ANU’s head rolls (again)
The Australian National University’s much-troubled School of Music has named a new interim head. (Again.) Professor Malcolm Gillies will take charge for six months while a permanent head is sought. (Again.) His predecessor, acting head Royston Gustavson ‘left the position unexpectedly earlier this month’. The Canberra Times adds: ‘An ANU spokesman said it would not comment […]
Bayreuth’s rat man attacks Katharina Wagner’s lack of vision
The eminent director Hans Neuenfels, who dressed up his chorus as rats in Bayreuth’s celebrated 2010 production Lohengrin, has spoken out over ‘multiple failures’ at the Wagner festival. He accused Katharina Wagner, now in sole command, of failing to maintain standards. There were ‘no artistic visions and sensations any more.’ He went on to accuse […]
Marni Nixon: Artists will do things for nothing to keep the art alive
The celebrated Hollywood dubbing singer, who died this weekend aged 86, was a classically trained artist who attended classes with Lotte Lehmann and calimed to be among the first on the West Coast to sing Charles Ives. In an interview with Bruce Duffie, transcribed by Una Barry, Marni Nixon reflects on the future of opera: BD: […]
Watch: Five year-old plays Mozart piano concerto
Evan Duy Quoc Le, known as Evan Le, was born to Vietnamese parents on May 31st, 2011 in Torrance, California. He had his first piano lesson a year ago and can now get through the first movement of Mozart’s eighth piano concerto, K246. Not just at home, either. Here’s his first orchestral performance, posted […]
Critical bloodbath? First verdicts on Bayreuth’s IS-themed Parsifal
After all the fuss and hyper-security, the festival’s opening night was loudly cheered – with exceptional ovations for Bayreuth favourite Klaus Florian Vogt in the title role and for conductor Hartmut Haenchen, who stepped in at three week’s notice for a disaffected Andris Nelsons. Musically, most agreed, the performance was of the highest quality. But […]
Sicklist: Young maestro, 26, gets break at Verbier
Marc Minkowski has fallen sick. He’s replaced tomorrow night by a young Swiss, Lorenzo Viotti, in an odd concert of Rodrigo and Turina. Lorenzo, who won last year’s Salzburg Conducting contest, is son of the late conductor Marcello Viotti.
Marni Nixon, dubbing singer, performs Webern
She covered Deborah Kerr’s singing voice in The King and I and Audrey Hepburn’s in My Fair Lady. But here’s how good Marni really was: bareback Webern with Robert Craft at the piano. So beautiful. Marni Nixon died on Sunday, aged 86. Her first husband was Ernest Gold, composer of the Exodus theme.
Placido Domingo: I’d like to sing Amfortas
In a new interview with ForumOpera, the reborn baritone says he’s eyeing up Parsifal (he’s just missed his chance at Bayreuth). Je voudrais chanter Amfortas. Je vais examiner Mandryka dans Arabella de Strauss. Peut-être d’autres rôles d’autres compositeurs… More here.
Chicago mourns Reiner man
Hired by Fritz Reiner in 1954, the violinist Edgar Muenzer played 47 years in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra until his retirement in 2001. He liked to conduct and, with his wife Nancy, founded the award-winning Park Ridge Civic Orchestra, where his son, Victor, is the present music director. Edgar Muenzer, Chicago stalwart, died on Friday […]
Sicklist: Salzburg switches soprano
Genia Kühmeier has dropped out of tonight’s Beethoven 9. Regula Mühlemann gets the call.
The day I broke free from my shoulder rest
Nathan Cole, associate concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is one of the most upfront violinists to be found on social media. He writes with flair and candour about surviving auditions, preserving your voice in an orchestra and, now, getting rid of your shoulder rest. One day, when nobody was looking, I left the rest […]