The Children’s Hour: an eclectic and enlightening new disc from baritone Gareth Brynmor John

Between the dark and the daylight,      When the night is beginning to lower,Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,      That is known as the Children’s Hour. The nineteenth-century poet Henry…

Alastair White’s ROBE: a ‘fashion-opera’

If Rousseau, Marx, Einstein, Lacan and Bill Gates were to collaborate on an opera, what would they create?  Perhaps something not unlike ROBE by the Scottish composer and writer Alastair…

Visions of Childhood: April Fredrick and the English Symphony Orchestra

“Let’s not lose our wayin this solitude.” (‘September’, from Vier Letzte Lieder) The last work that American-born, UK-domiciled soprano April Fredrick performed before the March 2020 coronavirus lockdown was Richard…

20 Shots of Opera: Irish National Opera administer a creative ‘cure’

shot [noun]: an attempt to do or achieve something that you have not done before; an attempt to do or achieve something that is difficult, when success is uncertain; a…

Regards sur l’Infini: Katharine Dain and Sam Armstrong

Across the globe, musicians stopped making music in March this year.  Or, at least, they stopped performing publicly, together, and communicating directly to audiences in concert halls, opera houses and…

David Ward, Artistic Director of Northern Opera Group – in conversation

My telephone conversation with David Ward, co-founder and Artistic Director of Northern Opera Group, began with a sheepish confession.  Before undertaking some research prior to our discussion, I knew little…

Connections Across Time: Sholto Kynoch on the 2020 Oxford Lieder Festival

‘A brief history of song’ is the subtitle of the 2020 Oxford Lieder Festival (10th-17th October), which will present an ambitious, diverse and imaginative programme of 40 performances and events.

Alfredo Piatti: The Operatic Fantasies (Vol.2) – in conversation with Adrian Bradbury

‘Signor Piatti in a fantasia on themes from Beatrice di Tenda had also his triumph. Difficulties, declared to be insuperable, were vanquished by him with consummate skill and precision. He certainly is amazing, his tone magnificent, and his style excellent. His resources appear to be inexhaustible; and altogether for variety, it is the greatest specimen of violoncello playing that has been heard in this country.’

Eboracum Baroque – Heroic Handel

Eboracum Baroque is a flexible period instrument ensemble, comprising singers and instrumentalists, which was founded in York – as its name suggests, Eboracum being the name of the Roman fort on the site of present-day York – while artistic director Chris Parsons was at York University.

Schubert 200 : in conversation with Tom Guthrie

‘There could be no happier existence. Each morning he composed something beautiful and each evening he found the most enthusiastic admirers. We gathered in his room – he played and sang to us – we were enthusiastic and afterwards we went to the tavern. We hadn’t a penny but were blissfully happy.’