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Brian Dickie
Life after 50 years in opera and still counting......
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Operalia-2018Photo: Jose Luis R. Cortes

The winners line up for Operalia 2018 - left to right Josy Santos, Migran Agadzhanyan, Pavel Petrov, Benoît Falletti (Rolex), Luís Gomes, Plácido Domingo, Emily D'Angelo, Samantha Hankey, Rihab Chaieb and Arseny Yakovlev

I just came back on Tuesday after five splendid days in Lisbon where the 2018 Operalia competition was hosted at the Teatro Nacional São Carlos, one of the prettiest theatres in Europe. And Lisbon is of course one of the most welcoming and delightful of European capitals, and a revelation to all the visitors who had not been there before.  It was a clearly a happy week for all concerned.

It was remarkable that there was not a single soprano chosen for the finals of the Opera category, and just one for the Zarzuela section.  This is surely the first time that there has been no soprano winner at any level in Operalia - the march of the Mezzos continues around the world.  Neue Stimmen last year displayed the same tendency with mezzos taking the three top prizes.

One of the three in Neue Stimmen was Canadian Emily D'Angelo who took second prize there, as she did earlier this year in Montreal. But she beat the field in Lisbon and ended up winning no less than four of the prizes on offer - surely a record!  She is a remarkable young artist who has just turned 24.  She is now a member of the Lindemann programme at the Metropolitan Opera, and is clearly destined for a major career.

But it was not all about Emily - dominant though she was.  The excellent Samantha Hankey, winner of the Glyndebourne Cup earlier this year, won second prize and a Birgit Nilsson Prize.  This was thanks to a splendid Oktavian in the semi finals and impressive Maid of Orleans aria in the final.  And Rihab Chaieb, another Canadian mezzo, took the third prize with a rich and sensuous Dalilah in the final concert on Sunday.

Notable amongst the men was former member of the Royal Opera's Jette Parker programme, the Portuguese tenor Luis Gomes, who to his obvious delight and surprise won the audience prize for men as well as the male Zarzuela prize.  He really showed off the benefits of training in the UK.  Bravo Luis!  The main men's prizes went to a Belarusian and two Russians.  The emergence of Eastern European and Russian artists over the last 25 years is remarkable.  What ever has happened to Italy?

The immensely authoritative and well qualified jury did an impeccable job and it was so good to see old friends and colleagues such as Peter Katona, Jonathan Friend, and Anthony Freud.

Presiding over this whole enjoyable event was the benign warm and generous presence of Plácido Domingo, as founder and mentor extraordinary as well as the guiding hand in the pit for the final round with orchestra.  That they manage to put together this competition every year is remarkable.  Neue Stimmen is biennial and the massive amount of work involved in these competitions is a challenge.  So applause for the excellent Operalia organisation - they are heroic!

I am now back in London for the rest of September before trips to Wexford, Amsterdam and Gütersloh during the second half of October.  But the opera seasons in London are beginning - some good stuff in prospect.

 

12 days ago |
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It has been a month of bliss, away from the blog as should be the case from time to time, especially during the summer holidays.  These included a week in France and a week in Portugal with not a stage or a singer within sight or earshot.  So I missed out on Aix and Salzburg - not to mention myriad other possibilities.  One can not do everything........

Vanessa-Glyndebourne© Tristram Kenton

Virginie Verrez (Erika) and Rosalind Plowright (the Old Baroness) in Glyndebourne's Vanessa

But I am back with lots of good stuff in the coming weeks, starting yesterday evening with Vanessa at Glyndebourne, the last performance of their 2018 season.

Whilst the choice of Vanessa for Glyndebourne might be questionable there is no doubt that they have had a success on their hands with an outstanding production, the long delayed debut of Keith Warner who came up with the goods big time!  I have huge affection and respect for this man who was with us in Toronto all those years ago (1990?).  He is a heavyweight serious director in a world of lightweights.  Sorry if I offend!  I do hope that he returns to Glyndebourne - this was auspicious.  And his partnership with Jakub Hruša ensured a unified sense of purpose which is unusual enough to draw attention to.

There was a fine cast - with Emma Bell in the title role, and the immensely gifted Virginie Verrez as Erika - she was persuasive enough to make one think that Erika should have been the name of the opera!  And how wonderful to see Rosalind Plowright, after a long distinguished career, returning to the place where she started off in the 1970s in the chorus - she was a soprano then, a fine Mozartian as well the understudy Agathe on the tour's Freischütz in 1975 - I recall she sang at least one performance in this capacity!  Donnie Ray Albert, again after a fine career largely in the USA, was another "senior" - he inhabited the role of the Doctor with complete conviction.

So this was a nice return to the world of opera!  I am off to Lisbon later in the week for Operalia.  I hoping that there will be good things to report!

22 days ago |
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Pelleas-et-Melisande-Glyndebourne1© Tristram Kenton

John Chest and Christina Gansch in Pélleas et Mélisande at Glyndebourne 2018

I was at Glyndebourne again on Monday for their new production of a piece which has returned of to the repertory during the last 56 years.  Pélleas et Mélisande occupies a very special place in my life story, being the first new production of my first year working at Glyndebourne back in 1962.  It was the last work of one of Glyndebourne's founding artistic team Carl Ebert, was conducted by Vittorio Gui who as an already respected conductor knew the composer, and in the role of Mélisande was Denise Duval, muse of Poulenc who wrote much for her including of course La Voix Humaine. My experience of sitting through so many rehearsals, including all the stage and orchestra rehearsals taking notes for my boss, Jani Strasser, head of music staff, and which included passing on those notes to Duval and the rest of the cast during the breaks, was a formative experience as I began this long career........below you can see Duval with her Pelléas Henri Gui in the fountain scene in the 1962 production.

IMG_0387So I think I know the piece pretty well and all its many layers.  But each of the more than two hundred performances which I must have seen over the years brings something new from this "Marmite" opera which seems to polarise opera goers into lovers and haters. With some very rare pieces when you sink into your seat at the beginning of the evening you know that it is the beginning of a long journey to a different internal and very personal world where one observes the human condition.  Pelléas is one of those. I hope that does not sound too pretentious......

And it is those many layers which make the piece inexhaustibly interesting - one of which, and vitally important of course, is its clear narrative.  The 2018 production at Glyndebourne is the fourth production of the piece and replaces the hugely successful Graham Vick production of 1999 which was widely toured, and revived and toured again in 2004. It may be that this production will suffer the same fate as the 1976 production, superbly conducted though it was by Bernard Haitink, that sank without trace after one season and was never toured.

I fear that the vast proportion of the audience had no clue about what was going on, but we were treated nevertheless to a superb musical and vocal performance with outstanding contributions from Christina Gansch and John Chest in the title roles, a powerfully tormented Golaud from Christopher Purves, a stunning Geneviève from Karen Cargill, a perfect Yniold from Chloé Briot, and a dignified and beautifully sung Arkel from the indispensable Brindley Sherratt.  I was particularly delighted to see and hear how John Chest, a young man from the CCPA in Chicago from back in my Chicago days, has developed with his exceptionally beautiful voice - well he has clearly sung the role of Pelléas into that voice quite splendidly, singing this baryton martin role with complete comfort.  Impressive, and a touching performance.  Robin Ticciati conducted with huge affection and drew exceptional playing from the LPO.  So it was a great evening of music providing endless pleasure in that department.  I am just sad for those who were seeing the opera for the first time.  I wonder what they made of it!

That is all my opera going for the time being.  I am off to France and Portugal for two weeks on Friday.  I will see Vanessa at Glyndebourne on my return.

Photo of Denise Duval and Henri Gui by Guy Gravett.

 
1 month ago |
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Pelleas-et-Melisande-Glyndebourne1© Tristram Kenton

John Chest and Christina Gansch in Pélleas et Mélisande at Glyndebourne 2018

I was at Glyndebourne again on Monday for their new production of a piece which has returned of to the repertory during the last 56 years.  Pélleas et Mélisande occupies a very special place in my life story, being the first new production of my first year working at Glyndebourne back in 1962.  It was the last work of one of Glyndebourne's founding artistic team Carl Ebert, was conducted by Vittorio Gui who as an already respected conductor knew the composer, and in the role of Mélisande was Denise Duval, muse of Poulenc who wrote much for her including of course La Voix Humaine. My experience of sitting through so many rehearsals, including all the stage and orchestra rehearsals taking notes for my boss, Jani Strasser, head of music staff, and which included passing on those notes to Duval and the rest of the cast during the breaks, was a formative experience as I began this long career........below you can see Duval with her Pelléas Henri Gui in the fountain scene in the 1962 production.

IMG_0387So I think I know the piece pretty well and all its many layers.  But each of the more than two hundred performances which I must have seen over the years brings something new from this "Marmite" opera which seems to polarise opera goers into lovers and haters. With some very rare pieces when you sink into your seat at the beginning of the evening you know that it is the beginning of a long journey to a different internal and very personal world where one observes the human condition.  Pelléas is one of those. I hope that does not sound too pretentious......

And it is those many layers which make the piece inexhaustibly interesting - one of which, and vitally important of course, is its clear narrative.  The 2018 production at Glyndebourne is the fourth production of the piece and replaces the hugely successful Graham Vick production of 1999 which was widely toured, and revived and toured again in 2004. It may be that this production will suffer the same fate as the 1976 production, superbly conducted though it was by Bernard Haitink, that sank without trace after one season and was never toured.

I fear that the vast proportion of the audience had no clue about what was going on, but we were treated nevertheless to a superb musical and vocal performance with outstanding contributions from Christina Gansch and John Chest in the title roles, a powerfully tormented Golaud from Christopher Purves, a stunning Geneviève from Karen Cargill, a perfect Yniold from Chloé Briot, and a dignified and beautifully sung Arkel from the indispensable Brindley Sherratt.  I was particularly delighted to see and hear how John Chest, a young man from the CCPA in Chicago from back in my Chicago days, has developed with his exceptionally beautiful voice - well he has clearly sung the role of Pelléas into that voice quite splendidly, singing this baryton martin role with complete comfort.  Impressive, and a touching performance.  Robin Ticciati conducted with huge affection and drew exceptional playing from the LPO.  So it was a great evening of music providing endless pleasure in that department.  I am just sad for those who were seeing the opera for the first time.  I wonder what they made of it!

That is all my opera going for the time being.  I am off to France and Portugal for two weeks on Friday.  I will see Vanessa at Glyndebourne on my return.

Photo of Denise Duval and Henri Gui by Guy Gravett.

 
1 month ago |
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David and jonathan© Bill Cooper

Alan Clayton (David) and Iestyn Davies (Jonathan) in Saul at Glyndebourne 2018

It has been a four opera week ranging though Handel, Mozart, Puccini and Mascagni. I started on Monday with the dress rehearsal at Glyndebourne of Handel's Saul - the first revival (of many perhaps) of Barrie Kosky's stunning 2015 production. 

There were some cast changes so there was no attempt to repeat the magic of three years ago.  Allan Clayton is a terrific replacement for Paul Appleby, Iestyn Davies's glorious singing in the key role of Jonathan looks likely to cast its spell again this year, while Stuart Jackson replaces Benjamin Hulett (tied up as Tamino at Garsington) quite splendidly as Abner/High Priest/Amalekite/Doeg - there are riches to be found in the current British tenor community!  I was sad that neither of the two Sauls from 2015 were available - Christopher Purves transferring to Golaud in Glyndebourn'e new Pelléas (which I will see tomorrow) and Henry Waddington away in the title role in Garsington's Falstaff.  With Laurence Cummings in the pit we had a great evening of music making in the finest English Handel tradition.  It opened on Thursday and runs to to end of the season.  Go!

Wednesday brought me to Garsington again, for a young people's performance of Die Zauberflöte.  This was another example of the splendid work that Garsington is doing for the for the development of future audiences.  The enthusiasm of these young people, mostly as far as I could estimate between the ages of 9 and 16, was so thrilling to see and hear.  Opera really is alive and well.......and this performance was a worthy follow up to the Eugene Onegin in 2016 and Roxanna Panufnik's Silver Birch from last year.

The understudies, about whom I wrote some weeks ago, had the opportunity to show what they can do - and my goodness they matched the principals with splendid performances from Verity Wingate and Rob Lewis as the young couple, Nazan Fikret a Queen of the Night that nailed both arias, Dingle Yandell a most promising young bass as Sarastro, and Jack Sandison the Sprecher - lovely voice.  Benjamin Lewis (the Onegin cover two years ago) was a vocally outstanding Papageno as well - another with great future prospects. It was an invigorating evening with Garsington's home at Wormsley looking as lovely as I've ever seen it - our long hot summer is a blessing indeed.

Next up was Friday afternoon - Bohème at Covent Garden with Danielle de Niese stealing the show as Musetta!  Well she was clearly a willing partner with the production's director Richard Jones to produce something extra special. And she always delivers.  She had a super supporting cast with Simona Mihai a sympathetic Mimi, Benjamin Bernheim a robust and resonant Rodolfo, a really excellent Marcello from Canadian baritone Etienne Dupuis, Duncan Rock a personable Schaunard, and Fernando Radó an ideally voiced Colline - a young man I first heard at the age of 22 in Mexico City in 2007. I brought him to the Neue Stimmen finals.  He won second prize, second only to Marina Rebeka!  It was so good to see him again!

I then went across town to Holland Park where the enterprising summer company have produced a real rarity - Mascagni's Isabeau.  I guess that if it part of your "mission" to produce neglected works you may from time to come up with a dud. This was a perfect example.  It was supremely redeemed by marvellous performances from David Butt Philip and Anne-Sophie Deprels.  So I had a great evening. But I guess it may never be done better so I wont be seeking it out.  That said it was a full house and rousingly applauded.  So what do I know?  My American friends will be able to see it in due course - this was a co-production with New York City Opera, what ever that is now.

Next stop is Glyndebourne again - more news when I recover from that!

1 month ago |
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David and jonathan© Bill Cooper

Alan Clayton (David) and Iestyn Davies (Jonathan) in Saul at Glyndebourne 2018

It has been a four opera week ranging though Handel, Mozart, Puccini and Mascagni. I started on Monday with the dress rehearsal at Glyndebourne of Handel's Saul - the first revival (of many perhaps) of Barrie Kosky's stunning 2015 production. 

There were some cast changes so there was no attempt to repeat the magic of three years ago.  Allan Clayton is a terrific replacement for Paul Appleby, Iestyn Davies's glorious singing in the key role of Jonathan looks likely to cast its spell again this year, while Stuart Jackson replaces Benjamin Hulett (tied up as Tamino at Garsington) quite splendidly as Abner/High Priest/Amalekite/Doeg - there are riches to be found in the current British tenor community!  I was sad that neither of the two Sauls from 2015 were available - Christopher Purves transferring to Golaud in Glyndebourn'e new Pelléas (which I will see tomorrow) and Henry Waddington away in the title role in Garsington's Falstaff.  With Laurence Cummings in the pit we had a great evening of music making in the finest English Handel tradition.  It opened on Thursday and runs to to end of the season.  Go!

Wednesday brought me to Garsington again, for a young people's performance of Die Zauberflöte.  This was another example of the splendid work that Garsington is doing for the for the development of future audiences.  The enthusiasm of these young people, mostly as far as I could estimate between the ages of 9 and 16, was so thrilling to see and hear.  Opera really is alive and well.......and this performance was a worthy follow up to the Eugene Onegin in 2016 and Roxanna Panufnik's Silver Birch from last year.

The understudies, about whom I wrote some weeks ago, had the opportunity to show what they can do - and my goodness they matched the principals with splendid performances from Verity Wingate and Rob Lewis as the young couple, Nazan Fikret a Queen of the Night that nailed both arias, Dingle Yandell a most promising young bass as Sarastro, and Jack Sandison the Sprecher - lovely voice.  Benjamin Lewis (the Onegin cover two years ago) was a vocally outstanding Papageno as well - another with great future prospects. It was an invigorating evening with Garsington's home at Wormsley looking as lovely as I've ever seen it - our long hot summer is a blessing indeed.

Next up was Friday afternoon - Bohème at Covent Garden with Danielle de Niese stealing the show as Musetta!  Well she was clearly a willing partner with the production's director Richard Jones to produce something extra special. And she always delivers.  She had a super supporting cast with Simona Mihai a sympathetic Mimi, Benjamin Bernheim a robust and resonant Rodolfo, a really excellent Marcello from Canadian baritone Etienne Dupuis, Duncan Rock a personable Schaunard, and Fernando Radó an ideally voiced Colline - a young man I first heard at the age of 22 in Mexico City in 2007. I brought him to the Neue Stimmen finals.  He won second prize, second only to Marina Rebeka!  It was so good to see him again!

I then went across town to Holland Park where the enterprising summer company have produced a real rarity - Mascagni's Isabeau.  I guess that if it part of your "mission" to produce neglected works you may from time to come up with a dud. This was a perfect example.  It was supremely redeemed by marvellous performances from David Butt Philip and Anne-Sophie Deprels.  So I had a great evening. But I guess it may never be done better so I wont be seeking it out.  That said it was a full house and rousingly applauded.  So what do I know?  My American friends will be able to see it in due course - this was a co-production with New York City Opera, what ever that is now.

Next stop is Glyndebourne again - more news when I recover from that!

1 month ago |
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IMG_0349

Imogen Malfitano (Adina) and José Sacin (Dulcamara) in L'elisir d'amore July 14 2018

I have been in Caltagirone, Sicily since last Sunday at the Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival.  It has been mighty hot and very exhausting, sessions with singers from 10 am to 7 pm most days, albeit with a long lunch break.  But it has been hugely satisfying, meeting some exceptionally talented young people, the youngest being a 19 year old American mezzo from Boston whom we will have to watch as she begins her time at one of the distinguished "conservatories" in the Boston area! There are other remarkably mature youngsters under 25 in graduate training in Vienna, Amsterdam, Chicago and Sydney amongst others, as well as a few late starters for whom the career path from now is more problematical of course.

My job has been to conduct "mock" auditions, followed up by advice on repertoire choices and the tactics that can be employed to ensure that as far as possible a singer can display all his or her strengths in audition - and of course attempt to conceal any weaknesses.....!  The reality is that it is amazing what terrible choices some singers make, singing repertoire that is far too heavy, or in other respects completely inappropriate if not downright delusional.  The response of all to candid opinions and advice was, without a single exception, entirely welcoming.  

Additionally we looked at their cvs, and discussed next realistic steps. My perspective, as someone who has spent so much of my career employing young singers has, on the whole I believe, proved to have been helpful.  And I am glad to say that in almost every case it was reinforcing and confirming snippets of advice from other quarters, rather than causing confusion!

I spent 30 minutes with each of 50 singers, and yesterday morning had follow up auditions with a dozen of them in a less charitable acoustic.  I was delighted that so many of them came through the comparison with huge credit.

The 50 singers came from 19 different countries, the largest number being from the USA and Australia.  I guess the average age to have been 27 with more than half of them 26 or less.  As usual sopranos dominated, taking up half the places.  There is a nice number of tenors (10) with the mezzos and baritones taking up the rest.  Not a single bass alas, but the excellent bass-baritone from London's National Opera Studio, Emyr Wyn Jones, provided some splendid dark colour and will be singing the title role in Le nozze di Figaro later in the month.

I was only able to stay for two performances, Butterfly on Thursday and L'elisir d'amore last night.  There are multiple casts of course to ensure that each of the participants get an opportunity, but it is something of a compromise with a number of these young people not able to get the full preparation that they need.  But this is a "studio" situation and the collaborative and collegial teamwork is in itself a hugely valuable experience for them. There is no space for egos here!

A salute to the creator of all this, Jack Le Vigni, who was our Ferrando in Chicago back in 2002.  He has assembled a brilliant faculty including David Gowland, Steven Maughan, Marek Ruszczynski on the coaching staff, with Nelly Miricioiu and Carlos Conde joining Jack on the voice teaching staff.

I hope to be back next year, perhaps for a little longer with more time to "breathe".  But 2019 is another Neue Stimmen year so I will just have to fit it is as best I can.  I return to London this afternoon, am at Glyndebourne tomorrow for the dress rehearsal of Saul, and at Garsington on Wednesday for the schools performance of Zauberflöte with the cover cast - exciting new young people in this as well!

2 months ago |
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IMG_0349

Imogen Malfitano (Adina) and José Sacin (Dulcamara) in L'elisir d'amore July 14 2018

I have been in Caltagirone, Sicily since last Sunday at the Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival.  It has been mighty hot and very exhausting, sessions with singers from 10 am to 7 pm most days, albeit with a long lunch break.  But it has been hugely satisfying, meeting some exceptionally talented young people, the youngest being a 19 year old American mezzo from Boston whom we will have to watch as she begins her time at one of the distinguished "conservatories" in the Boston area! There are other remarkably mature youngsters under 25 in graduate training in Vienna, Amsterdam, Chicago and Sydney amongst others, as well as a few late starters for whom the career path from now is more problematical of course.

My job has been to conduct "mock" auditions, followed up by advice on repertoire choices and the tactics that can be employed to ensure that as far as possible a singer can display all his or her strengths in audition - and of course attempt to conceal any weaknesses.....!  The reality is that it is amazing what terrible choices some singers make, singing repertoire that is far too heavy, or in other respects completely inappropriate if not downright delusional.  The response of all to candid opinions and advice was, without a single exception, entirely welcoming.  

Additionally we looked at their cvs, and discussed next realistic steps. My perspective, as someone who has spent so much of my career employing young singers has, on the whole I believe, proved to have been helpful.  And I am glad to say that in almost every case it was reinforcing and confirming snippets of advice from other quarters, rather than causing confusion!

I spent 30 minutes with each of 50 singers, and yesterday morning had follow up auditions with a dozen of them in a less charitable acoustic.  I was delighted that so many of them came through the comparison with huge credit.

The 50 singers came from 19 different countries, the largest number being from the USA and Australia.  I guess the average age to have been 27 with more than half of them 26 or less.  As usual sopranos dominated, taking up half the places.  There is a nice number of tenors (10) with the mezzos and baritones taking up the rest.  Not a single bass alas, but the excellent bass-baritone from London's National Opera Studio, Emyr Wyn Jones, provided some splendid dark colour and will be singing the title role in Le nozze di Figaro later in the month.

I was only able to stay for two performances, Butterfly on Thursday and L'elisir d'amore last night.  There are multiple casts of course to ensure that each of the participants get an opportunity, but it is something of a compromise with a number of these young people not able to get the full preparation that they need.  But this is a "studio" situation and the collaborative and collegial teamwork is in itself a hugely valuable experience for them. There is no space for egos here!

A salute to the creator of all this, Jack Le Vigni, who was our Ferrando in Chicago back in 2002.  He has assembled a brilliant faculty including David Gowland, Steven Maughan, Marek Ruszczynski on the coaching staff, with Nelly Miricioiu and Carlos Conde joining Jack on the voice teaching staff.

I hope to be back next year, perhaps for a little longer with more time to "breathe".  But 2019 is another Neue Stimmen year so I will just have to fit it is as best I can.  I return to London this afternoon, am at Glyndebourne tomorrow for the dress rehearsal of Saul, and at Garsington on Wednesday for the schools performance of Zauberflöte with the cover cast - exciting new young people in this as well!

2 months ago |
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IMG_0224

Acknowledging the "rapturous applause" 10:05 pm July 5

It is great to go to the world premiere of an opera and feel that the whole thing "works".  This is The Skating Rink.  The story is strong and the narrative is clear.  The cast is immaculate down to the smallest role - the music is from one of our most gifted composers David Sawer.  And the libretto, based on the novel by Roberto Bolaño, is by playwright Rory Mullarkey.

And so it opened last night at Garsington to rapturous applause from a full house, on a perfect evening in the idyllic setting of Wormsley.  This was a real credit to the Garsington team led by Dougie Boyd.  A fine finale to Garsington's 2018 season.  There are just four more performances on July 8, 10, 14 and 16. You MUST see it!

And you must also see Bryn Terfel as Falstaff at the Royal Opera House.  I was at the Dress Rehearsal on Wednesday morning, his massive presence and glorious singing being something for your eternal memories.  It opens tomorrow evening and runs to July 21 - only six performances.

I am off to Sicily on Sunday for a week - at the Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival.  I will be reporting from there on the 44 singers participating and on  the productions performed in some unique Sicilian sites..........

2 months ago |
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IMG_0224

Acknowledging the "rapturous applause" 10:05 pm July 5

It is great to go to the world premiere of an opera and feel that the whole thing "works".  This is The Skating Rink.  The story is strong and the narrative is clear.  The cast is immaculate down to the smallest role - the music is from one of our most gifted composers David Sawer.  And the libretto, based on the novel by Roberto Bolaño, is by playwright Rory Mullarkey.

And so it opened last night at Garsington to rapturous applause from a full house, on a perfect evening in the idyllic setting of Wormsley.  This was a real credit to the Garsington team led by Dougie Boyd.  A fine finale to Garsington's 2018 season.  There are just four more performances on July 8, 10, 14 and 16. You MUST see it!

And you must also see Bryn Terfel as Falstaff at the Royal Opera House.  I was at the Dress Rehearsal on Wednesday morning, his massive presence and glorious singing being something for your eternal memories.  It opens tomorrow evening and runs to July 21 - only six performances.

I am off to Sicily on Sunday for a week - at the Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival.  I will be reporting from there on the 44 singers participating and on  the productions performed in some unique Sicilian sites..........

2 months ago |
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