A Q&A WITH CHINESE SOPRANO HUI HE

Hui He had a great success recently on her return to New York’s Metropolitan Opera as Madama Butterfly (review click here) and answers Seen and Heard International’s questions about her life and her career. Read on for more about her ‘journey in the world of opera’ from China’s Shaanxi province to Verona and the world’s greatest concert halls and opera houses.

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CONDUCTOR TOM HAMMOND IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE

Tom Hammond talks to Robert Beattie

Tom Hammond (c) Gareth Barton

Tom Hammond is a London-based conductor, recording producer, and Festival Director. As well as being  Music Director/Principal Conductor of the Finchley, Hertford and St Albans Symphony Orchestras, Tom also directs youth orchestras in Hatfield and Watford, and is a Guest Conductor for the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Palestine, and in this country with the Orchestra of the Swan, which is based in Stratford-upon-Avon. Tom is a founding Artistic Director of the Hertfordshire Festival of Music, an annual summer celebration of classical music held in various venues in Hertfordshire which celebrates its fifth consecutive year in 2020.

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CONDUCTOR HERVÉ NIQUET INTERVIEWED ABOUT GRÉTRY’S RICHARD, COEUR DE LION

Hervé Niquet discusses Grétry’s opera, Richard, Coeur de Lion with Colin Clarke

Hervé Niquet  (c) Julien Mignot

Opéra Versailles’s production of Grétry’s Richard, Coeur de Lion recently was a great success (review click here). The morning after the first performance of the run, I meet Hervé Niquet in an achingly cool hotel in Versailles. Open and friendly, he is an interviewer’s dream.

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SOPRANO ANGELA GHEORGHIU IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON

Angela Gheorghiu talks to Michael Cookson

Angela Gheorghiu © Cosmin Gogu

Clearly relishing the beautiful summer weather in Dresden, the day I met Angela Gheorghiu for interview at her hotel she was looking cool in her blue and white striped summer dress, straw hat and wearing sandals. Bringing her family with her the Romanian soprano was in rehearsal for a few days preparing for her appearance in her signature role as heroine Tosca in the revival of Johannes Schaaf production at Semperoper. This is my report (click here) from what was one of the finest performances I have encountered in an opera house, a special Tosca with Gheorghiu in imperious form.

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A Q&A WITH GERMAN SOPRANO PETRA LANG

Petra Lang (c) Ann Weitz, Düsseldorf

To admirers of great singing Petra Lang needs little introduction because of her superb performances on the world’s leading opera stages and concert platforms. In recent years, especially, she has brought the audiences at the annual Bayreuth Festival to their feet to acclaim her wonderful portrayals of Ortrud (review click here) and Isolde (review click here). Seen and Heard was delighted when Petra Lang agreed to answer our questions to look back – amongst much else – at how she began as a singer, who gave her advice along the way, a singer’s life, her thoughts on the roles she has sung and the colleagues she has worked with, as well as, her own advice for young singers.

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TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL Please email sandhadmin@btinternet.com Or visit us on Facebook CLICK HERE Or on Twitter @SeenandHeardInt Readers wishing to contact individual reviewers should use the above in the first instance. FOR CD RELEASE-RELATED ENQUIRIES PLEASE ONLY CONTACT MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL by emailing len@musicweb-international.com. Seen and Heard International is a live review site. … Read more

A Q&A WITH ITALIAN BARITONE FRANCO VASSALLO

FV

Franco Vassallo is an acclaimed interpreter of leading Verdi roles – amongst many others – in the world’s most important opera houses (including Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Opéra de Paris, London’s Royal Opera House and New York’s Metropolitan Opera). He has just sung Scarpia for the first time in Puccini’s Tosca at the Staatsoper Hamburg in the Robert Carsen production and performed with Anja Harteros and Jonas Kaufmann.

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