sat 15/12/2018

sopranos

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 Anthony McDonald locates the real “mystery...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Martin, Martinů, Vivaldi, 4 Girls 4 Harps

 The Secret Mass: Choral works by Frank Martin and Bohuslav Martinů Danish National Vocal Ensemble/Marcus Creed (OUR Recordings)We're lucky to be able to hear Frank Martin’s Mass for two four-part choirs at all; this most fastidious and self-...

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Così fan tutte, Opera Holland Park review - the pain behind the prettiness

A proper production of Così fan tutte should make you feel as if the script for a barrel-scraping Carry On film has been hi-jacked by Shakespeare and Chekhov – working as a team. The story is so silly (even nasty), the music so sublime. When, in...

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Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall review - the eternal and ephemeral feminine

When you have 21 women to present in song, but only a couple among the 14 poets and none to represent them out of the 15 composers idolising or giving them a voice, you need two strong defenders of their sex at the helm. Lucy Crowe and Anna Tilbrook...

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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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