The American baritone Alexander Birch Elliott, who jumped in Bizet’s Pearl Fishers at the Metropolitan Opera this month, has been signed by L2 Artists before anyone else could get a look in.

It seems he was previously with Gloria Parker at Insignia Artists.

Richard Egarr, artistic director of the Academy of Ancient Music since 2006, has been recruited by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra as an artistic partner.

The SPCO has a team of artistic partners. Egarr joins Jeremy Denk, Martin Fröst, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Pekka Kuusisto and Jonathan Cohen at the top table.

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama has named John Fisher artistic director of its opera school.

Fisher, former head of Welsh National Opera, is presently assistant general manager at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Go figure.

The pianist Elena Fischer-Dieskau told the BBC this week that she is now living in Scotland, which is lovely. Her grandfather Dietrich used to be a fixture at the Edinburgh Festival.

Let’s hope they let Elena stay after Brexit.

Patricia Hall, professor of music theory at the University of Michigan, has made several visits to the archives at Auschwitz to research songs written by inmates of the death camp. Titles include ‘The Most Beautiful Time of Life’ and ‘Sing When You’re Sad’.

It is thought that the songs were performed at matinees for SS murderers.

The songs will be performed at the university this weekend.

More here.


There is deep sadness this morning at the death of Sally Silver, also known as Silver Sally.

She was an immensely popular soprano with English Touring Opera, and elsewhere. Raised in South Africa, she sang at ENO, Scottish Opera, Metz, Moscow and Nederlandse Reisopera.

Her husband, Jeremy Silver, is an international conductor. Emily Gottlieb, chief executive of the National Opera Studio, has circulated this notice:

I am afraid I have some sad news to share.  Jeremy Silver’s wife, Sally, died yesterday morning, after a long battle with a terminal brain tumour. Sally was a regular visitor to the NOS, a great supporter of the Studio, and especially of her husband. We last saw her at a performance of 12:40, which she said she wasn’t going to miss. She loved sharing in the development of young singers and many of you will know she was herself a wonderful singer and artist. She was incredibly brave in the face of her illness, with a fortitude and openness about her situation that we all admired greatly. She will be enormously missed, by her family, her collaborators and her great number of friends.

Sally, who was just 50 years old,  is survived by Jeremy and by their daughter Charlotte.


This is Ilgam Valiev at the end of Carmen in the Ekaterinburg Opera.


During a choreographed fight, he was caught by a sword and bled heavily.

Fortunately, the theatre doctor Irina Sulla was on hand. She patched him up in the interval and Ilgam completed the show. Then she drove him to hospital.

‘Don’t consider myself a hero, I just love my profession very much!!!’ he writes. ‘The hero of this evening was the doctor of the theatre, the master of her xraft Irina Skardino Sulla!!! Thanks to her I safely finished this performance. After, she was in her car taking me to emergency and I was stitched up for my wounds. This is a great happiness for the Ekaterinburg theatre that there is such a doctor.’

Here’s his Facebook account of the event:

Дорогие друзья!!!
Не хотел я раздувать случай на спектакле «Кармен» в Екатеринбурге…видимо лучше мне написать самому , что бы вопросов больше не было и я не успеваю всем отвечать и не успеваю благодарить каждого за сочувствие и за поддержку)
Спектакль «Кармен» в Екатеринбурге один из моих любимых спектаклей. Все драки и трюки нам ставил профессиональный каскадёр и мастер по рукопашному бою… и все было доведено до автоматизма….сколько раз пели этот спектакль и никогда не было такого , всегда драки проходили без крови) Но…. в этот раз что то пошло не так , я получил травму, повреждены верхняя и сильнее всего нижняя губа, а что случилось понять не могу никак. В антракте была оказана врачебная помочь и я доработал спектакль раненным. Никого не обвиняю, видимо я должен был через это пройти. Не считаю себя ГЕРОЕМ , это не геройство…. просто я очень сильно ЛЮБЛЮ свою профессию !!! А героем этого вечера был добрейший души человек, врач- Фониатр театра, мастер своего дела- ИРИНА ВАЛЕРЬЕВНА СУЛЛА !!! Благодаря ей спектакль был спасён и я благополучно доработал до конца этот спектакль. После спектакля она на своей машине повезла меня в травмпункт и мне зашили мои раны. Это великое счастье для Екатеринбургского театра, что есть такой врач , огромное ей спасибо лично от меня и от моей семьи!!!
Сегодня в Уфе показался хирургу в центре «АЛЛОПЛАНТ» . Все будет хорошо, просто придётся две недели не петь(((
Огромное спасибо вам друзья и всего хорошего!!!

It’s not all gloom for M. Macron.

The Quatuor Ébène, one of the sharpest ensembles on earth, have just been named winners of the Frankfurt Music Prize 2019, worth 15,000 Euros and oodles of German prestige.

We hope they can afford the petrol to collect it.#