Anja Silja: ‘I hate surtitles’
From the great soprano’s archived interview with Bruce Duffie. BD: Is it good now that all the operas are done in the original language, with the text above so the people can follow exactly? AS: No. [Laughs] BD: [Genuinely surprised] No??? AS: No. I don’t like it. It’s important for so many opera-goers who never […]
The other Chailly draws a line in the sand
This is a new video from Cecilia Chailly, a formidable harpist and composer, Riccardo’s younger sister. Enjoy.
Oslo Phil recruit English principal cello
The excellent Louisa Tuck, principal cello of the Northern Sinfonia, has won the top seat in the Oslo Philharmonic. She starts in November. We congratulate them both.
Death of a maestro
George Cleve, who conducted all the major US orchestras and was music director in San Jose until the symphony went bust, has died at the age of 79. Vienna born, his middle name was Wolfgang. He told the local newspaper: “Orchestras are dying left and right, and I don’t really know what the end is going […]
Christian Thielemann: ‘I don’t do it for the money’
Early in his career, the controversial German conductor gave an insight on his priorities to our featured interviewer, Bruce Duffie. This is the second in a short series of Duffie interviews. ‘Opera conducting is more an adventure than concert conducting. And don’t forget a concert usually is from 8 to 10. An opera like Rosenkavalier […]
Sad news: Death of a brilliant German director
The family of Nikolaus Lehnhoff has announced his death, after a long illness, at the age of 76. Many productions come to mind, but none more vivid than his Janacek cycle at Glyndebourne. His last production, in May this year, was Turandot at La Scala. He stood aside from the fashionable forms of German Regietheater. […]
Jonas Kaufmann defeats himself
Remember that touching message from Jonas, asking you to buy his new Sony album rather than the recycled one from his former label, Decca? Well, Decca’s Age of Puccini is topping the German charts this week, leaving Sony’s release puffing some way behind at number 2. Decca are cock-a-hoop. Sony, on the other hand, say […]
Claudio Abbado: ‘In Italy, they know opera by instinct…’
In the first of our late-summer series of interviews from Bruce Duffie’s bottomless archive, here’s the late Italian conductor reflecting on the differences between audiences: In Italy, for instance, they know opera by instinct — not because they’re well prepared and not because of the education. Education is very low. There’s not a good education […]
Breaking: Iran tells Berlin orchestra not to come
Musicians in the Staatskapelle Berlin were told last night that they won’t be going to Teheran any time soon. The orchestra, with its conductor Daniel Barenboim, had been on standby to travel with Chancellor Angela Merkel at a date yet to be announced. But the Iranians have now told the orchestra that the planning time […]
The Last of the BBC Proms?
In my monthly essay for Standpoint magazine, I assess the bleak future for the Proms and two of the BBC orchestras as new management and financial assaults dismantle the old defences. Proms controllers for the past quarter-century — John Drummond, Nick Kenyon, Roger Wright — fought to protect the festival’s unique character from interference by […]
Respected German opera chief has died
Christoph Groszer, wake-up intendant of the Zurich Opera from 1986-1991, has died aged 89. Hamburg born, he ran the opera houses in Tübingen, St. Gallen, Braunschweig and Wiesbaden before leaving a legacy in the underpowered Swiss city. Before retirement, he groomed Alexander Pereira as his successor. Groszer rehearsing Barber of Seville. Photo: Göbel