wed 24/05/2017

Opera Interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter

david Nice

What's a world-renowned mezzo-soprano in her middle years to do? Slimline of voice, tall and handsome in person with piercing and slightly intimidating blue eyes, Stockholm-born Anne Sofie von Otter isn't likely to sing what is known in the operatic world as "all those old bag parts", though she's a good enough actress to have carried off a few.

Read more...

Save ENO: The Chorus Speaks

david Nice

"Just listen". That's an imperative, of course, but it can be a very fair and reasonable one if the tone is right. It was Claudio Abbado's encouragement to his Lucerne Festival Orchestra players to make chamber music writ large. It also sounds persuasive and not at all militant coming from the mouths of ENO chorus members as their plea to the dramatic changes proposed by Chief Executive Officer Cressida Pollock, appointed a year ago.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Elizabeth Watts

david Nice

Not many people write conspicuously brilliant tweets, but Elizabeth Watts is someone who does. Working on the most demanding aria on her stunning new CD of operatic numbers and cantatas by the lesser-known of the two Scarlattis, father Alessandro rather than son Domenico, she tweeted: “Good news – I can sing 88 notes without a breath. Bad news – Scarlatti wrote 89.”

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Edward Gardner

jasper Rees

It’s odd seeing the whole of Edward Gardner, as upright as a guardsman until a passionate passage unleashes a repertoire of fierce jabs, deft feints and rapid thrusts. For nine years Gardner's main post was on the podium in the pit of the London Coliseum where all you could see were his disembodiied hands and, slowly silvering over the course of his tenure, his schoolboy haircut.

Read more...

10 Questions for Mezzo-Soprano Alice Coote

thomas H Green

Alice Coote (b.1968) is one of the world’s leading mezzo-sopranos. She grew up in Cheshire, born to two painters, Mark Coote and Mary Moss, and learned her craft at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio. Her breakthrough came in 2000 when, within the time frame of a fortnight, she sang Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina at the Edinburgh Festival, and Poppea in Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea at the ENO.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Jonathan Nott

david Nice

When I entered the light and spacious chief conductor’s room in Bamberg’s Konzerthalle, Jonathan Nott was poised with a coloured pencil over one of the toughest of 20th century scores, Varèse’s Arcana.

Read more...

10 Questions for Soprano Sandrine Piau

Sebastian Scotney

French soprano Sandrine Piau, born in 1965 in a south-western suburb of Paris, has an agile, supple voice. It soars, so critics reach readily for all those bird metaphors: nightingale, sparrow, "she leaves the earth on wings of song" and so on.

Read more...

10 Questions for Conductor Vladimir Jurowski

Jessica Duchen

The Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski, chief conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, heads its major new series devoted to the music of Sergei Rachmaninov, in context with his forerunners and successors.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Tenor Michael Fabiano

david Nice

You can usually trust the buzz around rehearsals. From Glyndebourne, five weeks into preparation for La traviata, which opens tomorrow, one of the team working on Tom Cairns’ new production declared in an e-mail conversation that newcomer soprano Venera Gimadieva was possibly the most definitive Violetta yet.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo-soprano and Director Brigitte Fassbaender

Sebastian Scotney

The mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, who will be 75 on Thursday 3 July, was unsurpassed for dramatic impact and presence in roles such as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, during a singing career which spanned from the early 1960s to the mid-1990s.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Woyzeck, Old Vic review - John Boyega’s thrillingly powerful...

Welcome back, John Boyega. Less than a decade ago, he was an unknown budding British stage actor, then he took off as a global film star thanks to...

Sebestyén, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, RFH

This was a very fine concert indeed, plus a lot more. The first half was a very carefully planned series of unveilings around the theme of...

McLaren review - illuminating portrait of New Zealand's...

We’ve recently seen how Formula One heroes Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda and James Hunt can become box office gold, in the form of Senna and...

The Best Albums of 2017

Disc of the Day reviews new albums, week in, week out, all year. Below are the albums that our writers gave four or five stars,...

The Best Plays in London

London is the theatre capital of the world, with more than 50 playhouses offering theatrical entertainment. From the mighty National Theatre to...

Tristan & Yseult, Brighton Festival review - playful and...

Tristan & Yseult has become something of a calling card for Kneehigh, which was founded in 1980 and is now the unofficial National...

Adam Buxton's Bowie Bug, Brighton Festival review - a c...

It’s a tricky business, approaching comedy on a day when a national tragedy has just occurred. Comedian and broadcaster Adam Buxton is aware of...

CD: Mark Mulcahy - The Possum in the Driveway

Initially released to coincide with Record Shop Day (we’re in the UK so yes, it’s a shop, thanks very much), we’re a little late out of the blocks...

The best TV to watch this week

So much to view, so little time... theartsdesk sorts the TV-wheat from the telly-chaff.

Tuesday 23 May...

Rich Hall's Hoedown, Brighton Festival review - country...

Brighton is getting a bit above itself tonight. There’s a weird full moon atmosphere in the Theatre Royal, even though it’s not a full moon. At...