NEW! St John’s Smith Square announces ‘ARTIST LAB’

SJSS’s ‘ARTIST LAB’ PROJECT

#Artistlab

The covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges around the world. Clearly, our first priority is everyone’s health and well-being, but an important part of this is people’s enjoyment of music and the arts. Concert halls have closed their doors and musicians are unable to work. This creates enormous pressures and challenges as people’s livelihoods are challenged and venues face an uncertain future.

Read moreNEW! St John’s Smith Square announces ‘ARTIST LAB’

NEW! A CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL BROFMAN, FOUNDER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE BROOKLYN ART SONG SOCIETY

Rick Perdian spoke with Michael Brofman, founder and artistic director of the Brooklyn Art Song Society, about the impact of the pandemic on the organization and its plans for the future

Michael Brofman © Meg Goldberg

In the midst of its tenth anniversary season, the Brooklyn Art Song Society (BASS) had to cancel everything when New York became the global epicenter of the novel coronavirus in March. For its 2020-21 season, BASS is going digital and will celebrate the legacy of Franz Schubert, the first and arguably the greatest composer of German Lieder, with five programs of more than 100 of his songs. In addition, BASS will launch the New Voices Festival, which seeks to reimagine the art song for the twenty-first century.

Read moreNEW! A CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL BROFMAN, FOUNDER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE BROOKLYN ART SONG SOCIETY

NEW! ‘It Ain’t A-Gonna Rain No Mo’ – more music hall memories

 It Ain’t A-Gonna Rain No Mo’

Oh, it ain’t a-gonna rain no mo’, no mo’,
It ain’t a-gonna rain no mo’.
But how in the world can the old folks tell
It ain’t a-gonna rain no mo’?

Grandma used to tell me that if there was enough blue in the sky to make a sailor a pair of trousers, it wouldn’t rain, so I might then play in the garden. That’s how I became interested in cloud movements. She didn’t explain that it was the wind’s dialogue with the clouds that was the referee. Or how fat the sailor had to be.

Read moreNEW! ‘It Ain’t A-Gonna Rain No Mo’ – more music hall memories

NEW! Zooming with the Stars – Met announces Live in Concert Series from 18 July

Met Stars Live in Concert – 12 concerts from 18 July to 19 December

Met Stars Live in Concert Press Conference

In a Zoom press conference, The Metropolitan Opera unveiled its plans for an upcoming series of 12 concerts featuring some of opera’s greatest international stars.

Read moreNEW! Zooming with the Stars – Met announces Live in Concert Series from 18 July

NEW! We’ll be back! The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra weathering the Covid-19 storm

CBSO perform Mahler’s ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ (c) Andrew Fox

On 4 March 2020 I went to Symphony Hall, Birmingham to hear the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the CBSO Chorus give a fine performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem conducted by the orchestra’s charismatic Osborn Music Director, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (review). Though the Coronavirus alarm bells were ringing ever more loudly by that point, little did I imagine that this would be the last time that I would be able to hear the CBSO during their 2019/20 season. I had plans to review several more of their concerts, most notably their planned performance of Britten’s War Requiem on 20 June. Not long after that Brahms concert, though, the UK was put into lockdown and the orchestra was obliged to cancel future concerts on an incremental basis, including a 12-concert tour of Germany and Austria. Eventually, on 30 April, they bowed to the inevitable and cancelled the remainder of the season.

Read moreNEW! We’ll be back! The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra weathering the Covid-19 storm

UPDATED! Longborough Festival Opera launches podcast and extraordinary generosity of the audience

The Longborough Festival Opera has launched a podcast series that will feature conversations with many of opera’s biggest stars. For more information about LFO’s podcasts click here

The company has released four episodes to this point, with three of them focused on Wagner’s Ring cycle.

In the first, journalist Richard Bratby, Longborough music director Anthony Negus, and bass-baritone Paul Carey Jones talk about Wotan’s journey through the tetralogy.

In a second episode, Writer and librettist Sophie Rashbrook, soprano Lee Bisset, and historian Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough analyse the role of women in the cycle.

The third installment features a conversation on The Cunning Little Vixen hosted by Richard Bratby.

Finally, in the fourth installment, Opera director and librettist Sir David Pountney and Longborough’s artistic director Polly Graham delve into the comedic aspects of Wagner’s magnum opus

Longborough artistic director Polly Graham notes: ‘What we hope to achieve from this podcast is a chance to open up some of the amazing works we had programmed for 2020, and to celebrate the thinking of the artists we work with. The lockdown has been hugely challenging for the performing arts, but it has given us the opportunity to think creatively about different experiences we can still offer audiences. We miss our audiences so much and cannot wait to connect with them again through live theatre and music. In the meantime, we hope this podcast will continue to feed their imagination. We are so grateful for their continued support at such a challenging time.’

Read moreUPDATED! Longborough Festival Opera launches podcast and extraordinary generosity of the audience

NEW! The Music Critics Association of North America Best New Opera Award to Blue

The Music Critics Association of North America (MCANA) has given its 2020 Award for Best New Opera to composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson for Blue

Kenneth Kellogg, Briana Hunter, & Aaron Crouch in Blue (c) Karli Cadel

Read moreNEW! The Music Critics Association of North America Best New Opera Award to Blue

NEW! Lincoln Center honors Pride with a light installation on its iconic plaza

For the first time in its 60+ year history, Lincoln Center is celebrating Pride by illuminating its plaza with a rainbow design and by flying the Rainbow Flag in front of its campus. For the rest of June, the installation acknowledges the histories, struggles and contributions of LGBTQIA+ communities and celebrates the full spectrum of queer identity.

Read moreNEW! Lincoln Center honors Pride with a light installation on its iconic plaza