thu 23/02/2017

Opera Buzz

Public's chance to be an Olivier Awards 2014 judge

ismene Brown

It's an offer from paradise for the keen arts-lover - free tickets to up to 30 must-see stage shows over the next year. The Olivier Awards traditionally include "public" members on their expert panels of professionals who assess the stage arts each year, and the Dance and Opera panels are looking for their public judges for the 2014 awards, which will judge shows starting from this March.

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There are more theatre-goers than football-goers - arts awards defiant

ismene Brown

Henry Goodman, Imelda Staunton and Aidan McArdle won the big acting prizes while Akram Khan and Opera North carried off the dance and opera gongs at the annual Theatrical Management Association awards - now called Theatre Awards UK. Held yesterday at the medieval Guildhall in the City of London, the awards highlight the best of theatre, dance and opera in Britain's touring theatres selected by panels of critics.

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Opinion: Bazalgette is welcome at the Arts Council

ismene Brown

So the chairman of Big Brother TV becomes chairman of the Arts Council. Is it good or bad that Sir Peter Bazalgette will now hold the purse-strings for our publicly supported arts, the most debated, the most fragile, the most ephemeral elements of our national cultural consciousness, the most opposite of the time-wasting that is reality TV?

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Arise, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Zaha Hadid

ismene Brown

Zaha Hadid, visionary architect of the London Olympics Aquatic Centre, becomes a Dame and three new knights of the arts are created in the Queen's Jubilee Birthday Honours announced this morning.

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A new opera about sex trafficking

Glyn Môn Hughes

The oldest profession is at the heart of one of the most popular operas in the canon. But the price put on a woman's sexuality will not be quite so glamorously portrayed in a new opera as it is in La Traviata. Ensemble 10/10, the contemporary music ensemble of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. will premiere Anya17, a new piece by Adam Gorb based on an arresting, highly disturbing libretto by Ben Kaye.

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New Year Honours: Sir Tony Pappano, Helena Bonham Carter CBE - and Sir Big Brother

ismene Brown

Commercial TV's most influential and controversial figure Peter Bazalgette, mastermind of TV's Big Brother, Ground Force, Deal or No Deal and Ready, Steady, Cook!, is one of four arts knights announced in the New Year Honours. Bazalgette becomes a Sir alongside the Royal Opera House's musical director Antonio Pappano, Apple's chief designer Jonathan Ive and V&A Museum chairman and arts patron Paul Ruddock.

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Opera North: making London's flesh creep

david Nice

A disappointed man from Sheffield asked on a blog why Opera North was spoiling pampered London with two of its major productions and an offshoot this season when the rest of its vicinity was going operatically hungry. I can see his point, but we down here need to see what remarkable work this company can achieve (though we could always take a train to Leeds for the weekend, where there's plenty to see and do).

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Hall family and Wales shine in nationwide stage awards

ismene Brown

Port Talbot’s staging of The Passion with Michael Sheen won the highest accolade at the Theatre Management Association Awards yesterday, which honour the best of work touring Britain beyond London during the 2010-11 season.

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Farewell, Salvatore Licitra

david Nice Licitra, a true Italian tenor

The Swiss-born Sicilian tenor has died, far too young at the age of 43, 10 days after an accident on his Vespa. He was one of the best and most stylish of his rare breed, even if the scrummage to find an heir to Pavarotti sometimes pushed him into a corner. I'll not forget his Alvaro in Verdi's La forza del Destino at Covent Garden: here after so long was another true Italian tenor with a golden middle range who could at least act with his voice.

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Rusalka returns to the Glyndebourne lake

david Nice Kiss him to death: Dina Kuznetsova's betrayed water sprite prepares for the love-death of her Prince (Pavel Cernoch)

It's a bit late for a straight review, I know, as this Glyndebourne Festival Opera revival of one of the most ingenious and (hopefully) enduring productions the company has seen in recent years opened three weeks ago. I was down there yesterday giving a pre-performance talk, buoyed in the knowledge that Dvořák's heart-piercing tale of a water nymph betrayed in her quest for a human soul would once again have the benefit of director Melly Still's special vision. But could this year's soprano...

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