Saturday, 28 July 2007

Viktoria Mullova plays Bach

Not an overwhelming success in Hugo's opinion, Mullova's Bach CD nevertheless gained a 5 star review and was record of the month for the BBC Music Magazine:

Prom 14: The Seasons

Hugo's inaugural live review for us was an outstanding performance of Haydn's lesser known oratorio by Roger Norrington:

Prom 13: Brett Dean

A world premiere by Brett Dean overshadows Beethoven 7:

Prom 15: Verdi's Macbeth

I realise that for many this was a wonderful evening, but I sat through it with the critical edition of the score in my hands and wondered many times where certain gestures, tempi and note lengths were coming from:

La traviata at Opera Holland Park

I rather liked Holland Park's production of Traviata. Unlike Richard Eyre's heavy ROH production, it has a light touch that is in keeping with the opera itself:

American Jubilee: CD review

Erich Kunzel conducts the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra - sometimes ponderously - in American music:

Prom 19: Halle/Elder - Strauss, Britten and Nielsen

Evidently a mixed affair, not helped by the late indisposition of Lisa Milne:

L'amore dei tre Re opens at Opera Holland Park

One of the highlights of the year: Opera Holland Park have uncovered a lost masterpiece:

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

The Making of Music review

Hugo waded through all six hours of James Naughtie's new history of music:

Lucio Silla DVD and Madama Butterfly CD

The sensational latest release from ROH Heritage: Victoria de los Angeles in Madama Butterfly:

Not a captivating production, but a musically riveting DVD of Mozart's early opera seria Lucio Silla from Salzburg:

Rigoletto: Royal Opera House, Patrizia Ciofi

A very mixed affair, the opening night of the current revival of Rigoletto at Covent Garden:

Cosi fan tutte: Royal Opera House, Colin Davis, Thomas Allen, Rebecca Evans

An excellent opening night for the latest revival of Jonathan Miller's production of Cosi fan tutte:

Ana James: interview with the Jette Parker Young Artist

It was good to catch up with Royal Opera Young Artist Ana James.

First night of the Proms 2007: BBC Prom 1:

William attended the First Night of the Proms, an evidently mixed affair, with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Elgar's Cello Concerto only partially successful:

Prom 4 review: Antonio Pappano, Colin Lee, Joyce DiDonato, Janice Watson, Academy of Sanata Cecilia, Rome, BBC Proms

Although it's hard to get to grips with Berio's Sinfonia, the second half of this Prom was astonishing.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Bryn Terfel in Sweeney Todd; Rebecca Evans, Patrizia Ciofi and Lawrence Brownlee interviews; CD label launch

First of all, a reminder to enter our exciting competition:

It's been another busy week. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the new release from Michael Storrs Music, the new CD label:

I was disappointed by the RFH's Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel:

I enjoyed interviewing Rebecca Evans, Patrizia Ciofi and Lawrence Brownlee:

Don't forget the competition! The prizes are great.

Until next time, take care.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

The big update...

It has been a time of hyperactivity here at, and the blog hasn't been updated for ages! Still, there's plenty to enjoy from the worlds of opera and classical music in the UK.

First of all, don't miss the opportunity to enter our competition to win a copy of James Naughtie's new history of music for the BBC. This six-CD set is a fabulous prize!

Tosca opened at the Royal Opera House the other night, with Violeta Urmana in the title role:

Michael Ball was dazzling - a real stage animal - in the ill-fated Kismet at ENO:

Colin Davis once more excelled in Berlioz, performing Benvenuto Cellini with the LSO:

I interviewed the absolutely gorgeous Welsh soprano Rebecca Evans about her forthcoming appearance as Despina in Cosi fan tutte at the ROH - her last time in the role - as well as talking about the first time she met Bryn Terfel (before he was famous!):

We review Stolen Notes, the CD from the new record label Michael Storrs Music - all great Verdi arias and excerpts:

Renee Fleming returned to London to sing the title role in Massenet's Thais in concert at the ROH:

Alfred Brendel joined Christoph von Dohnanyif or Beethoven at the newly refurbished Royal Festival Hall:

Opera Holland Park excelled in Rossini's The Barber of Seville:

Una-Frances reviewed Marin Alsop's unusual presentation of The Rite of Spring:

and Agnes heard Charles Mackerras and Mitsuko Uchida performing Mozart and Janacek:

In the next week, expect reviews of Rigoletto, Sweeney Todd, Lakme and the First Night of the Proms, as well as interviews with Lawrence Brownlee about singing Rossini's Stabat Mater at the Proms and Patrizia Ciofi on Rigoletto at Covent Garden!