Sad loss: Australia’s most successful composer has died
Peter Sculthorpe, a composer who infused the western classical tradition with the indigenous sounds and ambience of his native Tasmania, has died at the age of 85. Sculthorpe’s international breakthrough came with the first Kronos Quartet album, which placed his eighth string quartet beside works by Philip Glass, Conlon Nancarrow, Aulis Sallinen and Jimi Hendrix. […]
Sad news: Pavarotti’s Lucia has died
The coloratura soprano Cristina Deutekom died yesterday after a fall in her home. She was 82 and was renowned for a voice of exceptional clarity and precision. Born in Amsterdam as Christine Engel, she sang in all the great international houses opposite the top tenors of the day: Bergonzi, Gedda, Domingo, Carreras and more. She […]
Seattle Opera director pays tribute to his stage unions
Speight Jenkins, General Director of the Seattle Opera since 1983, is stepping down this weekend. But not before he sent the following handwritten note to his stage crews: Post by Save the Met Opera.
New research: Adrenaline is ‘not good for many musicians’
Research summary: Do you thrive on adrenaline – or crumple? Why do some performers thrive on adrenaline whilst others crumple? New research suggests that it’s to do with the performer’s behaviour: increased adrenaline sees the thrivers open their arms ready for action, while the crumplers close them up in fear. Scientists from the University of […]
Early music pioneer is fired by Dutch festival
Jan Nuchelmans, 64, co-founder and director of the Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht from 1982 to 1999, has been sacked as artistic director of the Dordrecht Bach Festival, according to a report in NRC Handelsblad. A rough translation follows. “This is very hard – I am totally baffled ‘ The artistic director of the Bach Festival Dordrecht is fired. The Board finds that he no longer functions properly after a stroke in 2012. The […]
Just in: Bolshoi hosts Edward Snowden’s first public outing
The US whistleblower, granted an extra year’s asylum in Moscow, celebrated with a visit to the opera – The Tsar’s Bride, at the Bolshoi. He passed mostly unnoticed, having shed his spectacles and worn a dark jacket. Snowden betrayed classified US information in protest at US surveillance of citizens. In Russia, everyone knows, there […]
‘Ego is winning the battle of the Met’
Susan Bender, who has worked with Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Yuri Temirkanov, Simon Rattle. Phillippe Entremont and others, wrote a letter to the New York Times about the injustice that is being done to the Met’s musicians. She makes some valid points, not raised elsewhere. The Times wouldn’t publish the letter. So we will. It’s not the […]
Met claims $1 million saved in staff deal
The Met has reached agreement with the 32BJ SEIU union representing security guards, office staff and other auxiliaries. The Met had sought a five-year wage freeze, with reduced pensions and health plans. The new deal increases wages by 5.5 percent over five years. A Met spokesman said it would save the company 3 percent, or $1m, […]
A Brendel joins a London ensemble
Adrian Brendel, Alfred’s son, has been appointed cellist of the long-running Nash Ensemble. Congrats both sides. press release: CELLIST ADRIAN BRENDEL APPOINTED MEMBER OF NASH ENSEMBLE NASH CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON AT WIGMORE HALL FROM 18 OCTOBER The Nash Ensemble is happy to announce the appointment of Adrian Brendel as its cellist. His first performance with […]
Dutch orchestra is robbed by its bookkeeper
The Residentie orchestra of The Hague has been cleaned out of 75,000 Euros. The theft came to light during the annual accounting procedure. Curiously, it was almost the same amount as the concurrent payoff to the last chief executive. The police are looking into it. Story here (in Dutch).
Is there a bigger opera earworm than Casta Diva?
I went last night to see my first Norma for 20 years and found myself wondering all over again why Bellini had put his best aria just 20 minutes into the piece, leaving the rest of the first act hanging in limbo. During which time I tried to think of a more persistent earworm than […]