sat 23/01/2021

mezzos

La finta semplice, Classical Opera, QEH review - consummate musicianship stokes early Mozart

You can always be sure of impeccable casting and spirited playing as Ian Page takes his Classical Opera through Mozart year by year. Just don't expect more than the glimmer of genius to come in 1768, though. It doesn't matter in those admirable...

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Karen Cargill, Simon Lepper, Wigmore Hall review - opulence within bounds

Singing satirist Anna Russell placed the French chanson in her category of songs for singers "with no voice but tremendous artistry". Mezzo Karen Cargill has tremendous artistry but also a very great voice indeed, a mysterious gift which makes her...

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Coraline, Royal Opera, Barbican review - spooky story, underwhelming score

With the eyes of musical fashion turned relentlessly on the calculating stage works of chilly alchemist George Benjamin, hopes ran high for a brighter spark in a new opera by his contemporary Mark-Anthony Turnage. Would Coraline, a music-drama for...

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Hallenberg, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - palpitating Schumann and Berlioz

Violins, violas, wind and brass all standing for Schumann: gimmick or gain? As John Eliot Gardiner told the audience with his usual eloquence while chairs were being brought on for the Berlioz in the first half of last night's concert, Mendelssohn...

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Joyce DiDonato and Brentano Quartet, Wigmore Hall - not enough variety

Even for a singer as driven, communicative and self-reliant as Joyce DiDonato, the song recital with string quartet is a bold step. Whereas an endless repertoire of songs with piano exists, there is virtually nothing off-the-peg for singer and...

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Tara Erraught, Ulrich Pluta, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall

As a scan through the 17-year list of Rosenblatt Recitals quickly reveals, sopranos and tenors come and (often as not) go. Much rarer is the opportunity to enjoy the gifts of a mezzo-soprano near the start of what should, all things being equal, be...

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theartsdesk in Rome: Bartoli and Pappano on home turf

Wherever you are in the world, opportunities to see Cecilia Bartoli perform are hard to come by. A one-off chance to see her sing Mozart in Rome was not to be missed. This was a rare homecoming for Bartoli. Born in Rome, she studied at the city’s...

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Christine Rice, Julius Drake, Middle Temple Hall

To catch the searing desolation of a lover scorned, you need to be the complete artist, with temperament and technique in perfect equilibrium. Mezzo Christine Rice has taken us from Berlioz's Marguerite and Mozart's Donna Elvira at English National...

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DiDonato, Il Pomo d'Oro, Emelyanchev, Barbican

Most singers give recitals, and very nice they are too. But there are some – Bartoli, Florez, Netrebko, Terfel – who really put on a show. Mezzo Joyce DiDonato might just be the queen of this select band, and between the projections, smoke, sound...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter

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...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Jonathan Dove, Ayako Fujiki, Anne Sofie von Otter

 Jonathan Dove: For an Unknown Soldier, An Airmail Letter from Mozart Nicky Spence (tenor), Melvyn Tan (piano), London Mozart Players/Nicholas Cleobury (Signum)Jonathan Dove originally wanted to use soldiers’ letters and diaries in his "cantata...

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The South Bank Show: Joyce DiDonato, Sky Arts

Take Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, and add Handel and Mozart and the Frenchman Massenet, and you have the composers whose operas the Kansas-born mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato has made her own. She's one of the few who has become a classic opera...

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