NEW! IN MEMORIAM LOUIS FRÉMAUX (1921-2017)

28/03/2017

Louis Frémaux (13 August 1921 – 20 March 2017) – an obituary by Rob Barnett

LF As ever, the bare bones of any person’s life tell us but a small part of the individual’s story and heritage. Louis Frémaux is no different in that respect. That said we need to lay them out:
– Born in Aire-sur-la-Lys, Pas-de-Calais, France in 1921 and he studied at the Valenciennes Conservatoire.
– War service in the Resistance and then as a Foreign Legion Captain in the French armed forces in Vietnam (1945-46)
– Resumed his war-interrupted studies, this time at the Paris Conservatoire with Louis Fourestier where he took first prize in conducting in 1952.

Chief conductor engagements followed:
– Orchestre National de Monte Carlo (Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo) (1956-1965). Prince Rainier had interceded with the French authorities when Frémaux was called back to the Foreign Legion for duties in Algeria in 1956 and seemingly pulled strings to have him take over the OPMC.
– Orchestre Philharmonique Rhône-Alpes, Lyons (1968-1971)
– City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1969-1978)
– Sydney Symphony Orchestra (1979-1982)  Read more

UPDATED IN MEMORIAM NICOLAI GEDDA (1925-2017)

28/02/2017

NICOLAI GEDDA (1925 -2017)

Gedda

Nicola Gedda as Nemorino one of his signature roles

His daughter, Tania, announced the death of Nicolai Gedda on January 8 at his residence near Lausanne, Switzerland. His death occurred a few months after that of his first wife, the pianist Nadia Gedda-Nova – Tania’s mother – and a few days after that of Georges Prêtre with whom he collaborated several times, notably as Don José in the recording of Carmen alongside Maria Callas. Read more

NEW! BARITONE MICHAEL VOLLE IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON

26/02/2017

Michael Volle talks to Michael Cookson

MV

Michael Volle

Michael Volle one of the leading baritones on the international stage today is a recipient of eminent German Theatre Award ‘Faust’ and in 2008 and 2014 was named ‘Singer of the Year’ by opera magazine ‘Opernwelt’. In a 2008 interview with Jim Pritchard for Seen and Heard, Volle had yet to sing Hans Sachs a role which has since established him as one of the greatest acting baritones of his generation. A pinnacle of Volle’s career was singing Sachs in Stefan Herheim’s production of Die Meistersinger at the Salzburg Festival 2013. Read more

NEW! PIANIST ALEXANDER KARPEYEV IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE

23/02/2017

Alexander Karpeyev in Conversation with Robert Beattie

ak 7

Alexander Karpeyev (c) Julian Dyson

Alexander Karpeyev has been a major prizewinner in a number of international piano competitions including first prize at the 2007 Dudley International Piano Competition.  He studied at the Moscow Conservatory and with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music in London.  He is a noted exponent of Medtner’s music and recently defended his doctoral thesis on the performance practice of the music of Medtner at City University of London.  Last year he organised the first International Medtner Festival in the UK and he is the curator of the Pushkin House Music Salon in Bloomsbury Square which showcases Russian chamber music.  He recently gave a superb recital in Kings Place which focused on Russian music composed immediately prior to the Revolution of 1917 (review). Read more

NEW! Reviews of Opera in Mumbai: A Gala and La Bohème Revisited

09/02/2017

Various composers: Maria José Siri (soprano), Simon O’Neill (tenor), Kai Rüütel (mezzo-soprano), Long Zhang (tenor), Andrea Vincenzo Bonsignore (baritone), Matteo Peirone (bass), Symphony Orchestra of India / Carlo Rizzi (conductor), Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai, 2.2.2017. (JSM)

Verdi – Overture to La forza del Destino; Otello (excerpts)
GiordanoAndrea Chénier (excerpts)
BizetCarmen Suites (excerpts)

Puccini, La Bohème Revisited: Soloists, Symphony Orchestra of India / Carlo Rizzi (conductor), Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai, 8.2.2017 (JSM)

Cast:
Rodolfo – Giordano Lucà
Mimì – Olena Tokar
Marcello – Andrea Vincenzo Bonsignore
Musetta – Maria Mudryak
Colline – Andrea Concetti
Schaunard – Daniele Terenzi
Alcindoro/Benoit – Matteo Peirone
Narrator – Sax Nicosia

Production:
Director – Sax Nicosia
Lighting – Alberto Giolotti
Artwork – Francesco Calagnini
Projections – D-Wok Read more

NEW! FIVE YOUNG SINGERS JOIN THE JETTE PARKER YOUNG ARTISTS FOR 2017

10/01/2017

NEW JETTE PARKER YOUNG ARTISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2017

rohThe Royal Opera is delighted to announce the five singers who will join the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in September 2017.

American soprano Jacquelyn Stucker

Korean soprano Haegee Lee

Russian mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina

Korean tenor Kuno Kim

British baritone Dominic Sedgwick Read more

NEW! THE SOPRANO ELISABETH MEISTER: FIGHTING BACK FROM WHAT LIFE THROWS AT YOU AND INSPIRING OTHERS

03/01/2017

Fighting Back From What Life Throws At You And Inspiring Others: Jim Pritchard Interviews The Soprano Elisabeth Meister

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Elisabeth Meister

One of the highlights of the recent concert performance of Die Walküre for the Saffron Opera Group was Elisabeth Meister’s wonderful Sieglinde. Peter Reed in Opera magazine described how ‘gathering depth and brilliance’ she ‘built towards an orchestra-surfing “O hehrstes Wunder!” of pulverizing grandeur’. On this site I said she just ‘got better and better’ and how ‘Meister is an intelligent singer who knows how to project her voice, and she achieved extraordinary heights of passion in Act III without pushing the voice beyond its limits.’ (For full review click here.) I also mentioned how Elisabeth was – with this performance – returning to singing after something of a hiatus to her singing career, which was set to have a meteoric rise after leaving the Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. Elisabeth has a remarkable – and inspirational – story to tell which involves losing and regaining her singing voice. Read more

NEW! REVIEWERS OF SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL PICK THEIR BEST OF 2016

23/12/2016

THE BEST OF 2016 FROM REVIEWERS OF SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL  Read more

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