From an interview today with ForumOpera:

Il se murmure que vous allez chanter ensemble Siegfried.

Siegfried ? Anna et moi envisageons de chanter ensemble Tristan und Isolde mais pas Siegfried. Ce n’est pas pour maintenant, juste un projet…Un projet énorme. Nous avons le temps. Déjà nous devons l’apprendre car la partition est gigantesque. Nous commencerons vraisemblablement par le 2e acte en version de concert. Nous avons besoin de temps. Anna va chanter Lohengrin cet été à Bayreuth. Je n’ai jamais chanté de répertoire allemand. Je ne suis pas aussi doué qu’Anna. Elle peut chanter merveilleusement dans n’importe quelle langue. J’ai besoin d’étudier davantage.

Yusif says it’s a huge plan, not least because he’s never sung in German before.

Good luck to them both.


Read on here.

Radio France has been severely criticised by the official auditor, the Cour de Comptes, for failing to act on a previous recommendation in 2014 to make its orchestras more efficient.

Although staffing across two orchestras has been reduced to 325 ermanent posts,  the players are working less than 1,000 hours a year – or 20 hours a week.

The standard public salary in France – teacher, nurse, policeman – is for 1,600 hours a year.

The Cour’s demands for efficiencies in its last report were kicked into the long grass.

This time, President Macron is under pressure to show progress.




The disgraced former president of Munich’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Siegfried Mauser, has been ordered to pay back 21,000 Euros after he was found to have abused his state position.

Mauser stepped down as president in 2014 to become head of the Salzburg Mozarteum.

But the Munich Administrative Court has found that he arranged to keep his name on the Hochschule’s faculty as a teacher. And the Hochschule billed his students around  277 Euro per hour for tuition – all of which is money he now has to pay back.

Apart from that Mauser, now 64, was charged soon after with sexual assault and sentenced to two years and nine months imprisonment, which he has not yet served.

He could spend the rest of his life in litigation.


John Duran, the mayor of West Hollywood, has resigned as chair of the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus after three singers accused him in the LA Times of ‘inappropriate touching’.

Duran denies the allegations and says that, after 20 years, he was planning to leave anyway at the end of the season.

He has been the chorus’s main fundraiser. This will hurt.

More here.

Luca Pisaroni tells New York magazine:

Everybody uses supplements to boost the immune system and to help against inflammation. Curcuma [turmeric] is anti-inflammatory and it’s something we all get because it helps the immune system. We all try to use natural things — as organic and natural as possible. I discovered this because another singer told me that it was a very natural anti-inflammatory. When you are tired because you have a very intense schedule or you feel like your throat is tired, this is a wonderful thing to help bring things back to normal. We all try to stay healthy because, for us, if we get a cold or a sore throat, it’s really hard. The problem isn’t that we can’t sing on a cold. You can sing on a cold but you need to make adjustments, and there is a saying in opera that you don’t get better singing. When you have a cold, the best thing to do would be to shut up and not do anything, but sometimes you just have to perform when you’re not 100 percent.


Oh, and all opera singers, both sexes, are wearing these to work and play:



The Met’s showbizzy publicist is working overtime scraping barrels.

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine has a food string to her career.

She has come out on a radio show as radical vegan.

Raised vegetarian, she says she transitioned to vegan when her daughter was born.

Hard to please at post-concert parties.




The president of the New York Philharmonic will be jury president at a new conducting competition at the Philharmonie de Paris in the middle of March 2020.

There will be 12 contestants – no men need apply.

The contest is the joint idea of conductor Claire Gibault and the ambitious Philharmonie DG, Laurent Bayle.

The jury will comprise 3 men and 3 women.

In a public institution, this event could be challenged under EU discrimination law.




We have been notified of the death of the German soprano, Stella Kleindienst.

She was 68 and had been married for 35 years to the distinguished opera director Johnnes Schaaf.

Stella sang Cherubino in Schaaf’s 1987 Covent Garden production of Marriage of Figaro.


Spanish media are reporting that Óscar Vaquerizo, conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Murcia region and professor at the Conservatory of Silla, has been chosen to head one of the mainstream parties into the coming local elections.

This could be an upbeat campaign.

The 12-tone world will never be the same again.

‘His music always made you think/it never made you smile’.


information received:

On June 26th 2019, the Belgian conductor Etienne Siebens will take over from Daniele Gatti the production of ‘De Staat’ by Louis Andriessen with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. It will be his RCO debut.