fri 03/04/2020

sopranos

theartsdesk Q&A: soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn

Could English National Opera be about to right the wrong done to a national treasure? Elizabeth Llewellyn was Brixton born - with what she calls a usual childhood, recorders and chime bars at primary school, followed by special opportunities at a...

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Ermonela Jaho, Stephen Maughan, Wigmore Hall review – emotional honesty in rare repertoire

Wigmore Hall audiences don’t usually roar. But when a star soprano who has already made her mark at the world’s major opera houses pays a visit, they do. This was the Albanian-born and now New York-based soprano Ermonela Jaho’s debut at the hall, an...

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Best of 2019: Opera

There's no question about my top opera choice for 2019, especially since the London houses rarely delivered at the same pitch of engagement. It's Graham Vick's walkabout Birmingham Opera Company spectacular, a production of Shostakovich's Lady...

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Damrau, BRSO, Jansons, Barbican review - broad and passionate Strauss

There is no doubting Diana Damrau’s star power. She is not a demonstrative performer, and her voice is small, but the sheer character of her tone, and the passion she invests, make every line special. She is not one to over-sentimentalise either, so...

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Sophie Bevan, Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review - an Alpine blaze

With eyes swivelled towards who'll take over from Esa-Pekka Salonen as the Philharmonia's Principal Conductor in 2021, two of the strongest possibilities are to be found within the orchestra's masthead of associates. Another Finn, Santtu-Matias...

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Car, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tognetti, Milton Court review - a rattlebag of happy collaborations

Presenting the last Mozart symphonies as a three-act opera for orchestra, as Richard Tognetti and his febrile fellow Australians did on Monday, was always going to be a supreme challenge. It worked, as Boyd Tonkin reported here. Since then, the...

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Verdi's Requiem, Royal Opera, Pappano review - all that heaven allows

Here it comes - get a grip. The tears have started flowing in the trio "Quid sum miser" and 12 minutes later, as the tenor embarks on his "Ingemisco" solo, you have to stop the shakes turning into noisy sobbing. The composer then lets you off the...

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theartsdesk in Stockholm: the Birgit Nilsson Prize unites two great Wagnerian sopranos

Why are great Wagnerian singers the most down-to-earth and collegial in the world of opera? Perhaps you have to be to master and sustain the biggest roles in the business, ones which can't be performed in isolation, and a strong constitution helps,...

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Opolais, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - splendid and awful stretches

Latvia is fighting fit. The recent elections did not see the expected victory for the pro-Kremlin Harmony party; support for the European Union and NATO will be well represented. Last week the feisty Lavtian Ambassador to the UK, Baiba Braže, landed...

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Montserrat Caballé (1933-2018): from Bellini to 'Barcelona'

Her special claim to fame was the most luminous pianissimo in the business, but that often went hand in velvet glove with fabulous breath control and a peerless sense of bel canto line. To know Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folch...

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Proms 25 / 26 review - Russian masters, noodling guitar, late-night perfection

Sometimes the more modestly scaled Proms work best in the Albert Hall. Not that there was anything but vast ambition and electrifying communication from soprano Anna Prohaska and the 17-piece Il Giardino Armonico under Giovanni Antonini, making that...

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Ariadne auf Naxos, Opera Holland Park - stylish staging, world-class singing

"When the new god approaches, we surrender, struck dumb". Especially if, for the singer of those words, popular entertainer Zerbinetta, the “new god” takes the shape of same-sex love. Director and designer Antony McDonald locates the real “mystery...

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