fri 07/10/2022

Opera Features

First Persons: Glyndebourne's sustainability advisers Sara and Jeremy Eppel on creating eco-friendly opera

Sara And Jeremy

Like the beacons saving ships from the Cornish rocks in Ethel Smyth’s opera, The Wreckers, which opened this year’s Glyndebourne Festival, the Sussex opera house has itself become a beacon of more environmentally sustainable opera. In 2021, with the COP 26 Climate Change Conference raising the profile of businesses’ efforts to cut their carbon emissions, Glyndebourne was a pioneer among opera houses and joined the global Race to Zero.

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First Person: Michael Volpe on the utopian thinking behind his new If Opera company

Michael Volpe

“But what’s in it for you?”. It was a simple enough question, asked by an accomplished opera singer. It stemmed from hearing that the new version of the Iford Arts opera company I was running was aiming for a different kind of guiding philosophy: it would have a repertory ensemble, who would be paid weekly wages and would work under a clearly defined code of conduct that placed them front and centre of our organisation, attempting to return agency to them.

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theartsdesk in Zurich - forging a brilliant new Ring

David Nice

Could this be the summer Bayreuth finally sees a new Ring production that comes anywhere near its last great epic success, Harry Kupfer’s, which ran from 1988-92? If so, it’s been pipped to the post by a rather more comfortable and bijou opera house on the other side of the lake to the refuges where Wagner worked on more masterpieces – beautiful sites both, even if the “asyl” next to the Villa Wesendonck is no more..

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'How that music was created remains to me a complete mystery': John Tomlinson on fellow Lancastrian Harrison Birtwistle

John Tomlinson

It has been a difficult couple of years for us in the world of opera, losing several of our most respected and admired colleagues who have inspired us over several decades.

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First Person: Femi Elufowoju Jr. on directing Verdi's 'Rigoletto'

Femi Elufowoju Jr

I find that my experience of living as a Black man in the UK cannot help but inform the way I approach my work and never more so than with Verdi’s Rigoletto.

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First Persons: Susan Bullock, Gerald Finley and Stephen Higgins on a 'Bluebeard's Castle' with a difference

theartsdesk

Tonight a version of Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle launches in the intimate surroundings of Stone Nest, a former Welsh chapel in London's West End. Its conductor along with soprano Susan Bullock and baritone Gerald FInley, alternating in the roles of Judith and Bluebeard with Gweneth Ann Rand and Michael Mayes, discuss its special claim on our attention.

 

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'Everyone who played for him always gave their very best': remembering Bernard Haitink (1929-2021)

theartsdesk

Few musicians get to stage-manage a dignified departure from the world.

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Royal Opera House lullabies for Little Amal

David Nice

“I want to tell her that people will be good,” Tewodros Aregawe of Phosphoros Theatre confided to us as Little Amal closed her eyes on the giant bed made up for her in the Paul Hamlyn Hall, “that all the people with kind eyes who have walked alongside her and listened to her story will be louder than those who wish she wasn’t there”.

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'Rest now, you God': remembering bass-baritone Norman Bailey (1933-2021)

theartsdesk

Few singers really change your life. Norman Bailey did that for me [writes David Nice of theartsdesk].

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Summer seasons in a Covid world: five opera company movers and shakers reflect

theartsdesk

The bleakest time of all for live music during the Covid crisis came in the first four and a half months of this year.

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