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daddy I want a harpsichord
Recent Activity
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Make an appointment with your sofa on Bank Holiday Monday - the BBC are screening a special one hour TV version of the radio play Under Milk Wood to celebrate Dylan Thomas' centenary. In addition to a host of Welsh... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Intermezzo
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Bryn Terfel celebrates his 50th birthday with a one-off concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 20 October 2015. Little black dress optional. Ticket prices start at £38.20, but the best seats - Arena front and Stalls - are £79.... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Intermezzo
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Faced with an explosion of protest about the way he appears to have sold Salzburg Festival operas to La Scala, Alexander Pereira has backtracked on some of his earlier statements. Is Milan to pay Salzburg "well over one million euros"... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Intermezzo
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Not many takers so far for Valery Gergiev's Mariinsky Ring, which rolls into Birmingham in November. A glance at the Birmingham Hippodrome website suggests only around a quarter of the seats have been sold. Individual tickets for the four operas... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Intermezzo
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The 2015 Salzburg Easter Festival programme was announced today, and the big draw is Jonas Kaufmann. He makes role debuts in Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, topping off his Salzburg stay with the tenor part in Verdi's Requiem - all conducted... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Intermezzo
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Is Peter Gelb the best-paid man in American opera? The answer may surprise you. U-T San Diego has examined the 2012 tax returns of 22 US opera houses and worked out who earns most in each. Here's a taster of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2014 at Intermezzo
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Has Alexander Pereira gone too far this time? The Italians have finally cottoned on that there might be something a bit funny about an opera boss selling a bunch of productions to himself (as reported here on an otherwise joke-free... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2014 at Intermezzo
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Turn to page 86 of the just-released Wigmore Hall 2014-15 season brochure, and there it is, in black and white. As noted on Intermezzo back in February, Jonas Kaufmann is to play Wigmore Hall on 11 January 2015. Helmut Deutsch... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2014 at Intermezzo
Jonathan Miller's shows have indeed "helped to keep the wolf from the door". With that in mind, it's perplexing that Berry replaced Miller's Rigoletto with a proven commercial failure and (if my sources are correct) is soon to dump his relatively recent La bohème. Benedict Andrews, by the way, did return to ENO after Ulysses, for Caligula, (though I can hardly blame you for forgetting it) and he's due to come back again soon. Powder her Face was another shocking misjudgement. The opera itself is unbreakable, but why show it in a concrete bunker? I've been to Ambika P3 to hear electronic music, and it was obvious in a heartbeat that it's no more acoustically suited to opera than a bathroom would be.
Asked to write an orchestral piece for Seattle Symphony inspired by a musical icon, composer Gabriel Prokofiev settled on Sir Mix-a-lot, creator of the immortal 1992 hit Baby Got Back. The new work will premiere on 6 June in -... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Intermezzo
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Currently short of a music director following Emmanuel Joël-Hornak's premature departure, Scottish Opera have appointed Sir Thomas Allen as Music Adviser (or Advisor, they can't seem to decide which). The distinguished baritone has worked with the company as a director... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Intermezzo
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ENO today announced the appointment of Henriette Götz as Executive Director. At first glance it looks like she's a replacement for Loretta Tomasi, who stepped down as Chief Executive at the end of 2013. But no. Read on. John Berry,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Intermezzo
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Indeed, but you could turn that round and ask how they manage to sell out without 'marketing'.
Toggle Commented Apr 9, 2014 on Weeny Wiener workforce at Intermezzo
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The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra were today announced as the third-ever winners of the $1m Birgit Nilsson prize. In case you're thinking that sounds a lot, it only works out at about £4,000 per player - and it's more likely to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at Intermezzo
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Through his Teeth - Linbury Studio, 7 April 2014 The laws of statistics suggested that if the Royal Opera House tried out enough new operas, sooner or later one would work. After an endless train of inept, underbaked or just... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at Intermezzo
I suspect the running time was provisional, designed to accommodate late starts, over-extended intervals, etc. I'm sure people would moan far more if the timing was underestimated and they missed their trains as a result.
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2014 on Prince Igor reigns at Intermezzo
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Jonas Kaufmann Winterreise - Royal Opera House, 6 April 2014 While opera squeezes itself into pubs, clubs and underground bunkers, could piano recitals take over its abandoned theatres? Jonas Kaufmann's sold out the Royal Opera House instantly. Some may have... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at Intermezzo
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Remember it's based on a real 12th century story. I'm not suggesting the costumes were in any way authentic, but they did loosely reference traditional folk clothing - the Polovtsians/Polovetians being a Turkic tribe.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on Prince Igor reigns at Intermezzo
There's no statement on her website - but neither are there any dates. It's as if the engagement never existed.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on Did someone say bite me? at Intermezzo
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The Gheorghiu cancellation story gets odder. The capricious diva has pulled the Facebook statement quoted below. Baden Baden remain silent on the 'withdrawal' and continue to show her name in their cast list. Is this a brief delay to formalise... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at Intermezzo
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Greece may be more than a little strapped for cash, but it seems it can still throw the odd euro at culture. The stage is set for the opening of a new Maria Callas Museum in Athens in 2015. Many... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Intermezzo
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It always sounded too strange to be true. Angela Gheorghiu, the opera world's most notorious canceller, filling in for Anna Netrebko, holder of the #2 position? Now Gheorghiu announces via Facebook that she's not going to replace Netrebko in the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Intermezzo
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Plácido Domingo with his 72nd (/76th?) birthday present, a gift from his son. In a plausibly uncoincidental tie in with his latest album release, the canny baritenor has named his equine hair-twin Wojtyla. Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Intermezzo
To be fair, I think Prince Igor is a special case. Most operas would be diminished by this style.
Toggle Commented Apr 2, 2014 on Prince Igor reigns at Intermezzo
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For those who find Polovtsian Dances in sequinned Hammer pants too saccharine for their tastes, Graham Vick's Birmingham Opera Company present a hardcore alternative later this month - an English language adaptation of Musorgsky's Khovanshchina. Like Prince Igor, KHOVANSKYGATE: A... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at Intermezzo