life of the nationalist leader Sun Yat-Sen, who is anathema to the Communist regime. It was always a delicate proposition. Its composer, Huang Ruo, is represented by Karsten Witt music […]
Does the soprano voice change with ovulation?
Researchers in Germany have been working on the age-old legend that sopranos have their monthly ups and downs. After intensive study of 23 female singers, the Department of Cognitive Ethology in Göttingen, working with partners in Britain and Israel, has come up with an answer. Or maybe half an answer. Sort of. It concludes that […]
Breaking: Cologne Opera in trouble
The opera house and dramatic theatre in Cologne have run into deficit after cuts to their public subsidy. Director Uwe Eric Laufenberg says he has taken five million Euros from reserves and still faces difficulties. More here.
The man who balanced Deep Purple with the London Symphony Orchestra
Sad news has just reached me that Moray McMillin has died. He worked as sound engineer on tour with Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Public Image Ltd, and Suzanne Vega. But the toughest assignment on nine years of touring with Deep Purple was the 1999 Jon Lord-led gig that he engineered with […]
An orchestra the government says 'is not worth keeping'
It’s the orchestra of Extremadura in western Spain, almost toppling into Portugal. Artistic director is Jesus Amigo, of Bilbao. It’s the only orchestra within miles, but it’s facing the chop. Perhaps because it’s relatively young, founded in 2000. Last in, first out. Here’s its last-ditch appeal against execution.
Britain's wildest pianist meets its most supercilious curled lip
From the You Couldn’t Make It Up Department comes news of a forthcoming encounter at the Barbican. Apparently, razor-sharp James Rhodes is taking on super-cool Stephen Fry in a public wrestling match on the future of classical music. No holds barred. I just had to tell you first, before Fry tweeted it to the universe. […]
'Music teacher' protest – it's having an effect
The BBC has removed the offending term from the headline and opening sentence of today’s report on the judge’s verdict in the Yorkshire fiancee murder. Andrew Lindo was sent down for 22 years and was not referred to with the same prominence as ‘a music teacher’. See here. I hope other media, like Sky (below), […]
Critics lose their bearings at Holocaust opera
The range of press opinion on Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger at English National Opera has spanned the gamut from two stars to five. Much of the negative comment has been subjective and tangential. One review in the Independent dealt mostly with decor. Another in the Financial Times claims the opera ‘makes the frankly unbelievable assumption that Nazi […]
The latest orchestra to show solidarity with the suffering Dutch (video)
A total of 46 orchestras have now recorded Soldier of Orange, the Dutch resistance hymn, sending a message of support to their colleagues in Holland who face 60 percent cuts and the loss of several orchestras. The latest video performance here is by the Israel Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta. The Israel Phil played Rotterdam this week […]
Major label in copycat career move
No. make that Korea move. So easy to misspell such nouns. Five months after Deutsche Grammophon signed a 10-CD deal with the Seoul Philharmonic, EMI has roused itself from months of torpor and management change to announce the signing of a Korean pianist. She’s HJ Lim, based in France and brought to market by HarrisonParrott, the […]
Music teacher found guilty of murder. Why?
Why do they always headline it if it’s a music teacher? If the man had taught geography or chemistry would they have highlighted that? Here’s the ITN report. ‘Music teacher’ in the first sentence. Here’s the BBC. Same thing. The Telegraph, again. Sky, just the same. There is some kind of prejudice at work […]