‘I was lured to Atlanta without a contract’
The ever-interesting website of Musicians of the Metropolitan Opera tells the story of a young American musician, 20 years old, who won the post of principal bassoon at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Keith Buncke (right in the picture with two ASO colleagues) was so thrilled he forgot to worry when no contract turned up in […]
Just in: Bayreuth raps Thielemann over Alagna
Over the weekend, the conductor Christian Thielemann announced that he was planning a Lohengrin with Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala in Dresden and Bayreuth. This morning, the phone lines went white-hot at Bayreuth. The dormouse press office has just issued a statement: Not the Polish tenor, apparently. Alagna’s our Lohengrin in 2018. Alles klaar?
Peter Gelb puts his money in toilet paper
The Metropolitan Opera has commissioned a series of short films, , using animation, video, and film to illuminate current productions and fill out the HD intermissions. The first release is Macbeth. It’s… crap. Unsurprising, really. The company that makes these shorts is called Toilet Paper Productions.
A compelling last album from an undervalued maestro
There were many reasons I chose a Walton-Hindemith release as my album of the week on sinfinimusic.com. The two composers were closely interwoven for quarter of a century. Their music speaks truth to each other. It is lyrical, reflective and connective. It takes a master interpreter to identify and develop the dialogue. Frank Shipway, who […]
Kent Nagano: I’ve seen two generations lose touch with classical music
The incoming general music director of Hamburg State Opera has given a bleak prognosis to Der Spiegel on the future of classical music. The audience has grown old, he warns, and is not being replenished. He offers few remedies. Quotes: – Nach meiner Erfahrung gibt es bereits zwei Generationen von Menschen, die nie mit […]
Aussie PM pitches into Carmen ban
‘Political correctness gone crazy’ is what Australia’s prime minister Tony Abbott thinks of the Western Australia health-kick ban on Carmen. Mr Abbott, no fan of the arts, went on to say in a Melbourne radio interview that opera is ‘an exaggeration and if we are running around looking to take offence or looking to spread some politically correct message, […]
Oh, write your own headline…
Meet Jamie Hutchinson, who lives half a mile up the road and is featured in the local rag. We like her holiday snap from the Falklands (Malvinas, if you prefer). The audience has attention span issues. Write a headline that will get them to snap to attention.
Peace in Turin? New man will bring back Noseda
We read that Gaston Fournier-Facio has been recruited as artistic director of the Teatro Rgio in Turin with a brief to bring back Gianandrea Noseda as music director. Noseda walked out last month after disagreements with the general director Walter Vergnano. Fournier-Facio, a former artistic coordinator at La Scala, belongs to the opera world’s diplomatic […]
Aussie Dutchman ditched by double defection
Victorian Opera has lost both star leads in next year’s Flying Dutchman. Both Petra Lang and Vitalij Kowalijow have withdrawn due to the ‘challenges of the vocal range of the demanding parts’. Didn’t they read the score, or even listen to it, before agreeing to sing? Even among opera excuses this sounds fishy. Their replacements are […]
Outrage mounts over Harvard’s life ban on Putin concert protestor
In May this year, there was a small demonstration outside Sanders Theatre at Harvard before a concert by Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi. One young man inside mounted the stage and expressed a view against the Putin regime and its musical allies. That young man, Dr Roman Torgovitsky, was arrested by campus police and subsequently banned […]
Radiohead star: Live classics are just so stiff
Jonny Greenwood, the Radiohead guitarist, is concerned about classical concerts. He observes: – ‘I think there’s something quite off-putting when you turn up and are given a seat number. It’s all quite formal.’ – It’s a little dispiriting to find how rigidly programmes are set. It’s very peculiar that usually orchestras know exactly what they […]