sat 21/05/2022

Opera Features

'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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Remembering Graham Vick (1953-2021) - top colleagues on one of the greatest opera directors

theartsdesk

Five weeks have passed since the death of opera director Graham Vick from complications due to Covid-19, shocking even to those of us (un)prepared for the worst, and yet so many of us think about him every day.

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First Person: conductor Enrique Mazzola on Verdi's time-travelling 'Luisa Miller'

Enrique Mazzola

It is difficult to know why some operas succeed while others remain unknown. The reasons can be emotional or historical, or it might be as simple as a poor cast who couldn’t quite launch the opera into the stars. In the case of Luisa Miller, we have the perfect example of a masterpiece which has been a little bit neglected.

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Christa Ludwig, 1928-2021: a selective tribute

David Nice

I only saw Christa Ludwig twice live in concert, but those appearances epitomise her incredible dramatic and vocal rage as well as her peerless artistry in everything she did. The first event was Schubert’s Winterreise with pianist Charles Spencer at the Southbank Centre, at a time when it was less common for women to take on the role of the heavy-hearted wayfarer: the intensity still resonates.

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