A bouquet for the concertmaster
After 45 years leading the orchestra at the Vienna State Opera (also playing as the Vienna Philharmonic), Rainer Küchl stepped up last night on stage to receive his farewell bouquet. photos © Wiener Staatsoper / Ashley Taylor
No more three-star reviews
From Lebrecht Listens, my album of the week on MusicalToronto: Before we go any further, let me declare once and for all that I am done with three stars. Everywhere else, critics award three stars as a kind of neutral, no-harm-done mark for something they neither love nor hate. Myself, I’ve stopped reviewing that sort […]
Mixed reception for ENO’s make-or-break Tristan
The vox populi coming out of the Coliseum last night was not ecstatic. The new Tristan and Isolde, directed by the company’s callow artistic director Daniel Kramer (pictured), had failed to overwhelm. First reviews now trickling in tend to confirm that impression. Rupert Christiansen in the Telegraph: Daniel Kramer’s staging … feels like something struggling against […]
Just in: Salzburg plucks French mezzo for absent Joyce
The Salzburg Festival has named the rising but not-terribly-experienced Clémentine Margaine to replace Joyce DiDonato in this summer’s production of Nicolai’s Il Templario. Margaine, 31, was a cast member of Deutsche Oper Belin in 2011-12, then spent a season at Dallas. She’s becoming something of a new-gen go-to Carmen.
Exclusive: Diva tells Salzburg she doesn’t like the role
Joyce DiDonato has pulled out of this summer’s run of Otto Nicola’s esoteric Il Templario. She was to have sung Rebecca opposite Juan Diego Florez in the hard-to-sell three-acter. We hear that after months of study with her New York vocal coach, Joyce has decided the part just doesn’t suit her voice. UPDATE: Salzburg statement […]
Conductor’s home for sale
It used to be Sir Malcolm Sargent’s mansion in the Bucks-Fizz stockbroker belt. The conductor sold it for £40,000 to the pop singer Cilla Black. Her estate now has it on the market for £4.3 million. Enjoy a guided tour here.
Maestro is asked to play Putin on TV
In today’s other casting news, Paavo Järvi has shared a Twitter request: Dear Mr. Paavo Jarvi, Greetings, my name is Jared with a Japanese production company. I wanted to contact you because we are looking for a Vladimir Putin look-alike to appear in a TV commercial here in Japan. (No acting required) Had they seen […]
Tenor: I want to be the next James Bond
Piotr Beczala, 49, is applying for the vacancy, he tells the Hamburger Abendblatt. Netrebko as Miss Moneypenny? Any other casting suggestions? Thielemann as Dr No? Karita Mattila as Honey Rider?
Gergiev wins humanitarian award
Valery Gergiev was yesterday awarded the Russia State Prize for outstanding humanitarian achievements by President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. To be a great humanitarian in Russia is to endorse all of Putin’s activities. Gergiev conducts in ‘liberated’ Palmyra
Groper is fired by Salzburg Mozarteum
The university has parted company with its rector, the pianist Siegfried Mauser, who was convicted in Munich of sexual assault on a female colleague, and condemned by the judge as a groper. Salzburg has also dismissed him as head of its Biennale. Mauser, 61, is appealing the judgement and is rallying influential supporters in Munich, […]
Who says classical musicians have to be so serious?
Anthea Kreston (pictured right), American violinist in the Berlin-based Artemis Quartet, has come up against an age-old misconception – that if the music is momentous the musicians must have equivalent gravitas. How on earth do we claim the freedom to be normal, frivolous people? Does being a classical musician mean you have to maintain […]