Radvanovsky A Brilliant Tosca At The Met

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York, N.Y. November 5, 2018—The David McVicar Tosca that replaced the hated Luc Bondy production is a finely traditional affair. It arrived at the Met on New Year’s Eve, 2017, with Sonya Yoncheva and Vittorio Grigolo as the protagonists, and as was becoming their youth and charm, he portrayed […]

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Naxos Music Group Acquires Opus Arte Label; Signs Long-Term Agreement With Royal Opera House

Hong Kong, November 5, 2018—Naxos is happy to announce its acquisition of the Opus Arte label from the Royal Opera House. The acquisition marks an important step in the company’s expansion of its audiovisual activities, as video is gaining importance in the classical music industry. The Naxos Music Group has been distributing the label worldwide […]

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Bamberg Symphony Opens Season With Panache

On paper, the season-opening concert of the Bamberg Symphony on September 28 was a winner unheard and unseen, before it ever took place: György Ligeti’s Atmosphères, Bohuslav Martinů’s First [sic!] Violin Concerto with Frank Peter Zimmermann, and a newly arranged orchestral suite from The Cunning Little Vixen as the main course. Sign me up! Indeed, […]

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Italian Festival Unearths Rossini Rarities

Festival della Valle d’Itria, Martina Franca, July 30-31, 2018—It is the 150th anniversary of Rossini’s death, and Italy is celebrating in style. Parliament has ushered in a “Rossini year”, and a wealth of Rossini initiatives are taking place across the nation. But what can be learned about the composer when the Rossini revival that began […]

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Concert For Peace, Vienna

St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, August 2, 2018—(Manfred Honeck, European Union Youth Orchestra, Thomas Hampson (baritone), Luca Pisaroni (bass-baritone), Maria Nazarova, Cornelia Horak (soprano), Iris Vermillion (mezzo-soprano), Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno). Easy to overlook or underestimate, a recent “Concert for Peace” at Vienna’s St. Stephen’s cathedral–sounding half hackneyed, half like a tourist trap–turned out to be […]

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Scarlatti And Handel At Martina Franca

Festival della Valle d’Itria, Martina Franca, 28-29 July, 2018–The Festival della Valle d’Itria in Martina Franca, Puglia draws faithful audiences by sticking to a winning formula: by presenting obscure operatic titles and selecting casts on the basis of their vocal merits rather than their fame. This was the approach cultivated by artistic directors Rodolfo Celletti […]

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Putting Conductors In Their Place: Sexual Harassment and the Death of the “Maestro Myth”

In the wake of an excellent article by Anne Midgette and Peggy McGlone in The Washington Post on sexual harassment in the classical music business, Holland’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra announced that it had terminated the ensemble’s relationship with chief conductor Daniele Gatti. To its credit, the orchestra did not rely solely on allegations detailed in […]

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Book Review: Furtwängler’s Writings–The Intellectual Biography of a Second-Rater

Roger Allen. Wilhelm Furtwängler: Art and the Politics of the Unpolitical. The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2018 (286pp). Just how smart was Wilhelm Furtwängler? That he was musically gifted there can be no question, but there is a significant difference between being talented and being intelligent. Similarly, one can be very highly educated—as a function of […]

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Mahler In Milan

La Scala, Milan, June 22, 2018—Herbert Blomstedt, who turns 91 in July, has been guest conducting Mahler’s Ninth Symphony these past months with various orchestras. On Friday evening he led the first of three performances with the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra. The orchestra’s busy opera schedule apparently did not allow for more than minimum rehearsal […]

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