When Nicholas Hytner created this show in 1985, Handel operas were seldom staged in London, and never with this degree of panache: survey the operatic landscape now, and you see what a revolution he helped trigger by importing ideas and techniques he’d honed in the theatre.
As a preamble to his new production of Verdi’s late masterpiece, director David Alden had some refreshing things to say apropos the eternal debate over whether Otello should be a black, white, or blacked-up figure.
The British pianist, composer, and professor Nicolas Hodges has carved out a niche as the ideal test-pilot for cutting-edge modernist works, and when Harrison Birtwistle wants to launch a new piano piece, there’s no question of anyone else being allowed to premiere it. ‘He’s becoming like my Peter Pears,’ said Sir Harry last year, as he entrusted Hodges with his dauntingly complex Gigue Machine.
The orgy with which David McVicar opens his production of Rigoletto – now on its seventh outing – was always that show’s one big fault: the scene should be about droit de seigneur, not a comically-heaving Soho sex-party.
The delighted whoops as the curtain went up for the second half of Anna Nicole suggested that for its opening night this revival had found its proper level: an audience of sixteen to twenty-five year olds on very cheap tickets. ROH boss Kasper Holten had instructed them to regard the opera house as ‘an emotional business centre’, and they were happy customers.
Hospitals and railway stations should play classical music to calm the public and reduce attacks on staff, a report says.
Music lessons will be dominated by “dead white Germans” as a result of the Government’s planned exam reforms, musicians have claimed.
A line up of five lead vocalists will join electronic group Clean Bandit and the 70-strong BBC Philharmonic orchestra in a ground-breaking live BBC Radio 1 broadcast tomorrow evening.
Prom 64 was our annual reminder that there really is no orchestra to compare with Simon Rattle’s Berliner Philharmoniker.
The composer Zhou Long is one of the heroes of contemporary Chinese music. Injured by the rural labour he was forced into during the Cultural Revolution, he extracted something good from that experience by imbibing the folk music of Mongolia.
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