The French violinist Renaud Capucon, horrifed by the fire that destroyed part of the iconic cathedral last April, has raised more than 100,000 Euros in a concert tour of six other cathedrals – Chartres, Saint Jean-Baptiste de Lyon, Reims, Saint-Germain des Prés à Paris, Notre-Dame d’Amiens and Saint-André de Bordeaux.

Other artists taking part included the viola players Gérard Caussé and Adrien La Marca and cellists Edgar Moreau, Victor Julien-Lafferiere and Julia Hagen. More than 5,000 people attended the concerts.


Here’s what English National Opera is sharing with its supporters today. The picture is clearly phony since none of ENO’s £1,000+ donors is in the age-group displayed here.

ENO’s message:

Your new Members Room at the London Coliseum

The Members Room at the London Coliseum is now open at all ENO performances.

Open from 90 minutes before the curtain rises, you’ll enjoy complimentary tea and coffee before the performance in a calm and relaxed atmosphere away from the crowds. You’ll also be able to pre-order drinks, which will be ready and waiting for you when you return at the interval.

If you’re frustrated with the never-ending queue for the loos at the interval, we have two private bathrooms within the room.

We also have some treats from our new Official Chocolate Partner, Hotel Chocolat. If you can’t wait until you visit the London Coliseum to try them, you can use our special discount code ENOxx for a 15% discount when you shop online.

Look out for the signs, or ask our lovely Front of House team for directions, and they’ll guide you. Just don’t forget your membership card.

(Unfortunately, we can’t offer the Members Room at Dress Rehearsals – everyone in the audience at the rehearsals are members, and we can’t fit you all in!).

We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with the Members Club at The Ivy. Opera Circle Members and all supporters donating at £1,000 or above now have access to the intimate and exclusive private members club at these times:

· Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday – all day

· Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday – after 8pm

The Israel Philharmonic has just notified subscribers that Yevgeny Kissin has pulled out of the Mehta farewell festival, due to illness.

His replacement in Mozart K488 will be, intriguingly, the Turkish pianist Fazil Say.




In the video message that he sent to Mexico for an award ceremony he could not attend last weekend, Placido Domingo decided to pose in front of a famous portrait of Santa Cecilia, patron saint of music.

In the video, he talks of his early music struggles and successes.

Watch here.

In an arts lead in today’s Daily Telegraph, I summarise a theme from my new book, Genius and Anxiety, demonstrating how Jews – and particularly Jewishness – transformed the arts between the middle of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The article is behind a paywall.

Here’s a short extract:

Jews created vast industries of mass music and visual illusion. Immigrant Jews in America established pop music as the soundtrack of our lives and movies as our most popular distraction. Russian pogrom refugees and African-Americans found aural affinities between minor synagogal modes and plantation blues from the Deep South. Inaugurating the jazz age, Jews found the talent (Louis Armstrong ran errands for a Jewish family) and founded the future major labels, Columbia and RCA. George Gershwin, composer of  the African-American opera Porgy and Bess, named his mode of composition ‘freygish’ – a Yiddish word for asking a Talmudic question. The aria ‘Summertime’ that opens Porgy and Bess is an inversion of a Sabbath-morning synagogue trope. …

My book, Genius and Anxiety, is on sale in the UK edition from this week.

The US edition is published by Simon & Schuster on December 3.



It has taken less than a week for LA Opera to appoint a new general director.

He’s the company’s president and CEO, Christopher Koelsch. LA Opera has been run as a troika since 2012 by Domingo, Koelsch and music director James Conlon. Now it’s a down to a duopoly.

Koelsch is a suit in square designs.

He told staff: ‘I am committed to a vigorous process of reflection and reform. It is imperative that we foster a positive environment that meets the needs of employees as well as the company. We will fall short of our goals unless every member of our community feels heard, valued and respected. I am committed to ensuring that they do.’

The Teatro San Carlo has named Stéphane Lissner as its next Sovrintendente, starting April 2020.

Lissner, 66, is on his last legs as head of the Paris Opéra. Before that, he was Sovrintendente at La Scala.

All other considerations aside, what this means is that three citadels of Italian opera are now in foreign hands – Dominique Meyer at La Scala, Alexander Pereira at Maggio Musicale in Florence and now Lissner in Naples.

It could turn into a political timebomb.


The Norman family and the city of Augusta, Georgia, have announced plans for Jessye’s funeral, starting Thursday.

Among the artists taking part are Audra McDonald, Harolyn Blackwell, and Lawrence Brownlee.


Thursday, October 10, 2019

10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Jessye Norman’s Public Viewing

Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
1260 Wrightsboro Road
Augusta, GA 30901

Friday, October 11, 2019

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Jessye Norman’s Public Viewing

Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
1260 Wrightsboro Road,
Augusta, GA 30901


Friday, October 11, 2019

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Honorary Street Naming Ceremony to Jessye Norman Boulevard

Jessye Norman School of the Arts (JNSA)
739 Green Street
Augusta, GA 30901
*Followed by a reception in the Ann and Ellis Johnson Gallery of Art (at JNSA)

Saturday, October 12, 2019

1:00 p.m.

Jessye Norman’s Homecoming Service

The William B. Bell Auditorium
712 Telfair Street
Augusta, GA 30901
*Doors open and seating will begin at 12:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

4:00 p.m.

The Jessye Norman School of the Arts’ Annual Benefit Concert: “An Evening with Audra McDonald”

Miller Theater
708 Broad Street (Downtown Augusta)
Augusta, GA 30901

J. Norman Funeral Service
c/o Williams Funeral Home
2945 Old Tobacco Road
Hephzibah, GA 30815
*Please direct resolutions and/or proclamations, cards, and condolences to the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, 739 Green Street, Augusta, GA 30901 to be read at the service and/or provided to the family.

*In lieu of flowers, foundation endowment gifts in honor of Jessye Norman can be made at

*Donations may be sent to the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, 739 Green Street, Augusta, GA 30901.

As foretold by Slipped Disc two weeks ago, English National Opera has recruited Annilese Miskimmon from Norway National Opera and Ballet as its next artistic director, starting September 2020.

Her tenure is unlikely to be a long one.

Here’s what’s coming out of the Coliseum bunker to the shrinking handful of private supporters.


As you are one of our most valued supporters, I thought that you should be the first to know the very exciting news of our new Artistic Director.

Annilese will be joining us from Den Norske Opera and Ballet/Norwegian National Opera & Ballet where she has been Director of Opera since August 2017. She will remain as Oslo’s Director of Opera until the end of the 19/20 season, officially joining us on 1 September 2020. However, she will start to collaborate on our future seasons from January.

Prior to Oslo, she was General Manager/Artistic Director of Den Jyske Opera/Danish National Opera since 2012 and from 2005 to 2013 was the Artistic Director of Opera Theatre Company Ireland. She is from Bangor, Northern Ireland and studied English Literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge and Arts Management at City University, London. She has worked extensively as a director in many prestigious international opera houses.

Annilese Miskimmon said: ‘I am honoured and delighted to be joining ENO, a company whose consistently ambitious and thrilling work I have loved for all my opera-going life. I can’t wait to join the world-class artistic, music and technical teams at ENO. It has been a great privilege and pleasure to lead Norway’s national opera company over these past 3 years and an equal joy to now join ENO.’

Stuart Murphy, CEO, ENO said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to appoint Annilese as ENO’s new Artistic Director. Annilese understands ENO’s significance as the artistically adventurous, creatively daring national opera house for everyone. Her values of excellence, kindness and impact chime absolutely with ours and she is as committed to broadening out opera as we all are. Annilese has innate artistic flair and a deep knowledge of opera, so her vivid vision for ENO will be welcomed here with open arms.’

Everyone at ENO is absolutely delighted that Annilese is joining the ENO Family, and I look forward to introducing you to her very soon.


Leonard Cohen, who stood by Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, wrote this song on the Atonement Day liturgy:


The Israeli songwriter Naomi Shemer wrote ‘If Only’ during that terrible war, an uptake on the Beatles’ Let It Be.

Shlomo Carlebach, the singing rabbi, brought his own take to liturgy.

The tragically shortlived Ofra Haza sings a Yemenite Yom Kippur prayer, Im Nin’alu


Feel free to add your own.

Daniel Barenboim has not been seen in Israel for several years, neither as a performer, nor at his wife’s Jerusalem chamber music festival.

The reasons are all too political.

But yesterday he was there, at Heichal Hatarbut, applauding his best pal Zubin Mehta in one of his last nights with the Philharmonic.

private photo

UPDATE: The pianist Denis Matsuev has posted a backstage photo, with the Bolshoi’s Ekaterina Shipulina: