Vienna mourns a stalwart tenor
The Vienna State Opera has announced the death of Waldemar Kmentt, aged 86. He made his debut with Karl Böhm in 1950 and appeared on all major European stages and festivals, including Salzburg and Bayreuth. He sang in Carlos Kleiber’s only performance of a work by Mahler, Das Lied von der Erde in June 1967. press […]
A really bad hair day at the Met
One more reason why young people – and minorities – are loath to go to the opera: On Christmas morning, my parents gave me two tickets to the Opera for the first weekend in January. “It’s the orchestra, Collier,” my Poppi says. “Real good seats. You’re going to get to see the […]
Masur junior steps at at Boston
In his first break as assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony, Ken-David Masur takes over the coming weekend’s concerts from flu-stricken Tugan Sokhiev. press release: In his first subscription concerts as BSO Assistant Conductor, Ken-David Masur will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a program of works by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, and Rimsky-Korsakov, substituting at the last minute for Ossetian conductor Tugan […]
Headless ENO hits fresh crisis
We heard earlier in the week that the chairman of English National Opera had sent a letter to his colleagues saying he wanted out. In a detailed analysis of the company’s structural and financial problems, Martyn Rose concluded that it would take more time than he could give to put the place to rights. The […]
Just in: Aussie makes snap Berlin Phil debut
The coloratura soprano Siobhan Stagg has been summoned to rehearsal at a few hours’ notice to deputise at tomorrow’s Brahms German Requiem, and for the following two performances with Christian Thielemann. She replaces Sybilla Rubens. Siobhan has been winning hearts and minds at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she’s singing Pamina next month. Christa Ludwig […]
Helga Schmidt is free. Her arrest is a scandal.
The artistic director of the Palau de les Arts in Valencia has been set free on police bail. Her passport has been confiscated and she will be called in for further questioning. Helga Schmidt and her predecessor, Ernesto Moreno, are being investigated for misappropriation of funds at the art centre since it opened in 2005. The […]
Chicago names principal bassoon, 21
The era of grizzled old orchs is over. The Chicago Symphony has joined the new-grad trend by appointing Keith Buncke, 21, to a principal post. He’s been snatched from the Atlanta Symph, where he’s in his first season as principal.
Classical singers offer money-back guarantee
Sol3 Mio are coming on UK tour with a cast-iron guarantee: love the act, or your money back. press release: “If you are willing to buy the ticket, we are willing to put our hearts on our sleeves, put focus in our eyes, and put money where our mouths are. We guarantee that you will […]
First sight of the Met’s Three Monkeys
We have been given first sight of the poster for the coming picket of the Met’s January 26 production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. The organisers say: NYC arts managements have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye as they continue to hire Russian artists who publicly parade their support for Putin’s wars, invasions, terrorism and […]
Small town builds new concert hall. London won’t.
The Moravian city of Brno, population 400,000, has a Beethoven-sized philharmonic orchestra and a very good concert hall. If it wants to do the ninth symphony or anything larger, it has to use the opera house, which is named after the city’s most important musician, Leos Janacek. The Janacek Theatre, somewhat showing its age, is […]
Opera house raises $172.9 million
It didn’t come overnight. It was a seven-year campaign, reaching out to 6,648 donors, 4,558 of them first-timers. But now the last pledges are in Houston Grand Opera has announced it overshot its $165 million target by almost 10 percent. That’s some fund-raiser.