Coffee with Carlo Bergonzi
I met the great tenor once, by chance. It was late in the year 2000, and I was doing a recce of Verdi’s hangouts in the Parma region, ahead of the centennial year of the composer’s death. Late in the day, we drove into Busseto, the little village where he was born. Not much to […]
Gelb to musicians: you can’t count
The Metropolitan Opera has issued a 54-page rebuttal to the musician’s 84-page proposal for non-wage savings at the company. Dumbly, it has issued its refutations interwoven into the original document, which is now 138 pages long – so long that no-one with a life will ever read it. Click here to see the monstrosity produced […]
Bayreuth opens with 20-minute stage glitch
Sebastian Baumgarten’s widely-loathed production of “Tannhäuser” came to a halt twenty minutes into the first act, due to a stage malfunction. The audience were asked to leave the auditorium while the fault was repaired. the opera resumed within half an hour. In the 138-year history of the Bayreuth Festival, this is the first time this […]
Met musicians show Gelb $31m savings
Musicians of the Metropolitan Opera have submitted an 84-page document, outlining what they say are the multiple shortcomings of Peter Gelb’s management. They maintain that the Met can restore its fortunes and maintain present wage levels by a number of judicious measures. The largest involve a reduction in the number of new productions and efficiencies […]
An immortal tenor has died
The inimitable Carlo Bergonzi has died in a hoospital in Milan. He spent the last years of his life in Verdi’s home village, Bussetto. He was 90. Vale, Carlo!
Simple pleasures: the backhand Csardas
This is Baron Buika on the Ed Sullivan Show, 1959. Click the word ‘Post’ if video does not pop out. Post by پیانو برای همه.
‘The thing about critics,’ said Philip Glass. ‘Eventually, they die…’
Any composer or writer who has even received a bad review, or a string of them from the same critic, will find wisdom and encouragement in this lovely reminiscence by Derek Bermel. Read here. Now listen here: I love this piece.
Bleak news: Rome Opera faces liquidation
Corriere reports: ‘At this point, there is no other way that the closure of the theater, ‘ says the superintendent of the Rome Opera, Carlo Fuortes. ‘Next Tuesday, the agenda of the Board of Directors is the forced liquidation of the theatre.’ The music director is Riccardo Muti. He has a weekend to save his company. […]
Bond composer dies
John Leach, who added exotic instrumental effects to John Barry’s score for You Only Live Twice, has died at 82. His supreme moment on film was the Hungarian cimbalom he played at the opening of The Ipcress File. Obituary here.
Verdict: Frances Andrade may not have killed herself
The coroner in the hearing into the death of the violinist Frances Andrade, who died after giving evidence against the Chetham’s predator Mike Brewer, has ruled he cannot be certain Ms Andrade intended to take her own life. She had been medicated with a number of anti-depressants and, said the coroner, had been badly let […]
French anti-semitism shuts synagogue at centre of Jewish music festival
A report from Carpentras, by David Conway: The region of Comtat-Venaissan, once a Papal enclave in the Kingdom of France, has a complex history; one if its oddest episodes is its community of ‘the Pope’s Jews’ – who were permitted to live there (under the standard ghetto conditions) when they were expelled from France. The […]