Anna Netrebko’s cash goes a long way in Donetsk
The soprano has taken down a post on her Facebook page, explaining why she gave a million roubles ($19,000) to the opera house in war-torn Donestsk, handing the cheque to a pro-Russian separatist in front of a separatist flag. The incident has caused her no end of distress. In Donetsk, meanwhile, the money has been handed […]
Xmas cracker 2: For this we sent our boy to Oxford?
Whatever became of flowing gowns and Away in a Manger? Still, at least they sing in tune… From the publicity blurb: Out of the Blue, Oxford’s all-male a cappella group, in the 1994 hit single, which just turned 20 years old. Filmed entirely on the Oxford campus, Harry Potter movie fans will recognize the background […]
Maestro woes: Loser sues over music director ‘anomalies’
A month ago, power brokers in Seville, Spain, split the music directorship between the incumbent political pet Pedro Halffter, who had been rejected by the musicians, and the American John Axelrod. Halffter will remain opera chief at the Teatro de la Maestranza, while Axelrod gets to lead symphony concerts. The decision followed an international search for […]
‘The least subsidised opera house in Europe’
Madrid’s Teatro Rreal has put its finances in order. It now claims to have, at 30 percent of total revenue, the lowest level of state funding in Europe. That cannot, however, be true. Covent Garden manages on well below 30 percent and Glyndebourne receives no public funds at all, except for its touring operation. Nice […]
Breaking: Competition chair stands down, at 95
It’s about to be announced that Dame Fanny Waterman will retire as chairman and artistic director of the Leeds Piano Competition after next year’s round in September. Dame Fanny will be 95 in March 2015. photo: Andy Manning, 2009 A piano teacher, she founded the competition in 1961 at a time when no international […]
A Met Brünnhilde is found dead
Janis Martin, who commanded major Wagner roles at the Met, has been found dead by a visitor at her home in San Antonio, Texas. She was 75. There were no suspicious circumstances. A Californian, she sang 147 times at the Met, from 1962 to 1997. She also sang with the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 1971 to […]
Video: Tchaikovsky Competition whitewashes its history
They’ve been digging out old Soviet video and recycling it in a new documentary, using the old politicised commentary without a smidgeon of detachment. Who knew, for instance, that in 1966 there was a fashion for ‘intellectual’ violin playing that caused David Oistrakh’s students to miss out on first prize? Watch in wonder. […]
Maestro moves: The one who quit Germany gets job in Japan
Toshiyuki Kamioka, 54, music director in three German cities, gave it all up last month to return home. Today we know why. He’s about to be named next music director of the New Japan Philharmonic.
Just in: Gateshead goes for outreach queen
The Sage in Gateshead tonight named its next managing director. She is Abigail Pogson, head of Spitalfields Music in the east of London and a champion of that Arts Council mantra Learning & Participation. She ticks the right boxes. Gateshead, in the northeast of England, needs to diversify its audience by age and origin alike.
Just out: Is Renée Fleming totally in tune?
Christmas is coming and the diva’s doing crossover with Broadway actress Kelli O’Hara. The light-voiced Ms O’Hara is amazingly pitch true. Not sure if Ms Fleming is bang on the note throughout the track. Check those opening measures.
Xmas Cracker 1: A clarinet hymn beneath the surface of the earth
Our first seasonal offering features the clarinet class at Shenandoah Conservatory playing the Icelandic Hymn Heyr Himna Smiður deep down in Virginia’s famous Luray Caverns. If feels like the end of the world. You will want to hear it again. Here’s the standard choral version. h/t: Garrick Zoeter. You may recall this train station […]