Sondra Radvanovsky was meant to be singing the title role in Verdi’s Aida on four night next month.

She has pulled out ‘for personal reasons’.

The American Kristin Lewis is her replacement.

Unusual to get a cancellation on Christmas Eve. Must be serious.

The Belgian dramaturg Peter De Caluwe has been awarded a contract renewal at the Théâtre royal de La Monnaie, keeping him there until 2025.

If he stays the course he will outlast the epic tenure of Gerard Mortier.


Caluwe has kept the Monnaie at the forefront of opera attention.


So who’s this with his Dad?

Yes, it’s Bruno Walter. He never changed.


Weirdly unforgettable.

The conductor’s conductor.

Nobody knew the Moscow audience better than Van.

This is 1958, shortly after he won the Tchaik Competition.

We receive arcane requests from time to time that are beyond our capacity to address.

For instance: I have been going out with a ballerina for three years and cannot get past first position.

We passed this on to our pals in tutus.

But this is more our line of country:

Dear Slipped Disc

I love Vaughan Williams to bits, but I’m listening to his Sea Symphony on Hyperion and thinking, wouldn’t we be doing the old boy a favour if we threw the first movement into English Channel and just enjoyed the rest? Would that be a terrible act of national betrayal, akin to Brexit? (signed) VWGroupie

Slipped Disc Doctor replies: Dear VWGroupie, You are not alone. I’m tempted to prescribe, in place of that chundering first movement, The Sea suite by Frank Bridge, very bracing on a winter’s morning.  I think it’s obtainable on the NHS. If not, try Chandos.


Or this:

Dear Slipped Disc

I’m worried that the Mahler wave has peaked and the number of performances is in decline. Some of the young conductors only ever do the show ponies – the 2nd and 8th symphonies.

What can I do about it?

Slipped Disc Doctor replies: We offer counselling. See the receptionist.


Who’s next?