A member of the music profession wondered aloud the other day why opera directors keep trying to have sex on stage when online porn does it so much better.

She has a point. Sex is only ever simulated on the opera stage and never with total conviction. So why bother? Get back to the singing.

Here’s a Slipped Disc list of the ten least essential sex scenes of recent times (in no particular order). Do add some of your own. We might even offer an award for the worst sex on stage.

1 Bavarian State Opera, Munich . Eugene Onegin by Krzysztof Warlikowski.

Onegin and Lenski are gay. Lenski is killed in bed after a failed blow job. Semi-naked cowboys are fellated.
Staatsoper_Onegin_Hosl_Cowboys

2. Statsoper Berlin. Parsifal by Dmitri Tcherniakov.

The opera ends with Good Friday miracle. It involves Amfortas having sex with Kundry who is stabbed to death in the act.

3. Deutsche Oper Berlin. Samson and Dalila by Patrick Kinmonth – explicit sexual scenes

4. Komische Oper Berlin. Double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Bluebeard Castle: sex, oral sex, other varieties.

bluebeard berlin

 

5 Munich. Tcherniakov’s Lulu.

tcherniakov lulu

6 Dresden, Stefan Herheim’s Lulu

 

7 ROH Covent Garden William Tell

An unscripted rape to ballet music.

8 Deutsche Oper Berlin. Lady Macbeth of Mzensk – simulated sex with gigantic fish

LadyMacbeth-0632MarcusLieberenz_hf

9 Powder Her Face – the show that shut New York City Opera

powder her face
photo by Pavel Antonov

10 The one that simulated an Irish airline

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Villazon, Netrebko, Salzburg Festival press photo/dpa

Minnesota-based American Public Media is selling their Classical South Florida radio stations to Education Media Foundation, a California religious broadcaster for $21.7 million, according to reports from Current, a public radio and media news website, and WLRN, Miami’s public radio news station.

That will leave Miami and the Florida Keys without any relief from pop, rap and talk radio.

More here on South Florida Classical Review.

south florida

 

Six months ago, Tine Thing Helseth cancelled all forthcoming concerts due to exhaustion.

We hear the Norwegian trumpet virtuoso, 27, is almost ready to return. But she plans to combine her performing career with a role as a concert host on the national broadcaster, NRK. Click here for the first variety show (hear Tine play at 24:00). You’ll need to speak Norwegian to get the banter.

A Nordic Andre Previn in the making?

tie thing helseth

michael haefliger marriage

Congratulations to Michael Haefliger, long-serving director of the Lucerne Festival, and his partner, the flute virtuoso Andrea Loetscher.

At Carcassone on Thursday, the Chinese pianist had to leave the stage for a call of nature. He returned to find the arena empty, most of the audience thinking he was done.

He made light of the incident in an interview afterwards.

lang lang carcassonne

Is there any limit to musical ingenuity? Tonight in Tokyo:

 

schoenberg variations

Message received from Dante S. Anzolini:
Tomorrow July 12 at 7PM there will be the world premiere of the first version written in history for solo piano of the Schoenberg Variations for Orchestra. The performance by the pianist Hiroaki Ooi will take place in Tokyo, the so called Coen Dori Classic Series in the Shibuya area of the city. The daring program includes Mahler 9th, for piano solo too!< About the piece…it was composed out of my intentions to be prepared to conduct the orchestral piece for the first time in my life. Later on, when friends made for me a contact with the late Mr. Stein, former disciple and curator of the Schoenberg’s oeuvre, he confessed his disbelief that such a piece could be written (alleging that it was an impossible quest). Luckily he ascertained that the piece did exist, which led to its publication by Belmont, distributed then by Universal. Both Barenboim and James Levine loved the resulting piece, thou they assured me that it was quite hard to bring it to a real performance
 

 

This is alarming.

The Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has named eight people who will ‘work closely with the government over the renewal of the BBC’s charter.’

They include former heads of ITN, Classic FM and Channel 5 – all vociferous commercial competitors of the BBC – the head of Ofcom, which wants to abolish the BBC’s governance system, and four additional market enemies.

Not one person on the panel is sympathetic to the BBC’s mission.

Bad beeb times ahead.

reith bbc

The last we heard they were going to tie the knot in St Pete.

But tenor Yusif Eyvazov, who has been Anna’s man since March 2014, has given an interview saying they are planning a wedding in Vienna (where they mostly live) and want to have a child together.

Read all about it here.

netrebko yusif

The death of Jon Vickers, aged 88, takes us back to an age when giants walked the land.

Built like a stevedore, Vickers filled the stage with an unchallengeable presence.

I saw him late in his career, in a cheap Covent Garden staging of Handel’s late oratorio Samson, when his pathos as the blinded giant – ‘no sun, no moon’ – was so vivid I can see and her it now, four decades later.

Vicker was a law unto himself. Passionate in his Christian beliefs, he pulled out of a Tannhäuser after deciding that Wagner was anti-Christ. He played Peter Grimes as the evil that is within us all, infuriating its composer. Everything he did was touched with principle and certainty.

I tried to interview him twice about aspects of his life and work. Both times, I got a curt refusal. Vickers never talked. He was who he was, inimitable, unforgettable.

jon Vickers-Aeneas1