The great Siberian baritone, who is undergoing treatment for brain cancer, releases a new recording next month of Russian operatic arias.

You can listen to a sample track here.

hvorostovsky putin

press release: NEW YORK, NY – On August 12, 2016 Delos releases Dmitri Hvorostovsky Sings of Love, Peace, War and Sorrow [DE 3517], a new recording featuring the internationally acclaimed baritone performing opera arias and scenes by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Anton Rubinstein – two of which Hvorostovsky has never before performed on stage: Tomsky from The Queen of Spades and the title role of Mazeppa.

Led by conductor Constantine Orbelian with the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia as well as the “Evgeny Svetlanov” Helikon Opera Chorus, the recording also features several guest artists: internationally acclaimed Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian, (the latest recipient of the prestigious International Opera Award as Young Female Singer of 2016), mezzo-soprano Irina Shishkova; bass Mikhail Guzhov, tenor Igor Morozov, and countertenor Vadim Volkov.

The recording begins with the opening scene from Prokofiev’s War and Peace with sopranos Asmik Gregorian and Irina Shishkova. The program continues with four arias from three beloved Tchaikovsky operas: Mazeppa’s aria (“O Mariya, Mariya”) from Mazeppa; Roberto’s aria (“Kto mozhet sravnitsja s Matildoj moej”) from the composer’s final opera Iolanta – plus two selections from The Queen of Spades, including Tomsky’s ballad (“Odnazdy v Versale, au jeu de la Reine”) withMikhail Guzhov (Surin), and Igor Morozov (Chekalinsky); and Tomsky’s song (“Yesli b milyye devitzy”). The latter two arias from Tchaikovsky mark a departure for Hvorostovsky. For years he was known for his performances of Prince Eletsky in The Queen of Spades – but in this recording, he takes on the other baritone role, that of the conniving and coldhearted Count Tomsky. The album’s closing selection is the sixth and final scene from Anton Rubinstein’s rarity, The Demon. Hvorostovsky had long wanted to perform the opera’s title role, and finally got the chance to do so in 2015, in a semi-staged Moscow production co-starring soprano Asmik Gregorian as Tamara – an event that was broadcast live on Russian television. 


From Ian Maclay’s farewell interview with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:

There was an occasion, in 2015, when Shirley Bassey asked to recreate her 1972 performance of Goldfinger with the Orchestra. ‘I said we couldn’t do that, because I was around in 1972 and there were two issues: firstly, all the players smoked; by about 4 pm you couldn’t see across the studio for all the cigarette smoke. Secondly, you’d have to get rid of half the Orchestra because there were no women in it back then.’

More here.


They had Simon Halsey at the Berlin Radio Choir for 14 years.

Now the Deutsche Oper has hired Jeremy Bines to succeed William Spaulding.

Bines, 39 and Belfast born, is chorus master at Glyndebourne.

jeremy bines

We wish him every success and pray that his Berlin future is not cramped by Brexit.
Photo: Robert Workman

From the THES:


Growing numbers of UK researchers say that their applications for European Union research funding are in doubt after the Brexit vote, while there are also reports of foreign scientists opting not to take up jobs in the UK owing to the post-referendum outlook.

Cambridge University 1 (St John's College) comp_0

Read on here.


You are both travelling, apart for long periods.

How do you keep the love alive and fresh?

Julie Tabash Kelsheimer, who recently married after an eight-year relationship, has some tips for distant lovers.

For instance: 2) Call more often than you text. I was lucky to have started dating my husband during a time when texting was not as popular as it is now. To this day, hearing his voice brings me a bigger smile than texting ever could. Talking to your partner allows you to get a better idea of what kind of day he or she is having, and vice versa. When my husband can hear that I’m not having the happiest day, he knows just what to say, or not say, to make my day brighter!

Read Julie’s full set of tips here, on SexiSoprano.

Julie Tabash Kelsheimer


Two weeks ago, Pierre Audi announced he was leaving Dutch National Opera after three brilliant decades.

Today, Miranda Van Kralingen said she’s leaving Opera Zuid after 12 years, having failed to obtain a renewal of government subsidy.

miranda van kralingen

Yesterday afternoon, we were asked by the conductor Stefan Solyom to post an appeal he had just organised on behalf of the violinist Irina Zwiener, whose cellist husband Hendrik was knocked off his bike and killed on Sunday.

Hendrik played in the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra, Irina, who is nine months pregnant, is a member of the Staatskapelle Weimar, where Stefan is music director. The music world was aghast at the tragedy.

Over the past 18 hours, 164 people from all parts of the world have donated more than 10,000 Euros to help Irina with costs over the childbirth period and after. Many of the donors are musicians.

There are some wonderful people out there.

Please keep on giving. Here.

hendrik zwiener2


press release from the Arts & Humanities Council:

The Guildhall School is looking for adult non-singers to participate in a new research project led by Research Fellow Dr Karen Wise. Finding a voice: The art and science of unlocking the potential of adult non-singers aims to understand the journey of learning to sing in adulthood, for people who think of themselves as unable to sing. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, with a grant of £232, 547 (Full Economic Costing Figure – FEC).

Dr Karen Wise commented, “There are lots of opportunities these days for people to sing, and more and more of us are discovering the pleasure it can bring. Research shows that singing is good for our wellbeing. But a large percentage of people think of themselves as unable to sing, and avoid singing even though they would secretly like to. If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you. This project is an opportunity for people to explore the potential of their voice with enthusiastic, supportive teachers and workshop leaders. At the same time, they will help us discover valuable new knowledge about what it means to learn to sing as an adult, how singing skills develop, and the best ways of enabling that. ”

Starting in April 2016, Finding a Voice is a 33-month project focusing on people who are not singing, engaging them in specially designed programmes including individual and group sessions with experienced teachers. It combines psychological, educational and artistic research to give an integrated understanding of the journeys adult non-singers take in learning to sing, and the ways in which they can be supported. The project aims to investigate the best ways of helping non-singers engage in meaningful participation in singing and improve their skills, and to show what their developmental journeys look like.

You can register here to take part.

bad singers


The fabulous French singer Sabine Devieilhe is expecting ‘a happy event’. She’ll be out of action from September to January.

Here’s what she tweets: En raison d’un heureux évènement qui se profile, annulations des concerts et représentations entre fin septembre 2016 et début janvier 2017.

And here’s what we’ll be missing:

sabine devieilhe

Lukas Gassner is 20 years old. Two years ago he was working as a car mechanic.

Lukas has just been named principal trombone of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, whose music director is Mariss Jansons.

Lukas, a student at the Bruckner University in his home town, Linz, only got into the local academy orchestra last year. But he was the standout performer at the Munich auditions and from September he’s going to be playing in what his teacher calls the Real Madrid of German orchestras.

lukas gassner

photo: Volker Weihbold