New concert hall has composer in residence
Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, which opens with great fanfare this week, has named Matthias Pintscher as its Resident Composer. The title has become completely meaningless. Does it mean Pintscher gets a free apartment in the building? Or that anyone can walk up to him in the lobby and demand ‘give us tune.’ So what’s the point of […]
There are roles for sale at Opera Australia
From Conde Nast Traveller: Opera Australia, the country’s national opera company, is making it possible to experience the iconic Opera House and the classic art form from the most spectacular vantage point of all—the stage. For around $3,630 USD, you’ll get to visit the Opera Australia studio where a costume dresser will fit you with […]
How to write a libretto for Lloyd Webber and another for Philip Glass
Christopher Hampton, who wrote Sunset Boulevard (ALW) and The Trial (PG), gives an icy shaft of insight: ‘With Lloyd-Webber you are given the music and and have to fit the lyrics to the score. Philip Glass writes not a note until he has the libretto, and then he will call if he wants to make […]
Death of a founding Slovak conductor, 88
Zdenek Machacek established a network of operetta and music theatre performances in his country in the 1950s, conducting the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Kosice and the Slovak Philharmonic. Czech born, he was leader of the second violins in the Brno Philharmonic until 1953, when he took up the baton.
New York’s Candide – dog’s breakfast, or road-trip farce?
The first two reviews for City Opera’s bold reopening this weekend are something of a let-down. Christopher Johnson in Zeal NYC: Every decade or so, Harold Prince serves up a dog’s breakfast and calls it Candide. New York City Opera presented the latest such repast last Friday at the Rose Theatre…. The current production […]
What can yoga do to help your singing voice?
Canadian soprano Layla Claire has made a video for the clothing brand lululemon about her role preparation, which always involves yoga. Interesting to see when and how she does her yoga.
DG make a blooper on Pollini’s birthday box
A conscientious editor has sent us the booklet cover of DG’s 75th birthday compendium for the 75th birthday of the celebrated pianist. Ah well, at least they got the right number of ls in his surname. Celebrating his 75th birthday in 2017, this luxurious 55CD set presents Pollini’s complete recordings on Deutsche Grammophon […]
Watch: Boy with leukemia conducts symphony orchestra
Jordan Cartwright is seven years old. He loves music and he has leukemia. So the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra arranged for him to rehearse and conduct Canada’s National Anthem last week. There are so many good people out there.
Death of a syndicated music critic, 91
Remember when the best music critics were syndicated, coast to coast? Nat Hentoff was. He wrote mostly about jazz and famously about civil liberties and human rights. He had a 1940s radio show called From Bach to Bartok. Nat died yesterday at home in Manhattan.
Hottest aria of the century
Simone Kermes came on stage in Moscow to face an audience that looked sparser and colder than her normal crowd. So this is what she did. If you’re still feeling unwarmed, jump to 3:30 and see what she did to an unsuspecting young man in the front row. I wonder if his glasses ever got […]