Friday, 15 February 2008

Lucia di Lammermoor at ENO: Barry Banks and Anna Christy Interview

A final reminder of our interview with tenor Barry Banks and soprano Anna Christy about English National Opera's new production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, which opens tomorrow night:

Sunday, 10 February 2008

LSO, LPO and Philharmonia announce 2008-09 seasons; Natalie Dessay's Italian Opera Arias CD; Kate Royal in The Magic Flute at the ROH

It's been a bumper week for orchestral news in London. The LSO, LPO and Philharmonia have all announced their 2008-09 seasons, each of which includes at least one major themed series.

In addition, we've reviewed DVDs of Eugene Onegin with Renee Fleming and Das Rheingold with Karajan; CDs of The Bach Dynasty and Natalie Dessay in Italian Opera Arias; and Kate Royal and Christopher Maltman in Die Zauberflote at Covent Garden.

We've also interviewed soprano Anna Christy and tenor Barry Banks about ENO's first-ever production of Lucia di Lammermoor, which opens next Saturday.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela headline the Royal Festival Hall's 08-09 season

The Southbank Centre has announced the line-up for its 2008-09 Shell Classic International Series.
Featuring several of the world's greatest orchestras, conductors and soloists, it will see the Royal Festival Hall play host to several of the same orchestras as this season as well as a mouth-watering visit from the Vienna Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez conducting his Ensemble Intercontemporain and Gustavo Dudamel leading the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuala.

Fleming and Hvorostovsky in Decca's DVD of Eugene Onegin from the Met; The Mikado opens at ENO; The London Philharmonic announces the 08-09 season

Wonderful new DVD of Eugene Onegin from the Met:

The LPO announces 08-09:

Sarah Tynan and Robert Murray in ENO's The Mikado:

Friday, 1 February 2008

Madam Butterfly opens at ENO; La traviata cast B at Covent Garden; LSO Live's new Mozart Requiem; Lang Lang on the South Bank Show

Judith Howarth has opened in the ENO revival of Anthony Minghella's production of Puccini's Madam Butterfly:

Norah Amsellem and Charles Castronovo star in Cast B of the ROH's revival of Verdi's La traviata:

Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra's new recording of Mozart's Requiem:

News that Lang Lang will feature on the South Bank Show next weekend:

Monday, 28 January 2008

Opera Review: ROH The Magic Flute / Die Zauberflöte

First night of David McVicar's production of The Magic Flute, now back at Covent Garden for the third revival:

Simon Keenlyside is always magnificent as Papageno, but it felt a bit like some of the other singers were resorting to stock gestures and to walking through the production.

The chorus didn't sing as lustily as is usual for them, and somehow there just wasn't the fire or warmth that Mackerras brought to the piece last time.

Tomorrow: an interview with Sarah Tynan and Robert Murray about The Mikado at ENO.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

An interview with Sarah Chang

Our latest interview is an in-depth chat with the violinist Sarah Chang about her career to date, her forthcoming appearance with the London Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto, her new recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and her love of London.

Read more here:

Also, don't forget to read our latest CD reviews, which include:
Gerald Finley's new Ives CD on Hyperion
Simon Rattle's new recording of Pictures at an Exhibition on EMI
Mozart's Davide penitente on Naxos
Tippett's Complete Piano Music on Hyperion
Coming this week:
The Magic Flute
Madam Butterfly
LPO/Adam Fischer

Thursday, 24 January 2008

An interview with Simon Keenlyside about The Magic Flute

An interview with Britain's leading baritone, Simon Keenlyside, about forthcoming appearances in The Magic Flute, Don Carlo, Il barbiere di Siviglia and Wozzeck, plus his new disc of operetta arias.

Quite a number of tickets remain for the Covent Garden Flute performances, so now's your chance to witness Keenlyside at work in one of his greatest roles, Papageno.

Monday, 21 January 2008

BBC SO axes Composer Weekends in favour of Composer Days

In a surprise move, the BBCSO has announced that it will no longer continue its annual January Composer Weekends beyond 2008.
Instead, there will be Composer Days scattered between January and March, next year focusing on Stockhausen, Murail and Xenakis.

More here:

Any reactions to this decision?

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Aimard's The Art of Fugue on Deutsche Grammophon

An exciting new release this week of Pierre-Laurent Aimard's recording of Bach's The Art of Fugue on Deutsche Grammphon.


'You have to wonder how happy the executives were at Deutsche Grammophon when their new star-signing, pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, plumped for Bach's elusive Art of Fugue for the first recording of his exclusive contract with the label. One can imagine from a pianist renowned for his intelligence, as well as formidable technique, this was unlikely to have been a choice of repertoire that was taken lightly.'

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Anna Netrebko withdraws from another performance of Traviata at the ROH; Peter Grimes opens at Opera North; Julia Fischer on Pentatone

Sadly, the Royal Opera House has announced the indisposition of Anna Netrebko for the third performance of La traviata at 3pm tomorrow. I feel genuinely sorry for all those who have missed her interpretation of the role, which, although unorthodox in many respects, has just the visceral quality that is needed for the part:

Phyllida Lloyd's award-winning production of Peter Grimes has returned to Opera North, currently at the Grand Theatre in Leeds. In February it will be seen in London at Sadler's Wells, where I saw it last year with great pleasure:

Finally, a highly-recommended new Mozart disc from Julia Fischer, Yakov Kreizberg and Gordan Nikolitch:

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Soprano Judith Howarth chats about playing Madam Butterfly at ENO

An interview with lovely Judith Howarth about Cio-Cio-San in the Anthony Minghella production:

Apparently it's selling fast, so go and book your tickets pronto!
Later this week, look out for an interview with Simon Keenlyside.

Monday, 14 January 2008

ROH review: La traviata at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden with Anna Netrebko, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Jonas Kaufmann.

A review of the first night, featuring Anna Netrebko, Jonas Kaufmann (left) and Dmitri Hvorostovsky conducted by Maurizio Benini at Covent Garden, can be read here:

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Nina Stemme cancels ROH Simon Boccanegra; Kristin Chenoweth sings Cunegonde in ENO Candide; Rake's Progress and Wozzeck DVDs on Opus Arte

Nina Stemme has cancelled her role debut as Amelia Grimaldi in the John Eliot Gardiner-conducted Simon Boccanegra at the ROH in May 2008; Kristin Chenoweth will sing Cunegonde in Candide at ENO in June:

Robert Lepage's production of The Rake's Progress comes to Covent Garden in July; watch it first on DVD with Andrew Kennedy:

Calixto Bieto's production of Wozzeck on DVD:

Preview of London and UK concerts in January 2008:

Kapp Family Orchestral Works on Chandos:

Renee Fleming as Violetta in Decca's DVD of La traviata:

Piano Concerti by Melcer on Hyperion:

Des Knaben Wunderhorn on Hyperion:

Alwyn Piano Works on Naxos:

Herz's piano music on Hyperion:

Handel's Esther, Tamerlano and Acis and Galatea and Bostridge's Great Handel:

La pietra del paragone on Naive:

Volume 2 of Bavouzet's Debussy Piano Collection on Chandos:

The finale of the Adelaide Ring -Götterdämmerung on Melba

The last concert in Gardiner's Bach Cantatas pilgrimage:

See more at

Coming Soon: Gergiev's Mahler, I puritani on DVD with Netrebko, interview with Judith Howart on ENO's Madama Butterfly and much more!