This week Hänsel und Gretel returns to Glyndebourne. Boasting a dizzying array of confectionary, the requisite child-eating crone and, of course, a singing and dancing children’s chorus, Laurent Pelly’s 2008 staging speaks to the kid in all of us. And it has me thinking about that unique cocktail: children and opera.
For a precious handful of concert seasons, Klaus Tennstedt (1926-1998) dominated the orchestral scene on London’s South Bank. As principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra between 1983 and 1987 he built up a loyal following and his performances of the so-called “core” Austro-German repertoire were widely regarded as yardsticks.
Feature by James McCarthy What is the special appeal of Eric Whitacre’s music? Since 1991 the American composer has been writing choral works that have proved immensely popular in the US. But his recent online project, the Virtual Choir , has taken that popularity beyond the choral world and, indeed, American shores.
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Icarus at the Edge of Time , a multi-genre futuristic re-telling of the Greek myth using music and film, receives its European premiere at London’s...
Question: which is America’s oldest continuously active music institution? Clue: it’s not one of the most famous. It’s not even the most famous in its own city. Think of Boston and, in music terms, you think immediately of the glitzy symphony orchestra with its big-name music director James Levine, then of Tanglewood, the BSO’s famous summer festival home a little way outside of town. But did you know that the founding of that orchestra was inspired by the now comparatively little-known Handel & Haydn Society?
Pears as a singer of Britten, that’s one thing; Pears as a singer is another. His association with Britten – so close that his voice seems to be written into the music composed for it – gives him a unique position among all the singers of his time and ours. In as far as there can be a definitive performance of anything, his performances of the songs and in the operas and other large-scale works by Britten are what the composer wanted. There are other ways of singing Britten, but this is “his” voice, and it sounds infallibly right.