Seen in cinemas: Dutch National Ballet’s Giselle with Olga Smirnova is conceived on a grand scale

NetherlandsNetherlands Dutch National Ballet’s Giselle: Dancers of Dutch National Ballet, Dutch Ballet Orchestra / Ermanno Florio (conductor). Filmed (directed by Isabelle Julien) at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. Amsterdam, on 26 and 29.10.2023 and released worldwide in cinemas only from 21.1.2024. (JPr)

Olga Smirnova (Giselle) and Jacopo Tissi (Albrecht) © Alex Gouliaev

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Saffron Opera Group’s Le nozze di Figaro at Saffron Hall on 25 February 2024

SAFFRON OPERA GROUP IN THEIR TENTH ANNIVERSARY SEASON PRESENT MOZART’S SPARKLING COMEDY LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with a cast of internationally renowned stars and rising talents on Sunday 25 February 2024, at 2.30pm

After a dazzling and highly lauded performance of Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier earlier in 2023, Saffron Opera Group (SOG) now turns its attention to the comedy which provided a major source of inspiration for Strauss: Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Having already had huge success with Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni, SOG thus now completes the cycle of the of the three ‘Da Ponte Operas’ (so named after their librettist Lorenzo da Ponte) and is delighted to announce the return of many audience-favourite singers – and some shining new talents – to their cast.

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Is Here We Are Stephen Sondheim’s Falstaff?

Stephen Sondheim’s self-reverential Here We Are

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim notoriously resisted the idea that his musicals were operas. He would recoil at any comparison between his score for Here We Are, the show he was still tweaking at his death two years ago, and Verdi’s for Falstaff, but it keeps nagging at me.

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Updated!: Further news on the future of English National Opera

English National Opera and Greater Manchester announce plan for new home in city-region

English National Opera (ENO) and Greater Manchester are pleased to announce a new working partnership to develop a new home for the opera company.

The partnership will see ENO and Greater Manchester work together on plans to bring the company’s globally renowned cultural offer to a main base in the city-region by 2029.

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R.I.P. BRITISH BASS-BARITONE KEEL WATSON (1964-2023)

Esteemed British bass-baritone Keel Watson has died at 59

In a statement, Steven Swales Artist Management said, ‘It is with enormous sadness that we announce the sudden death of Keel Watson. It was a huge privilege to work with him and call him a friend. Keel’s magnificent voice was admired by so many, as was his sharp wit and generosity as a performer. Only recently he completed acclaimed performances in genres as diverse as Wagner and Gilbert and Sullivan. We send our thoughts to his family and those who knew and loved him.’

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CALLAS – PARIS, 1958 in cinemas soon should not be missed by opera lovers of whatever vintage

FranceFrance CALLAS – PARIS, 1958: Maria Callas (soprano), featured soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of the Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris / Georges Sébastian (conductor). Filmed for ORTF by Roger Benamou on 19.12.1958 and released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on 11 & 12.11.2023. (JPr)

Maria Callas © Fonds de Dotation Maria Callas

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Christian Thielemann to become new General Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden

Christian Thielemann to succeed Daniel Barenboim at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden

Christian Thielemann © Matthias Creutziger

At its meeting today, the Board of Trustees of the Berlin Opera Foundation approved the contract with Christian Thielemann as General Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden from September 1, 2024. Thielemann succeeds Daniel Barenboim, who is an honorary citizen of Berlin.

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Creative Scotland declines to fund this year’s Lammermuir Festival

Lammermuir Festival faces future challenge head-on as Creative Scotland turns it down for funding in 2023

Lammermuir Festival has been turned down by Creative Scotland’s Open Fund for funding towards this year’s festival. Over a period of 40 weeks the festival lodged three applications having been strongly encouraged by Creative Scotland officials to re-apply twice. Each application was strongly recommended for funding by the Music Department at Creative Scotland, particularly as a key part of a network of festivals across the country including East Neuk, Paxton, Cumnock Tryst and St Magnus. Each application has been turned down by assessment panels, the last notification being on 22 August, just sixteen days before the 2023 festival opened.

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