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Franz Schubert was the first middle-class composer.

3 days ago | |
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When the conductor Riccardo Muti walked away from Rome's Teatro dell'Opera the other day, citing a lack of "serenity", one could scarcely blame him. Beset by financial cutbacks, strikes, deficits, alleged corruption, booing and more, it can often seem that Italy's opera-world experiences more melodrama off stage than on – despite the country being the birthplace of the art form and home to many of its greatest composers over the centuries, from Monteverdi to Puccini.

7 days ago | |
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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.

15 days ago | |
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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.

15 days ago | |
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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.

15 days ago | |
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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.

15 days ago | |
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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.

15 days ago | |
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Hospitals and railway stations should play classical music to calm the public and reduce attacks on staff, a report says.

16 days ago | |
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Music lessons will be dominated by “dead white Germans” as a result of the Government’s planned exam reforms, musicians have claimed.

16 days ago | |
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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.

21 days ago | |
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