sat 11/07/2020

Opera Features

Extracts: John Tusa - Pain in the Arts

ismene Brown

In the midst of ferment as the arts world faces fast-shrinking public subsidy, Sir John Tusa, former managing director of the BBC World Service and the Barbican Arts Centre, publishes this week a brisk new book that urges arts and politicians to reject the emotive clichés and lazy token battles and focus on what matters. In Pain in the Arts, Tusa urges that both sides take personal responsibility for an essential part of human life.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Dresden and Berlin: Happy Birthday, Richard Strauss

David Nice

Richard Strauss was born in Munich 150 years ago today. Christian Thielemann is celebrating the fact by conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden in the juiciest of all-Strauss operatic potpourris, a festive concert to be held in the city’s glorious Semperoper. What wouldn’t I give to hear Anja Harteros, alongside Anne Schwanewilms the loveliest of Strauss sopranos, and chaste nymph Daphne’s metamorphosis into a laurel in a peerless operatic epilogue?

Read more...

theartsdesk in Budapest: Magyar Strauss

Roderic Dunnett

If the Hungarian State Opera wanted to demonstrate that it is now back on top form, it could not have chosen a better way than this six-opera celebration of Richard Strauss’s 150th anniversary. Mahler conducted here before moving to Hamburg, Vienna and New York. Filled with new ambition, after a contractual shake-up under General Manager Szilveszter Ókovács, Budapest displays revitalised strength and amazing depth in all departments.

Read more...

Caspar Gomez hits Glyndebourne Opera Festival

Caspar Gomez

It’s certainly different from the Glastonbury shuttle, I’ll tell you that. I’m sitting with Finetime on the minibus that takes festival-goers from Lewes Station to the opening day of Glyndebourne Opera Festival 2014.

Finetime’s looking very much the peacock today, a suit of many colours and he’s even wearing an earring with a blue feather. I clank my Asahi beer against his.

“The first of too many,” I say.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Robin Ticciati

David Nice

Poised when I met him six weeks ago between 40th anniversary celebrations of  the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, of which he has been a shaping chief conductor for the past five years  and putting his new music directorship of Glyndebourne into action, Robin Ticciati hardly seemed like a man in positions of power, more an idealistic youth with a touch of the dreamer softening a powerful intellect.

Read more...

Remembering Sir George Christie (1934-2014)

Brian Dickie

I started work at Glyndebourne in 1962 at the age of 20 and remained there for 27 years, for the last seven of which I was General Administrator. Throughout that period George was Chairman of Glyndebourne Productions, and my ultimate boss. 

Read more...

theartsdesk in Sydney: Beyond the Cringe

alexandra Coghlan

I hadn’t heard the term “cultural cringe” until I went to live in Australia. Holiday encounters had been so full of sunshine, art, water and music that it hadn’t occurred to me to doubt the cultural confidence and energy of the nation that gave us Patrick White and Peter Carey, Baz Luhrmann and Brett Whiteley, Joan Sutherland and Robert Hughes. But once I did, the phrase was everywhere.

Read more...

A silver rose for Glyndebourne's 80th

David Nice

Der Rosenkavalier, Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s 1911 “comedy for music” about love, money and masquerading in a putative 18th-century Vienna, is a repertoire staple around the world.

Read more...

Kiri at 70

theartsdesk

Even more deserving of the sobriquet “the beautiful voice” than Renée Fleming, the natural successor who virtually copyrighted it, Kiri te Kanawa was one of the great sopranos of the 20th century. With those big, candid brown eyes and bone structure she’s still a beauty, as the images of her cameo role in the Royal Opera’s La Fille du régiment underline. The voice now – well, as I wrote in my review of Monday’s opening, it’s what you’d expect of a 70 year old with form....

Read more...

theartsdesk in Bordeaux: Bottoms up for Rameau

David Nice

Jean-Philippe Rameau, the most radical and inventive of French composers before Berlioz, died in Paris 250 years ago this September. 16 years later a gem among theatres opened its doors for the first time with a long evening’s entertainment including Racine’s Athalie, supported by an incidental score from the resident music master Franz Beck.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Love Sarah review - missing key ingredients

The cakes look great, but it's back to the recipe books in almost...

theartsdesk Q&A: horn player Sarah Willis

Horn player Sarah Willis joined the Berlin Philharmonic in 2001. She juggles her position with spells of teaching, interviewing soloists and...

theartsdesk Radio Show 29 - Morricone, Moroccan psychedelia...

Peter Culshaw’s periodic global music...

Classical music/Opera direct to home 20 - more signs of musi...

So, arts people, you’ve had precisely two days to get your outdoor events ready, so where are they? Well, it seems that Glyndebourne had advance...

Scoob! review - mostly bark, little bite

Scooby fans have waited over 50 years for a proper big screen...

Album: JARV IS – Beyond the Pale

National treasure Jarvis Cocker recently claimed in an interview with the New York Times that...

theartsdesk on Vinyl 58: Joy Division, Alma, Prince, African...

Lockdown’s easing and the record shops are opening here and there. So, to help...

Finding The Way Back review - alcoholism on the rebound

Gavin O’Connor has made a career out of sturdy films that make grown men cry. His best was Warrior - a hulking, tear-jerking...

The Golden Age of Modern Spanish Art, Colnaghi review - the...

When Picasso left Barcelona for Paris in 1900, he took what by...