His debut was at the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo, on November 27, 1966.

They feted him at Bergamo yesterday, ahead of a concert he gave with the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra. The Italian president Sergio Mattarella made a point of attending.


This Friday, medici.tv will broadcast from St Petersburg what is said to be the world premiere of Funeral Song by Igor Stravinsky, a recently rediscovered score. Valery Gergiev’s Mariinsky concert, which you can watch here, will also include Stravinsky’s Firebird and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Suite from The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh.

Stravinsky wrote Funeral Song in 1908 to mourn the death of his teacher, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

No sooner was this event arranged with the publishers than the Philharmonia announced a UK premiere, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen in February, and the Chicago Symphony a US premiere, conducted by Charles Dutoit in April. Thomas Sanderling will conduct the first Finnish performance at the Helsinki Festival.

All a bit much for a work lasting just 12 minutes.



The well-informed Graham Spicer reports from Milan that children under 12 have been banned from all shows at the Bolshoi Ballet, following complaints from senior ticket holders.

To see Ivan the Terrible they will have to be 16.

Read more here.


Maison Lenôtre has asked various opera people to help it design a cake to be called le Favart, after the founder of  the Opéra-Comique Charles-Simon Favart, himself the son of a patissier.

This is what it will look like.


On sale in February.

Pittsburgh Opera has announced a week of January performances for Handel’s Riccardo Primo, retitled Richard the Lionheart for devotees of English history.

The opera – Handel’s third in London, dated 1727 – was revived at Sadler’s Wells in 1964. Its US premiere was given last summer at St Louis. This will be only its second US appearance.

The role of Richard, written for a castrato, will be sung by a woman.


Garsington Opera has announced its first full-length commission.

For the 2018 festival, composer David Sawer (pictured) and playwright Rory Mullarkey will write The Skating Rink, based on the novel by the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño.


Halo Sport is a neurotechnology device that stimulates the brain to enhance muscle memory.

Designed for athletes, the actor Mario Marzo uses it for piano practice.

In this sessions, he learns two Bach preludes with and without neurostimulation.




A night out can influence a day’s work. Such was the case for the architecture and real-estate development firm DDG’s designer Michael Zaragoza. When he went to see a production by Apotheosis Opera, a fledgling New York company that aims to expand the medium’s reach, he thoroughly enjoyed the singing but found the sets inferior. So he brought the idea of pro bono assistance to the chairman of the affiliated DDG Foundation, who agreed to help with the next production.

Read on here.


Allan Zavod, who has died in Melbourne home of brain cancer, at 71, taught at Berklee College of Music in Boston and accompanied Nigel Kennedy, Frank Zappa, Sting and others on Australia tours.

Based in the US for 20 years, he worked with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Allan Zavod was 71.


The prolific composer Kalevi Aho (l.), 67, was last night awarded Finland’s State Prize in music, worth 13,500 Euros.


kalevi aho

What took them so long?


Didier Marouani, founder of the French pop band Space, accused a Russian singer Philipp Kirkorov of ripping off his songs.

He flew to Moscow to press charges. The singer invited him for a settlement meeting.

Arriving at the meeting with his lawyer, Marouani was arrested by Moscow police and accused of trying to extort one million Euros from the singer.

Last night, he was released under caution but still faces trial. Under Russian justice.


The town of Karlsruhe is putting on a new opera at the end of next month. It’s called Wahnfried and it’s about a crackpot Englishman who became the living connection between Wagner and Hitler.

Houston Stewart Chamberlain was an an obsessive anti-semite and Wagner fanatic who married the composer’s daughter Eva and made his home in Bayreuth. Chamberlain’s racialist tome, The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, formed a vital part of Adolf Hitler’s political education. Hitler befriended the elderly Chamberlain and made the long journey to Bayreuth to attend his funeral.

The opera Wahnfried is based on that relationship. The composer is the Israeli-American Avner Dorman and the director is Keith Warner, a veteran of outstanding Ring cycles. Justin Brown conducts.

The cast includes Matthias Wohlbrecht as Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Christina Niessen as Cosima Wagner, Andrew Watts / Eric Jurenas as Siegfried Wagner and Barbara Dobrzanska as Anna Chamberlain. The opera will premiere on January 28.

bayreuth historic