Deutsche Grammophon today signed Camille Thomas, a Franco-Belgian artist.

She is, the label says, its first ever female cellist.

Broadway producer Roland Scahill has admitting in court to scamming nine of $200,000 to fund a non-extsitent play about the Met’s firing of soprano Kathleen Battle.

If he pays back the money, he will only do six months jail time.

Court report here.

Music director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla has unfurled her second season with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. It is nothing if not ambitious.

Mirga, 31, will conduct 26 concerts, including Haydn’s Creation, Fauré’s Requiem, Mahler 1 and 4 and a two-weekend Debussy Festival.

She will also conduct the Birmingham Conservatoire orchestra at the opening of its new building, and the CBSO Youth Orchestra.

She’s making her mark on Britain’s second city.

The troubled English National Opera announced its next season this morning. Martin Brabbins, the new music director, will conduct two out of nine productions. A fifth new show, Britten’s Turn of the Screw, will be staged in June 2018 at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, a space not renowned for its sound quality.

Daniel Kramer, the artistic director, gets to direct La Traviata. The opening production, Aida, will be conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson, wife of the Metropolitan Opera boss, Peter Gelb.

Official highlights:

·         ENO’s 2017/18 season features four new productions and five revivals at the London Coliseum, supported by a number of projects in other venues

·         Daniel Kramer directs his first opera as ENO Artistic Director, a new production of La traviata starring Claudia Boyle in her role debut as Violetta

·         Martyn Brabbins begins his first full season as ENO Music Director, conducting performances of Marnie and The Marriage of Figaro

·         ENO presents the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s latest opera, Marnie, directed by Michael Mayer and conducted by Martyn Brabbins

·         A new production of Verdi’s Aida opens the 17/18 season, conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson. After sell-out performances of his Olivier Award-winning Akhnaten, Phelim McDermott returns to direct

·         Cal McCrystal directs a new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, starring ENO Harewood Artist Samantha Price in the title role alongside ENO favourites Andrew Shore and Yvonne Howard

·         Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and ENO present a new production of The Turn of the Screw, directed by multiple Olivier Award-winner and Artistic Director of the Open Air Theatre, Timothy Sheader. ENO Mackerras Fellow Toby Purser conducts

·         Revivals of audience favourites include Jonathan Miller’s The Barber of Seville, Richard Jones’s Rodelinda, Phelim McDermott’s Satyagraha, Robert Carsen’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Fiona Shaw’s The Marriage of Figaro

·         A raft of exciting British conductors new to ENO includes Leo McFall, Alexander Soddy and Hilary Griffiths. Keri-Lynn Wilson and Karen Kamensek return after acclaimed debuts in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons respectively

·         Over 93% of cast and conductors in the 2017/18 season are British born, trained or resident. Rodelinda, Iolanthe and Satyagraha all feature casts that are entirely British born, trained or resident

Is this some kind of record? Two of next season’s 12 new shows are world premieres.

Full details here.

The small town of St. Georgen im Attergau will name a square next week after long-term resident Niklaus Harnoncourt, who died in March 2016.

The US wing of the British label, rebranded Decca Gold, has arranged to record all three medal winners at this year’s Van Cliburn Competition. The CDs will be out within a fortnight of the final.

In a separate development, has announced it will livestream the competition worldwide.

The German tenor spent yesterday at home in Berlin chatting to friends on the phone. He had a full schedule planned for today. At some point late in the day, he died – ‘of natural causes’, friends say.

UPDATE: We are told it was a heart attack.

He had collapsed a few times in the past year, but doctors could not find a cause. He is survived by a brother, an aunt and an uncle.

Endrik enjoyed life, loved shopping, cultivated friendships. The Berlin-based American soprano Laura Aikin, a close pal, offers this tribute:

Endrik Wottrich 1964-2017 😭💔

My dear friend of many years. We started out together at the Staatsoper Berlin. I was singing Papagena, he was erste Geharnischte. I remember hearing his voice for the first time. He saw the shock and awe in my face, winked and laughed knowing he had just blown me away.

We shared the stage countless times; were friends through thick and thin, drama and crisis. His voice was glorious, but for me perhaps his amazing laugh was his best opus. Dedicated to his students and never relenting from pursuing the incredibly high standards he set for himself, he knew both triumph and deep despair. Wrapped in his armor of muscle, he made battle with the world. His injuries were not few, but they were outnumbered by his many glorious victories. In his far too short life, he brought much beauty to this planet. I will miss him like a brother. Rest In Peace, you silly goose.

The Vienna Volksoper has announced the sudden and unexpected death on April 26 of Endrik Wottrich, a prominent German tenor who sang in many international houses.

photo (c) Royal Opera House

Originally from Celle in Germany, he graduated from Juilliard and was a member of the Berlin Staatsoper through the 1990s.

He sang the title part in Parsifal in Bayreuth in 2004 and Tannhäuser the following year at La Scala.

He worked often and recorded with Nikolaus Hanoncourt and was a regular at Covent Garden.

TRIBUTE: Amazing laugh was his best opus.

UPDATE: In Bayreuth’s Parsifal I lost the love of my life.

These are the singers and pianists selected for the 2017 Kathleen Ferrier Awards Final, which takes place at Wigmore Hall on Friday 28 April. Francesca Chiejina, of the ROH’s Jette Parker programme, is the only female singer.

James Way & Natalie Burch*

Daniel Shelvey & Dylan Perez*

Patrick Terry & Somi Kim*

Julien Van Mellaerts & Gamal Khamis*

Eduard Mas Bacardit & Dylan Perez*

Francesca Chiejina & Dylan Perez*

*accompanist prize contestants