After three hours rehearsing Mahler's fifth symphony…
… the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, conductor David Zinman, issued a passionate, brilliantly filmed appeal to the Dutch Parliament to stop the savage cuts in arts budgets. Watch it here.
Breaking: Barenboim to open as La Scala boss with Netrebko's house debut
Daniel Barenboim has just announced that he will open his era as La Scala music director with Don Giovanni on December 7, introducing Anna Netrebko in her house debut as Donna Anna. Peter Maffei takes the title role, with Bryn Terfel as Leporello and Barbara Frittoli as Donna Elvira. Not bad for an opening lineup.
Just in: 4 days of Welsh at the London Olympics
Plans announced today on the South Bank include a four-day festival of Welsh heritage, presided over by baritone Bryn Terfel. Oooh, I won’t want to miss that. Not without my raincoat and brolly. (visit: http://louisemorgan.artweb.com/portraits-and-commissions-44007/289415_bryn-terfel-ar-y-fferm.html) And there’s another showcase to demonstrate ‘how Africa leads the world’ in many fields. News to me.
Most-watched Mozart opera of all time?
The Met has just posted audience figures for Don Giovanni. It earned $2.3 million at the US/Canada box-office and has been watched, so far, by 265,000 people worldwide. Despite poor reviews, the show will become legend for quarter of a million people. Renee Fleming may well become more famous as an intermission presenter than as […]
Composer leaves $14 million to women's organisation
She was not much known outside Canada and most of her money came from her father, a media magnate. But Anne Southam will be remembered for a huge gift she has made in her will to support Canadian women. The Toronto Star has the story. And here’s more on her life and works.
EMI latest: frontrunner pulls out
The weekend business pages had Warner on the verge of becoming EMI’s new owner. What they didn’t know was that Warner followed Universal late last week in pulling out. They didn’t like the numbers. Today’s Financial Times broke the story. So who does that leave? BMG, Sony or yet another hedge fund. Alternately, Citigroup could […]
How an afternoon radio discussion yielded a new stage play
Sixteen months ago, on BBC Radio 4’s A Good Read, I presented as my book of the moment newly translated Holocaust memoir by Béla Zsolt, called Nine Suitcases. A Budapest intellectual, Zsolt described the horrors he endured through a prism of coffee-house irony, never missing a comic aside or a human foible. His detachment, rare among […]
Breaking: US musicians call for a boycott of their orchestra
Players in the Louisville Orchestra, a once-proud organisation that has fallen on hard times, have issued an appeal to fellow-musicians not to accept work from the outfit, which is seeking to reduce its head-count. The latest deadline from management to musicians expires tonight. The orchestra filed for Chapter 11 protective bankruptcy last December. Its conductors are Bob […]
Pavarotti's treasures are put up for sale
Three art works owned by the tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who died in September 2007, are being auctioned off in Paris by his second wife to raise cash for her new institute for training tenors. The works consist of a 1928 Marc Chagall watercolour (estimated at Euros 200-300,000), a 1955 Giorgio de Chirico sketch of horses […]
Only in Memphis: opera singer takes the stage after being shot and robbed
Stafford Hartman, 24, deserves some kind of a medal for valour. She was shot and robbed on her doorstep in Memphis, but was she going to miss a Tosca? No way. Here’s the WREG report.
New opera – at a cosmetic counter near you (+video)
Welsh National Opera has gone looking for an audience in shopping malls. It’s trying out episodes across several counters in the hope of intriguing people enough to make them want to know how it turns out. Not happily, I hope, or it’s not opera. Here’s a BBC Wales report. And here’s some video.