CosÏ fan tutte is, primarily, an ensemble opera and it sinks or swims on the strength of its sextet of singers – and this performance very much swam. In a sense, this is just as well because Jan Phillip Gloger’s staging (revived here by Julia Burbach) is in turns messy, chaotic and often confusing. The tragedy of this CosÏ is that it’s high art clashing with Broadway; a theatre within an opera and a deceit wrapped in a conundrum.
The Royal Opera House’s choice of work for the first new production in the splendidly redesigned Linbury Theatre – not unreasonably, it seems to have lost ‘Studio’ from its name – is, perhaps, a declaration of intent; it may certainly be received as such. Not only is it a new work; it is billed specifically as ‘our first opera for teenage audiences’.
From the first moments of the recent revival of Sir David McVicar’s production of Elektra by Richard Strauss at Lyric Opera of Chicago the audience is caught in the grip of a rich music-drama, the intensity of which is not resolved, appropriately, until the final, symmetrical chords.
The Handel Singing Competition has announced its 13 semi-finalists who will be competing in the 2019 Competition. The semi-final is due to take place on 5 March at Grosvenor Chapel, and the final is on 6 April at St George’s, Hanover Square – both in front of a live audience. The Competition this year received over 170 applications from all around the world, from 25 countries as far afield as Argentina, Australia, Israel, the United States and Canada.
The Wagner Society has announced that Longborough Festival Opera co-founders Martin and Lizzie Graham will receive its prestigious Reginald Goodall Award, which recognises individuals who have been of outstanding service to Wagner and his music.
Though she won praise from the literary greats of her day, including Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Ezra Pound and Siegfried Sassoon, the Victorian poet Charlotte Mew (1869-1928) was little-known among the contemporary reading public. When she visited the Poetry Bookshop of Harold Monro, the publisher of her first and only collection, The Farmer’s Bride (1916), she was asked, “Are you Charlotte Mew?” Her reply was characteristically diffident and self-deprecatory: “I’m sorry to say I am.”
This was an engaging concert of madrigals and dramatic pieces from (largely) Claudio Monteverdi’s Venetian years, a time during which his quest to find the ‘natural way of imitation’ – musical embodiment of textual form, meaning and affect – took the form not primarily of solo declamation but of varied vocal ensembles of two or more voices with rich instrumental accompaniments.
“It lives!” So cries Victor Frankenstein in Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption: or the Fate of Frankenstein on beholding the animation of his creature for the ?rst time. Peake might equally have been describing the novel upon which he had based his 1823 play which, staged at the English Opera House, had such a successful first run that it gave rise to fourteen further adaptations of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novella in the following three years.
Applications will open on March 1, 2019 for Bampton Classical Opera’s fourth biennial Young Singers’ Competition. The competition was launched in 2013 to celebrate the company’s 20th birthday. It is now well established and identifies, rewards and nurtures some of the country’s most talented young professional singers aged 21-32 and their accompanists.
The quick rise to prominence and thin catalog of recordings by Russian conductor Kirill Petrenko, outgoing General Music Director of the Bayerische Staatsoper and incoming chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, renders each of his forays into the classic repertoire significant. Last Sunday morning, the Bayerisches Staatsorchester gave the first of three performances of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis under his direction.