Educating Rita, says who?

The OED on education refers an inquirer through a Middle English (ME) root of educe meaning to bring out or develop (something latent or potential): very much Willy Russell’s territory in his melodramatic farce of 1980 at the Royal Shakespeare Company;  which in turn became an even more successful (1983) film of the same name. whose stage version also had the same leading actors as the film. But that is only half the story.

Read more


Susie Allan talks to John Quinn

Susie Allan (c) Bill Wyatt

A little while ago I read two online reviews of the same Lieder recital. The singer and pianist involved were both highly distinguished musicians in their own right and, in addition, have worked together in recital quite frequently in the past. Both reviews were written by experienced and knowledgeable reviewers but there was a significant difference between them. One, admittedly the longer of the two, commentated on both the singer and the pianist in almost equal measure. The other addressed the work and the performance of the singer but the contribution of the pianist was covered in a final short paragraph which consisted of just two sentences.

Read more

Need to escape reality? Enter into the magical world of composer David Hertzberg

Swans welcomes guests to The Wake World at The Barnes Foundation © Dominic Mercier

Over a few days in early March, concert halls, opera houses and theaters went dark around the world in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Countless works of music, both new and old, could not be performed, among them the premiere of a symphonic piece by the American composer David Hertzberg. Hertzberg gave the piece the working title Madig, a German word that may translate to worm-eaten but has a range of meanings in colloquial usage.

Read more

BTHVN2020 – Beethoven anniversary goes into overtime

BTHVN2020 exceeds its initial course, runs projects until September 2021

The celebrations in honour of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday will continue until September 2021. This was agreed on by the supervisory board of Beethoven Jubiläums GmbH at its meeting this Friday. This will allow the creative potential of BTHVN2020 to continue to unfold, despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID 19 pandemic.

Read more

Remembering Margaret Rutherford: murder on and off screen

Margaret Rutherford and Stringer Davis in Murder Ahoy

You have to be forty-one at least, to make an impression as the dotty old woman on screen. That was Margaret Rutherford’s age when she began her film career. She said in a BBC television interview that she was puzzled why so many people found her films comic. Solving crime is a serious business, she added. Coming from her lips, we find that comic too.

Read more

Remembering George London’s life and legacy on the 100th anniversary of his birth

For a singer whose career was cut short in the 1960s by illness, Canadian-American bass-baritone George London’s presence still looms large in the opera world. His magnificent voice can be heard on recordings, including a 1960 Tosca with Renata Tebaldi that for many remains a definitive version of the Puccini opera, but it is the work of The George London Foundation for Singers that is his true legacy. Each year the Foundation awards tens of thousands of dollars to young American and Canadian singers who are in the early stages of their careers.

Read more