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Jonas Kaufmann

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Classical Notes

August 26

Great concerts!

My Classical NotesGreat concerts! And they are free! The Metropolitan Opera Company is offering another round of its big-screen summer showings at Lincoln Center Plaza in New York City, and all the seats are free. The series will include performances of “La Bohème ,” “Prince Igor,” “Falstaff,” “Don Pasquale,” and other operas from recent seasons. Singers include such stars as Anna Netrebko, Jonas Kaufmann, Plácido Domingo , and Renée Fleming in the leading roles. The dates are: Aug. 22-Sept. 2. No tickets are required. For details, and full schedule, please click HERE . To whet your appetite, here is Anna Netrebko in La Bohème by Puccini: And here’s one more for you: Anna Netrebko sings “Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì” from the Salzburg 2012 performance: Tags: Metropolitan Opera, Free concerts, Anna Netrebko, Lincoln Center, Renee Fleming Related articles across the web Anna Netrebko Reveals New Repertoire; To Sing ‘Macbeth’ At Met Opera

Royal Opera House

August 27

Jonas Kaufmann and Written on Skin win Gramophone Awards 2014

Jonas Kaufmann The winners of the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2014 have been announced. The awards, which have been running for 37 years, celebrate the best in recorded classical music and once again this year, a number of Royal Opera artists and recordings were shortlisted . Jonas Kaufmann won in the solo vocal category for the second year running, this time with his recording of Schubert's Winterreise . The German tenor performed the work live at Covent Garden in April 2014 . The DVD release of The Royal Opera's Written on Skin won in the Contemporary category. This Gramophone Award follows South Bank Sky Arts and RPS Music awards for Katie Mitchell's production of George Benjamin and Martin Crimp's opera. Other Gramophone Award winners this year include Iestyn Davies and Richard Egarr's Wigmore Hall recital recording of Arise, my Muse, and Glyndebourne 's production of Ravels L’heure espagnole/L’enfant et les sortilèges double bill. This year's winners will be presented with their awards at a ceremony in London on 17 September. See the full list of 2014 winners . The Royal Opera House Shop stocks a full range of classical recordings, as well as DVDs and merchandise, both online and at the ROH.

Royal Opera House

August 1

Written on Skin and Les Troyens shortlisted for Classical Gramophone Awards 2014

Bryan Hymel as Aeneas in David McVicar's production of Les Troyens. Photo by Bill Cooper © Bill Cooper/ROH 2012 A number of Royal Opera artists and Royal Opera recordings have been shortlisted for the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2014. The awards, which have been running for 37 years, celebrate the best in recorded classical music. The DVD release of Katie Mitchell's production of George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s award-winning Written on Skin , which had its world premiere at the Royal Opera House in March 2013, has been shortlisted in the Contemporary category. Minotaur composer Harrison Birtwistle 's Moth Requiem is nominated in the same category. David McVicar ’s epic production of Les Troyens , conducted by Antonio Pappano and starring Bryan Hymel , Eva-Maria Westbroek and Anna Caterina Antonacci , has been nominated in the Opera category. In the Recital category, counter-tenor Bejun Mehta, who performed the role of The Boy in Written on Skin , has been shortlisted for his recording of The Rise of the Classical Opera . In the Solo Vocal category, Jonas Kaufmann ’s recording of Wintereisse has been shortlisted. The German tenor performed the work in recital at the Royal Opera House earlier this Season. Gerald Finley ’s recording of the song cycle has been shortlisted in the same category. Other shortlisted recordings include Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach , filmed at the Aldeburgh Festival in June 2013, nominated in the Opera category; and Bruckner’s Sympony No 9 performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and conducted by former Music Director of The Royal Opera Bernard Haitink, in the Orchestral category. The winners for each of the eight categories, decided by a panel of Gramophone critics, will be announced online on 27 August. The awards will then be presented at a ceremony on 17 September, when the Recording of the Year will also be announced. In the 2014/15 Season, Jonas Kaufmann will perform in David McVicar's new production of Andrea Chénier . Gerald Finley will sing the title role in Guillaume Tell . The Royal Opera House Online Shop stocks an extensive range of DVD, Blu-Ray and CD recordings.

Royal Opera House

July 31

How to Stage an Opera – the 2013/14 Season

Jonas Kaufmann as Chevalier des Grieux and Kristīne Opolais as Manon Lescaut in Manon Lescaut, The Royal Opera © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014 In its first Season, our new 'How to Stage an Opera' series has offered different perspectives on the choices facing a director and the different stages in the process, from the initial research through to the final performance. In 'Freud and Die Frau ohne Schatten' we look at how the theories of Freud and their influence on Richard Strauss and his librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal guided director Claus Guth and designer Christian Schmidt in their new production of Die Frau ohne Schatten . Actors in Die Frau ohne Schatten, La Scala, Milan, 2013 © Monika Rittershaus/Teatro alla Scala In 'Faust and the 19th century' we turn to Gounod 's Faust , and see how director David McVicar has dusted off the traditional view of the opera as clichéd, to return to its dark and troubling heart. Renata Pokupić as Siébel and Simon Keenlyside as Valentin in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014 In 'Tradition and transformation in La traviata' we look at how director Richard Eyre in his classic production of La traviata uses a deceptively traditional approach to intensify the drama, in a direct reflection of Verdi 's score. La traviata © Catherine Ashmore/ROH 2011 In 'Tosca and one day in Rome' we see how director Jonathan Kent and designer Paul Brown made use of Puccini 's very specific setting in Tosca to introduce an extraordinary level of period detail to great theatrical effect. Aleksandrs Antonenko in Tosca, The Royal Opera © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013 In 'Community in Dialogues des Carmélites' we look at how director Robert Carsen has placed people and community at the heart of his production of Poulenc 's compassionate score, inspired by real events. Sophie Koch as Mother Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites © ROH/Stephen Cummiskey, 2014 In 'The ugliness of Manon Lescaut' we see how Jonathan Kent and Paul Brown unflinchingly present the sordid story Puccini tells in his Manon Lescaut . Kristīne Opolais as Manon Lescaut in Manon Lescaut, The Royal Opera © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014 And finally, in 'Exploring the complex naturalism of La bohème' we see how John Copley 's revered production of La bohème , with immersive designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman , creates a captivating onstage world. Follow the series next Season, as we look at the first revival of Richard Jones 's production of Anna Nicole , Martin Kušej 's new production of Idomeneo and many more.

parterre box

July 28

Tomb raider

Despite the continued popularity of Der Freischütz in German-speaking countries, are the magical mature operas of Carl Maria von Weber otherwise really so problematic, their libretti so unwieldy to explain their continued absence from the world’s stages? The enthusiastic ovations Sunday afternoon that greeted the conclusion of the second performance of the first US staging of Euryanthe in nearly a century at Bard Summerscape suggested that perhaps a reconsideration of Weber may be underway. Weber’s 1823 grosse heroisch-romantische oper arrived at the Metropolitan during its fifth season in 1887 starring Lilli Lehmann in the title role. After four performances, it disappeared until Arturo Toscanini revived it in 1914 with Frieda Hempel as its unfairly scorned heroine. Even Toscanini’s advocacy couldn’t save the work from vanishing again after six performances. In 1970 Thomas Scherman’s scrappy Little Orchestra Society revived Euryanthe for concerts in Manhattan and Brooklyn with Frances Bible as the scheming Eglantine, William Lewis as Adolar and a young Teresa Kubiak as his beloved. Since then, US audiences have been waiting for another chance to hear this grand and intriguing work. As music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and artistic co-director of Summerscape, Leon Botstein has been a tireless advocate for worthy symphonic and operatic works of the past that have slipped from public view. Although rare operas are regularly performed in concert during both the American Symphony Orchestra’s season and Summerscape, a fully staged revival has proved the irresistible centerpiece of each summer’s festival at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, about two hours north of New York City. Schumann’s Genoveva, Schrecker’s Der Ferne Klang, Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots and Taneyev’s Oresteia are among the rare works seen there over the past decade. Botstein and his team bravely tackled Weber’s penultimate opera, a sprawling melodic work, head on, shirking none of its occasionally head-scratching plot turns. After the success of Freischütz, the composer hoped to transcend that work’s folk origins by choosing a nobler story for his next work, one which would eschew dialogue in favor of a through-composed structure. He worked intensively with librettist Helmina von Chézy on Euryanthe, a work from the era of heroic chivalry about a fraught love quadrangle: the “good” knight Adolar and his betrothed Euryanthe are plagued by the “bad” Lysiart and Eglantine, both driven by their unrequited loves (he for Euryanthe, she for Adolar) to join forces to destroy the golden couple. This relatively straightforward plot of jealousy and revenge is complicated by Emma, Adolar’s sister who killed herself after her lover died in battle. Her restless soul haunts her brother who confides her sad story to his fiancée. Seeking leverage over her rival, Eglantine wheedles Euryanthe into revealing all to her and then creeps into the remarkably accessible crypt to steal Emma’s ring which Lysiart then uses as evidence of his seduction of Euryanthe. She is then promptly denounced by Adolar and the entire court, but after wandering in the woods where they are attacked by a giant serpent (!), the star-crossed lovers are eventually reunited thanks to the crazed Eglantine confessing her part in the conspiracy. Rather than seeking ways to tone down some of the plot’s quirkier kinks, director Kevin Newbury’s intensely focused staging (moved to the 19th century) instead embraced them. Emma’s back-story was acted out during the overture and her wraith-like presence (in the person of dancer Ann Chiaveri) haunted much of the opera while her glowing crypt was visited rather often by Eglantine. By having Emma hover rather than disappear after the first act, Newbury reminded the audience that her inability to rest is a crucial key to Adolar’s tortured psyche and his complex response to his betrothed’s “betrayal.” Euryanthe’s bathing the ring in her innocent tears during the final scene allows Emma to find longed-for rest so the lovers can then look forward to an unhaunted future (particularly as Lysiart has conveniently stabbed Eglantine before being allowed to flee). Though strongly aided by Victoria Tzykun and Jessica Jahn’s simple, elegant set and costumes (respectively), not all of Newbury’s ideas were equally successful: transforming the attacking serpent in act III into the gnarly roots of a giant tree which slowly descends onto Adolar and Euryanthe was visually arresting but dramatically limp. However, the riveting conclusion to act II featured the searing scene of a denounced Euryanthe being humiliated and stripped by members of the male chorus who then marked her white slip with a scarlet cross. Appealing as she was the virtuous maiden in the opera’s first half, radiant soprano Ellie Dehn really came into her own as the demoralized yet defiant Euryanthe of act III. She effortlessly commanded the quicksilver changes from the anguished duet with Adolar to her hushed, finely-spun kavatine “Hier dicht am Quell” to her soaring aria with chorus “Zu ihm! O weilet nicht!” when she at last glimpses hope for redemption. Based on my limited previous exposure to Dehn, I had not expected such a mature and commanding portrayal, one worthy of any opera house on the international circuit. Nor had nearly twenty years of attending performances by William Burden prepared me for his handsomely glowing Adolar: the voice sounding huge, free and ringing. Here was no brainless hero but a man haunted by his sister’s self-destruction, a trauma which made him even more vulnerable to the false accusations flung by Lysiart. He sounded so right that one immediately wanted to hear him as Weber’s Max and Huon with perhaps Wagner’s Erik or even Lohengrin to come. Subverting the usual light-dark paradigm, Newbury presented a brunette heroine preyed upon by a blonde villainess, Wendy Bryn Harmer’s Eglantine. Vocally this dichotomy held as well—Dehn’s earthy sound contrasted strikingly with the bright (and loud) shine of Harmer’s. Though she might have more thoroughly embraced her character’s melodramatic malevolence, she fearlessly tackled Eglantine’s relentless music though she was nearly defeated by the florid flourishes that conclude her demonic first-act aria. However, she ended strongly in her final moment of “triumph”—one couldn’t help imagining a Harmer Ortrud, particularly as so much of Eglantine and Lysiart’s music prefigures that of Elsa’s wily nemesis and her braggart husband. Peter Volpe made a forthright if occasionally wooly King Ludwig and Margaret Dudley a sparkling Bertha, but this strong cast was let down by an over-parted Ryan Kuster as Lysiart. Tackling a role well beyond his current abilities, the young singer forced his still-developing baritone, sounding old and sometimes hoarsely barking his demanding music, particularly “Schweigt, glüh’nden Sehnens wilde Triebe,” his baleful scene at the beginning of the second act. Like Harmer, he, too, was stymied by the coloratura at the conclusion of his aria. One hopes he will not wade into this kind of dramatic music again for quite a few years. For all his intrepid curiosity in programming, unfortunately Botstein remains a steadfastly earthbound, plodding conductor. Though he drew fine playing from his orchestra, all too often one wanted more urgency, more forward momentum, particularly in the diffuse act I. As Weber’s music settled and cohered into something more focused and powerful, so too Botstein found a more propulsive form, particularly in the despairing, yet moving final act. The vibrant chorus, particularly the male contingent, was a joy throughout. Despite its spotty history in the US, Euryanthe never entirely disappeared. Many who know it at all will have discovered it via the strongly cast 1974 studio recording with Jessye Norman, Rita Hunter, Nicolai Gedda and Tom Krause, conducted by Marek Janowski. A particularly vivid case is made by its formidable pair of villains. The earliest “complete” recording —from 1949—features the sterling Maria Reining as the beleaguered title heroine. As much as I admire Hunter, my favorite Eglantine remains Inge Borkh whose ferocious portrayal is available via a live performance from the 1954 Maggio Musicale Fiorentino conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini. Although Fritz Stiedry’s 1955 broadcast of Euryanthe has the controversial Marianne Schech as Eglantine, its claim to fame is its heroine sung by the pre-Lucia Joan Sutherland. As recently as 2001, Karita Mattila recorded two of Euryanthe’s a scenes (along with Agathe’s and Rezia’s) on her collection of “German Romantic Arias.” One regrets that Mattila never did a complete Euryanthe or Oberon, but at least we have a tremendously appealing recording of the latter by John Eliot Gardiner with Jonas Kaufmann as a glorious Huon. Connoisseurs of Weber’s vocal music should hunt down a fascinating rare out-of-print 1986 CD of “Virtuose Konzertarian von Carl Maria von Weber” by coloratura Karin Ott (Karajan’s Queen of the Night) on the ex librus label. Finally, mention of Oberon, my favorite Weber opera, propels me to include some of the most enthralling Weber singing available: a chunk of Anita Cerquetti’s blazing Rezia from a complete performance in Italian conducted by Vittorio Gui. Does this exciting Euryanthe at Bard portend a ‘new future” for Weber on the world’s stages? One might like to think so and even as soon as next April the Frankfurt Opera will mount an Euryanthe with Eric Cutler and Heidi Melton as Adolar and Eglantine—so perhaps a trend has begun! Photos: Cory Weaver

La Scena Musicale

July 14

Toronto Summer Music Festival 2014 - a Preview

Toronto Summer Music Festival 2014 – A Preview By Joseph So “Summertime, and the music is lovely...” With apologies to Ira Gershwin for my corny appropriation (and alteration) of his lyrics from the divine Porgy and Bess, I must say it sums up perfectly my feeling of the state of summer music in our fair city of Toronto. For years, one would have to travel far and wide in the summer to get a classical music fix. But this is no longer the case – the TO summer is no longer the musical desert of yore. Yes I still make my annual treks to a few select places for opera – I had just returned from the Glyndebourne Festival and the Münchner Opernfespiele. But now I make sure that I am in town for TSMF (Toronto Summer Music Festival), a three-week celebration of classical music-making of a very high order. This year, more than ever, the offerings are enticing indeed. The theme of TSMF 2014 is The Modern Age, a period that loosely encompass classical music in the first quarter of the 20th century, give and take a decade or so at either end. This takes us from around 1890 through to the 1930's, a period when music underwent extremely exciting transformations from tonality to serialism, culminating in the works of the so-called Second Viennese School. A look at the program of 2014 TSMF shows the emphasis however is on tonal music, highlighting the works of Late Romantic musical giants the likes of Strauss and Mahler, to the Impressionism of Ravel and Debussy, the Russian music masters Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Prokofiev, as well as the great English composers Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Also entering into the equation is the rise of popular musical idioms such as folk and jazz. With such a broad stroke, the 2014 edition of TSMF is ambitious, audacious, and exciting, with something for every musical taste. There are plenty of programming highlights to be sure, so my choices here reflects my personal taste. For full details, go to Pianist Beatrice Rana The two areas of focus of the 2014 TSMF remain chamber music and art of the song. The Festival opens with the Emerson String Quartet in a recital at the acoustically friendly Koerner Hall on July 22. Chamber cognoscenti will remember them as having played so beautifully on the soundtrack of The Late Quartet. Now we can hear them in person in a program of Beethoven, Schubert and Britten. The brilliant Italian pianist Beatrice Rana, winner of the 2011 Montreal International Musical Competition (Piano Edition) and the Silver Medal of the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition, will give a recital on July 23 at Walter Hall, in a program of Bach, Chopin and Prokofiev. The New York based Orion String Quartet will be in town July 24 for a program of Haydn, Brahms, and Dvorak, with special guest pianist Peter Serkin (who is a great pianist in his own right of course but old-timers like yours truly still think of him as son of the great Rudolf). It's extremely exciting for the Festival to present soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in a recital of songs and arias, including the works of Beethoven, Verdi, Cilea, Rachmaninoff, Duparc and Copland. (July 31 Koerner Hall). While not all the songs fall within the Festival theme, Radvanovsky is such a wonderful singer that even if she sings the telephone book, it'll be worth hearing! Anyone who saw her magnificent performance as Elisabetta in the recent COC Roberto Devereux will know what I mean. Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky For the Art of the Song, audiences can experience the artistry of a great singer, British baritone Christopher Maltman together with the dean of collaborative pianist Graham Johnson on August 6 at Walter Hall. I had the great good fortune of hearing Maltman just last week, as Lescaut in Manon Lescaut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Part of a stellar cast that included the hottest tenor on the planet Jonas Kaufmann and the super-glamorous Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais, Maltman more than held his own in a rather thankless role. The theme of Maltman's recital, The Soldier – from Severn to Somme, is one of remembrance, of the victors and victims of war in the songs by Mahler, Mussorgsky, Butterworth, Ives, Finzi and Poulenc. Graham Johnson is one of three artists giving public masterclasses as part of the Art of the Song program. The other two are baritones Francois LeRoux and Sanford Sylvan. Maltman will appear in a Musicians Up Close event on August 5th2 pm in Walter Hall, just before the Johnson masterclass. Perhaps the biggest coup of TSMF 2014 is the presence of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Principals of the TSO will give a chamber recital of works by Dohnanyi, Mahler and Strauss (August 7 Walter Hall). The big event is the Closing Night Concert with the full TSO forces on August 12 at Koerner Hall before they leave for their European tour. The participation of the TSO this summer is surely a watershed that will make TSMF a major musical force to be reckoned with in the future. In late May, I had the opportunity to sit down with TSMF Artistic Director Douglas McNabney for a wide-ranging talk. This was our fourth pre-festival talk, since his taking over the TSMF from Agnes Grossmann. He was in town to present the noon-hour preview concert at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, and spent the day busy dealing with TSMF business. Ever friendly, cordial and totally unflappable, McNabney fielded my questions with thoughtful, articulate answers. As usual, we reviewed the past season as well as looked a little into the future: TSMF Artistic Director Douglas McNabney LSM: Let's begin by first looking back at last year's festival. Would you say your goals were accomplished?DM: Oh yes, very much so! Last summer we had a 30% increase in attendance, and our advance ticket sales this year are ahead of last year. LSM: What do you think accounted for this big jump in attendance?DM: The Festival has become better known, and we don't have any competition in the summer. I really believe the festival theme, La belle epoque, was partly responsible. Paris at the turn of the caught the imagination of the public. It's a thread that ran through all the concerts. LSM: That's great. Looking back at last season, what do you think could have been done better or can be improved upon in the future?DM The big challenge is always reaching our public. We have 1200 seats to sell in Koerner Hall and 500 seats in Walter Hall. You would think if we could reach our target audience, we shouldn't have difficulty filling these seats. The traditional print and broadcast media have changed and they no longer pay as much attention (to classical music.) This year we've done something really interesting to increase the notoriety of the Festival. We've got the involvement of Toronto Symphony Orchestra... LSM: That's quite a coup! How did you manage to get them on board? It should raise the profile of TSMF. DM: They've put us in their season brochure. They announced the European tour and the first stop is Toronto Summer Music. We print 30,000 copies of our brochure; and they print 500,000! It always surprises me how many in Toronto have never been to the Festival, but that's only normal as it's only our 9th season. We're really beginning to establish ourselves, having events like the TSO put us into the spotlight. From there we can do more interesting things. We are really punching above our weight, to invite an organization like the TSO. A lot of it is based on personal connections... I know Andrew Shaw and Loie Fallis very well. These are people I've gone to school with. There is a trust there. LSM: Part of building audience is through outreach. How's that going?DM: The big thing we did last year was the “Shuffle” and it was a hit. It's based on the shuffle function of the ipod. For the first two years (of my tenure), we called it the Friday Night Experiment. I was always looking for an occasion to do something a little different, an alternate style. Some of our public would go to this and other public would come and it would be an interesting mix, and through that people may buy tickets to the regular season. (We found out) no, that's not how it works. Last year we found the right way – marketing it as almost a different festival. We have to go for a different public, serving a different public. It increases the notoriety of Festival and when people talk about TSMF they can find something in it for them, and it's not going to be the Emerson String Quartet, and it's fun and it's very high quality. These are not garage bands... it's going to be world music and serious jazz bands. I think we're doing the right thing. LSM: How do you do the promotion for these new, alternate events? DM: Last year we did the promotion in and around Heliconian Hall (the concert venue) in Yorkville, mostly with sandwich boards. It's 'Pay What You Can.' The Yorkville area is teeming with people; our concerts in Heliconian Hall were frequently full – we couldn't seat everybody for one of the tango shows. It's fun and different. We bring some of the Festival young artists into the program. They really love it – it's different and eclectic. They come and and play just one movement of the work. The idea is to do something a little different while maintaining the quality. It worked well last year and we're going to continue with it. LSM: I'm curious – how did you get Sondra Radvanovsky on board?DM: I work with Roman Borys of the Ottawa Chamberfest, two of us work together as a package. It means she's taking one week out of her holiday to do this, but she thought it was an interesting enough proposition. The details are still under negotiation. [Note: since the interview, the program has been announced, and it includes Ah Perfido!Beethoven's formidable concert aria, plus several operatic chestnuts and some of the best known songs by Rachmaninoff and Duparc] LSM: I noticed that you are offering song recitals with your Art of the Song fellows...DM: Yes. In the past, we've always had the Art of Song participants to sing within Mentors and Fellows programs. Many people complained that it wasn't enough of an occasion to highlight the singers. This year they'll have two concerts. Eight singers and five pianist, and we'll get to hear them all. LSM : What are you most proud of in this year's festival?DM: Bringing the Toronto Symphony is a huge undertaking. It's a tremendous financial responsibility, much bigger than anything the Festival had undertaken in the past. I had to work really hard to convince the board to do this. The TSO has been helping's a wonderful collaborative effort, to help us reach potential new donors. For the TSO, the alternative was to do their regular, free concert at David Pecaut Square. That reaches a big public, but this way they get to play in Koerner Hall for the first time. There's a whole video team assembled to document the concert and their tour. LSM: I've noticed that there is a strong Asian presence among the Art of the Song program participants, and there seems to be more Asians in the audience for both the symphony and the opera. Are you trying to tap into that? DM: Yes we do have a very strong Asian presence (among the fellows) this year. We still don't have the (Asian) public yet. Having them as fellows, we hope we're going to bring in the audience. We have an Asian board member – he's young, energetic and well connected. We are working on building long term relationships with the communities – it's building trust and it's always long term. LSM: As a voice fan, I must say I've really been impressed with the wonderful people you've brought in for the Art of the Song program, despite the disappointments of a few cancellations in the past...DM: This year we have Christopher Maltman here to do a very well thought out program, with a real theme that takes you through World War One. Graham Johnson is here for a week to give masterclasses. This is just our 4th Academy, already we've had Sir Thomas Allen, Gerald Finley, Elly Ameling, Roger Vignoles, and Julius Drake, all amazing artists and teachers. The only one missing is Malcolm Martineau and I'm working on it! LSM: Let's talk a little about this year's theme, The Modern Age. I've noticed that the programming have pretty much stayed within the boundaries of tonality rather than venturing into Serialism, which is of course the major musical transformation of this period. Can you say something about that? DM: You know, one of my big passions is Schönberg and the Second Viennese School. I am interested in the whole creative process, his whole voyage, how he got into it following the horrors of World War One, its parallels in the visual arts, the Cubist movement and the German Expressionism, etc. But I won't be doing that as part of TSMF. We're doing the Chamber Symphony, still very tonal, but that's as far as we'll get this year. We'll have some of our young artists do this repertoire. This material has to be presented in a special way so as not to lose my audience... LSM: Looking into the future – what would next year's theme be?DM: It's Music of the Americas, a very rich and diverse thematic area with lots of possibilities. We'll take some of the American composers who studies in France – everybody from America studied in Paris in those days. Just Copland is a lot of fantastic music; we can also broaden into jazz. The problem next year is to limit it to the great music. LSM: Thank you and my best wishes for a very successful Festival.

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