English National Opera announces new staging of Wagner’s Ring cycle
Directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Martyn Brabbins, The Valkyrie will form the first part of a complete Ring cycle over the next five years.
English National Opera (ENO) is to bring Wagner’s Ring cycle to the London Coliseum, starting with The Valkyrie this Autumn, subject to any further lockdown restrictions. Directed by the award-winning Richard Jones, and marking the first time in more than 15 years since ENO last staged The Ring, all four parts of The Ring cycle will be staged at the London Coliseum over five years. Rhinegold will premiere in 2022/23 followed by a reprise of The Valkyrie, and new productions of Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods in 2024 and 2025 consecutively. The Metropolitan Opera is co-producing.
There is nothing in music quite like a RingFestival. As with a cricket test match or a baseball World Series, the four-day sequence of Wagner operas stands as a pinnacle of the form, draws the attention of aficionados from near and far, and often plays out with ancillary events that broaden the scope beyond the main affair.
San Francisco Opera announced plans on 16 February to stream videos of its excellent 2018 Der Ring des Nibelungen on four weekends in March, along with a new set of lectures, interviews and panel discussions on Zoom. Similar to events that were presented with the series when it was mounted in 2018, these live sidebars focus on individuals from the cast and creative team.
This season was to be a celebration of Christopher Hahn’s twentieth anniversary with the Pittsburgh Opera. It was, but not as anyone could possibly have imagined a year ago. Hahn was appointed General Director of the Pittsburgh Opera in 2008, having served as Artistic Director since 2000. During his tenure, the company has been transformed. … Read more
Even in the midst of a pandemic, a Zoom call with Brandon Ridenour and Ben Russell is an upbeat experience. Their plans for performances, tours and just about everything else hit a brick wall in March, as they did for just about everyone on the planet. For Russell, it has been a peripatetic few months: circumstances required him to leave Brooklyn early in the pandemic and, since then, he and his wife have stayed in a cabin in Maine and with family in California and Mississippi. Apart from a few brief trips out of New York, Ridenour has stuck it out in Brooklyn.
They are two of the five members of Founders, the award-winning, Brooklyn-based ensemble, a songwriting collective that is reimagining the boundaries of musical styles. In addition to Russell (violin/vocals) and Ridenour (trumpet/piano), the other members of the group are Hamilton Berry (cello/vocals), Yoonah Kim (clarinet) and Greg Chudzik (bass). All are conservatory-trained musicians.
Individually, they have worked with songwriters such as James Taylor, Sufjan Stevens, Sting, and Björk, as well as with classical ensembles such as Canadian Brass, A Far Cry and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. They have performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Hall and Lincoln Center, as well as on television broadcasts such as The Late Show and Saturday Night Live.
January saw the release of Founders’ latest recording, Songs for the End of Time, Vol. 1, which features Russell and Ridenour’s arrangement of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. Their adaptation of this seminal work received its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca New Music Festival. With this thoughtful, imaginative and at times stunningly beautiful rethinking of Messiaen’s Quartet, Founders is introducing it to audiences that might never have encountered it before.
Vienna violinist Johannes Fleischmann spoke to Seen and Heard on the release of his new album EXODUS: The Men Who Shaped Hollywood, celebrating the music of two Jewish Austrian composers who fled World War II to California: Erich Korngold and Eric Zeisl. Antoine Lévy-Leboyer: For those who do not live in Vienna and who would … Read more
Julian Gargiulo and María Dueñas talk to Rick Perdian
Julian Gargiulo is a pianist, composer and recording artist who has performed widely in North America, Europe and Asia. He was named a Steinway Artist in 2014, a title conferred upon the best pianists of the day. Like other Steinway Artists, Gargiulo has chosen to perform exclusively on Steinways, possesses his own Steinway piano and receives no remuneration for doing so. The latter is unique among product endorsements, as is Getting to Carnegie, the annual international music competition founded by Gargiulo in 2015.