This is Joseph Calleja’s second advertisement for his native Malta and the novelty is wearing off. The island’s ruling oligarchy consists of apologists for some the world’s ghastliest regimes, starting with Iran. It was about to host a state visit with full honours for Viktor Yanukovych before the Ukrainian nation toppled its corrupt president.

Not that you’d know from Joseph’s video.


Sergey Stadler, artistic director of the Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg, performed and conducted the catalogue in Shostakovich Hall. Any rumbles in the background must have been Mozart turning in his (unknown) grave.


When Thomas Hampson fell sick hours before the show, there was a momentary wobble. Then the Met called in superhero Matthias Goerne, who had sung a Schubert recital at Carnegie Hall the night before and Wozzeck with the Vienna Phil a week before. With no more than a glimpse of the general rehearsal and a quick fitting, Goerne  went on that vast stage and sang Wozzeck.


goerne dressing



How was it? A hint: Placido Domingo leaped to his feet applauding at the curtain. Our New York operavores Elizabeth Frayer and Shawn E Milnes were there. Click here for their rapid review.

Sample:  I found Matthias Goerne’s performance to be harrowing.  His Wozzeck was both terrifying and pathetic yet sympathetic.  A disturbing yet appropriate combination.  His barreling physicality lent a man-child aspect to the performance that only deepened my compassion for him, even as it repulsed me.


This pretty quote come from ‘Best of Toronto(sic) and is designed to explain why some metro companies are playing Mozart and Sibelius on unguarded stations. It’s intended to deter hoodlums.

‘A lot of dentists pay for it,’ say the marketing company. ‘If you’re in a dentist’s office you often hear recorded music that comes from the same sort of thing.’

Is this what we have come to…?

toronto subway

The former child star always had more cookies in her jar than most of the record people she worked with – let alone the hack mob that hovered at her doorstep. She has now written a song, ‘faster than light’, and is an avid reader of New Scientist.

She has also kept her head firmly on her shoulders. Asked if she shouldn’t be collaborating with Brian May, the other science-oriented pop star, Charlotte says: ‘Not really because that would be weird. I feel uncomfortable when I’m around other famous people because it just feels a bit forced.’

Good for her.

charlotte church



leslie bibb celloAnyone watch About A Boy on NBC?

Here’s how it begins, according to Slipped Disc reader, Peter Brown:

The first episode started with the main character seeing a cellist (very cute Leslie Bibb) getting her instrument out her car. He says “Chello” to her and says he’s a big lover of the instrument. To prove this as she doesn’t seem interested, he says his favorite cello works are the Kabalevsky no. 2 in “G major” (he says), the D’Albert in C major, and the Dvorak (to which she says pointlessly “in B minor”). This is all within the first minute of the show, and I had to check the D’Albert just to see if it was real!

leslie bibb cello 2

College student Parker Perry was attracted by the Cleveland Orchestra’s $10 offer. But he couldn’t get any of the girls in his class to go along, so had to take his brother. Then there was the $11 parking charge. And the attitude…. Read on here.

cleveland chorus