The top-selling US classical record in Christmas week was…
Well that’s the title. Oh, sorry! It’s Libera. Subtitled: Angels Sing Christmas in Ireland. (Do they, really?) UPDATE: Second top was Wang/Dudamel, third A Boston Pops Christmas (source: Nielsen Soundscan)
The Vienna Philharmonic will be wearing Vivienne Westwood
Not the orchestra (pace the publicity headline). The ballet segment in the New Year’s Day concert is being kitted out in L0ndon. More pics here. The collaboration was engineered by Andreas Kronthaler, the designer’s Austrian husband and creative director. He said: ”I feel honoured that we were asked to design the costumes for the New Year’s […]
The ultimate 2013 list: the 10 most read stories on Slipped Disc (updated)
UPDATE: Due to a huge exclusive breaking on the last day of the year, we have been obliged to rework the rankings. At number 10, Barbra Streisand sang for Shimon Peres (and the video got wiped out). At 9, he moved us all to tears. In at 8, she died singing Verdi’s Requiem, RIP. At […]
Katherine Jenkins ‘to receive New Year’s honour’
Two tabloids have broken the embargo on the New Year’s Honours list to report that the sometimes wobbly Welsh warbler will receive an OBE, in recognition of her support for the armed forces. The Sun, a noted authority on the arts, designates her ‘a fine ambassador for the arts’.
New video: Where did the Flying Dutchman find peace? In Cuba….
There’s a Deutsche Welle report on Wagner in Castro’s paradise last month…. you can watch it here. Some lovely scenes of director Andreas Baesler teaching the Caribbean cast and chorus to pronounce Wagnerian German. Eduardo Diaz conducted. Johana Simon and Yuri Hernandez sang the main roles. It was the first time Wagner has been staged in Cuba. The […]
The company they tried to kill has just won Opera of the Year
When the last Dutch Government went looking for human sacrifices in an onslaught on the arts, top of its agenda for abolition was the National Touring Opera (Reiseoper), a company that takes opera to low-lying parts unreached by other arts. A campaign was mounted and the company was, at the last gasp, saved. This morning we […]
Peter Gelb: Only the Met can turn singers into movie stars
From an interview with Reuters on Met screenings: ‘It makes our casting easier because we are competing with the other top opera houses for top stars and opera stars know if they come and sing at the Met it’s kind of one stop shopping because they can perform on the stage of the Met and […]
Could 2014 be the Year of the Mandolin
Chris Thile has reached #2 in US classical sales on Nonesuch. Avi Avital is about to have a huge launch on DG. Classical music needs new voices. In 2014, the big noise could well be the mandolin.
Why is America’s musicology Tsar cited 26 times in a new composer biography?
Reviewing Musorgksy and his Circle by Stephen Walsh for the Wall Street Journal this weekend, I was struck by how many times the author referred – and positively deferred – to the dominant American musicologist, Richard Taruskin. I counted no fewer than 26 times and I referred to it in the review as ‘a kind of […]
J S Bach ‘got fed up with church’
A newly discovered letter in Leipzig suggests that the great composer excelled at taking time off work, delegating his duties to juniors. The letter, by a former boy chorister at the Thomaskirche, Gottfried Benjamin Fleckeisen, claims that he and other students used to fill in for the master in his increasingly frequent absences. Fleckeisen, who was […]
Gerard Mortier on cancer, opera and Wikipedia
About to undergo his second round of chemotherapy, the ever-combative opera chief has given a frank account of his illness, his future and his place in the world. The interview, with a Belgian magazine, De Theaterkrant, is in Flemish/Dutch. Sample quotes: – If I were a family man , I would respond differently to this disease . […]