Tonight’s performance of La traviata at English National Opera was cancelled an hour before curtain.

The audience was told there was risk of a gas leak.

The show, directed by ENO’s artistic director Daniel Kramer, has received the worst reviews of any mainstream opera in years.


It’s the reason she’s retiring, the great pianist tells Platea magazine.

I have to tell you, the piano itself is probably the main reason I’m retiring. I’ve never really had a good relationship with him. I mean, there are multiple factors, of course: I need more time for myself and I want to live without having to give concerts, but the piano itself, the instrument, has never adapted to me. 

Read on here.


Jennifer Spencer, who quit HarrisonParrott to work with rivals IMG, has lured away the Chinese conductor Xian Zhang, who holds posts in New Jersey, Cardiff and Milan.

press statement:

IMG Artists is delighted that Xian Zhang has joined its global roster with immediate effect. Managed out of IMGA’s London office in association with Jennifer Spencer Artist Management, Xian is currently in her second season with both the New Jersey Symphony, where she is Music Director, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, of whom she is Principal Guest Conductor.


Ashok Pai, whose abuse testimony in the New York Post was the first act in the downfall of the Metropolitan Opera music director, has been talking to Radar online about the long road to publishing his allegations.

He took his story first to the New Yorker where, he says, both critic Alex Ross and reporter James Stewart fobbed him off.

In an email to Stewart he writes: ‘I do want to reflect again about Alex Ross and his screaming at me, I want to make sure you are clear I think it’s totally unethical, inappropriate and wrong for Alex Ross to speak and yell at a sex abuse victim the way he did with me.’

Read his full account here.

UPDATE: Alex Ross has been in touch to say that he disputes this account of his conversation with Ashok Pai.

Radar also publishes a conversation transcript between Pai and James Levine:


JL: You’re defining my part and your part. You’re telling me what you can do and what I can do. And if I don’t buy that hook, line and sinker, then I’m a bad person.

AP: Emhmm. Um.

JL: My phone’s running out and I’m over pass anyway. I will either call you back a little later if I get a hole again or I will call you back again on Sunday. And if I can’t call at length, I’ll call short. Ok?

His reasons for recording this conversation are unclear.

Pai’s story was later told both by the Post anonymously and by the Times with his full name.

Levine, who denies the accusations, is now suing the Met for unfair dismissal.

The German tenor is the star attraction at this summer’s Vienna Life Ball.

Other participants are Ute Lemper, Andreas Schager, Elena Maximova, Hila Fahima Kristin Lewis and Rene Pape.


Hugo Vianello was founder and music director of the Missouri Symphony. Before that, he was a viola player in the New York Philharmonic.

More here.

Winding up as Sony chairman on Friday, Doug Morris will bounce back this week in a new seat at Warner, the company that he sued 20 years ago for $50 million in dismissal compensation.

Morris is 79.

In between, he has also run Universal.

You just can’t keep a good suit down.

Read here.


Dutch National Opera has secured two major talents for its forthcoming Clemenza di Tito. The Russian-based conductor Teodor Currentzis will make his Dutch debut and the ever-interesting Peter Sellars will direct.

But, be warned:

Peter Sellars and conductor Theodor Currentzis have made several cuts in the recitatives and have added other music by Mozart also dating from 1791, the year La Clemenza was composed.


Franz Welser-Möst has dropped out of this week’s concerts with the Gewandhaus.

No problem usually finding a replacement conductor in Germany, but the soloist in this case is the rarely-spotted Radu Lupu and the orchestra had to be confident he would approve a replacement maestro.

The fly-in is his fellow-Romanian, Cristian Măcelaru.