Anna Netrebko and Arsenal footballer swept up in Putin election furore
The Russian soprano has cancelled her appearance at the Vienna Opera ball after fierce criticism of her appearance on a list of 499 sworn supporters of Vladimir Putin’s presidential campaign. Other prominent endorsers include Valery Gergiev and the Arsenal footballer Andrei Arshavin. Netrebko alienated her home base by taking Austrian citizenship in 2006. She now […]
Breaking (literally): Ring production cancelled after stage collapses
Darmstadt has been forced to call off its run of Das Rheingold after an eight-metre stage wall came crashing down during Saturday night’s sold-out performance, injuring a player in the pit. A woman, 55, was taken to hospital with head injuries – minor, it is said. Police are investigating the cause, as are the health-and-safety […]
Just in: Boulez cancels rest of Cleveland concerts
It’s on the orders of his opthalmologist. Report here. Wish him better.
Dudamel wins a Grammy for Brahms symphony
Doesn’t show up to receive the award. Too busy with Mahler in Venezuela. More here.
Joyce DiDonato wins a Grammy, declares 'there's a war on against the arts'
It’s for the Divo/Diva album, and it couldn’t happen to a mopre straightforward, less diva-like artist. Let’s hear it for the Kansas mezzo! Report here. “There’s a war on in our country against the arts right now … We need more Whitney Houstons,” said Joyce DiDonato.
One for the album: when Whitney Houston was wooed by Serge Gainsbourg
Wooed, that is, in a rather direct way. Watch the video here. It’s a television first.
Eurovision's top-ranked conductor has died
Noel Kelehan won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland five times, from the pit. No conductor in half a century comes close. A jazz pianist by vocation, Noel has died, aged 76. His winners were: What’s Another Year? in 1980, Hold Me Now in 1987, Why Me? in 1992, In Your Eyes in 1993 and The Voice in 1996.
Nobel Laureate demands: why does Hungary always get it wrong?
Imre Kertész has given a searching interview to Florence Noiville in Le Monde about the rising fascist tendencies in his country. It is helpfully translated in the Guardian. Kertész, a Holocaust survivor, says there is fear in his country and no free speech: I have a few rightwing friends in Budapest, whom I can only contact […]
Boston's Zander scandal: the long firing line at NEC
Information has emerged about a house-clearing policy put in place by NEC president Tony Woodcock, before he fired popular conductor Benjamin Zander in dubious circumstances. First, Woodcock got rid of two Zander protégés: YPO assistant conductor and clarinetist Jonathan Cohler, and the well liked young Irish conductor John Page, who was NEC’s resident conductor. Also […]
Whitney Houston's last song, the night before she died
The song, barely audible, is Yes, Jesus Loves Me. She sang it, according to reports, at the Kelly Price & Friends pre-Grammy concert on February 10.
Opera singer: I will emigrate if Scotland goes independent
One of the brightest voices in Scotland has warned she will leave the country if it chooses independece from the United Kingdom in a 2014 referendum. Karen Cargill, who makes her Met debut in April as Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, told Tim Cornwell in The Scotsman that independence would kill the arts in her country. “I think we’re […]