NEW! BARITONE SIMON MECHLIŃSKI IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE

05/12/2018

Robert Beattie interviews Simon Mechliński

Simon Mechliński (c) Zbychu Nowak

The Wexford Opera Festival is famous for introducing rare, neglected and new works to the public. It also provides a forum for young performers to make their mark on the world. One such performer at this year’s Festival was 25-year-old Polish baritone, Simon Mechliński, who performed in Mercandante’s Il bravo (click here) and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (click here). Read more

NEW! CONDUCTOR ELIM CHAN IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE

28/11/2018

Gregor Tassie Interviews Elim Chan

Elim Chan (c) Willeke Machiels

The young Chinese conductor Elim Chan has enjoyed a highly successful career since she won her breakthrough competition at the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition roughly four years ago and which immediately gave her the opportunity of working as an assistant conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra. In London she had the opportunity of being mentored by Valery Gergiev (who invited her to conduct the Mariinsky Orchestra in St Petersburg), Michael Tilson-Thomas and Sir Antonio Pappano. In 2017 she was appointed chief conductor at Norrlandsoperan in Umea, Sweden, and principal guest conductor at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and at the beginning of 2018, she was appointed chief conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra from the 2019-2020 season. In a short period, Chan has worked with some of the best orchestras worldwide, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Read more

NEW! SOPRANO ELENA MOȘUC IN CONVERSATION WITH CASEY CREEL

30/10/2018

‘Verdi wants more blood in the singing’: Elena Moșuc on embracing new drama in her repertoire​​

Elena Moșuc

The lyric coloratura soprano Elena Moșuc has a decent claim to being one of the hardest working people in show business, ever sizing up new repertoire and planning new recordings at this advanced stage of her career. After a highly successful recital in this spring in Zurich (reviewed here), I submitted Ms Moșuc  to an extensive list of questions about a wide range of topics: her early days, her future plans, the current state of her voice, and all sorts of hypothetical questions. Her answers do not disappoint; she used them as an opportunity to reflect at length on questions of artistry and career. I found Moșuc to be sincere and introspective, with less than the normal dosage of boilerplate self-promotion inherent to these sorts of press events. The interview has been edited for clarity. Read more

NEW! THE PIANIST ANGELA HEWITT IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE

25/10/2018

Angela Hewitt talks with Gregor Tassie

Angela Hewitt © Keith Saunders

The Canadian/British pianist has been a major figure on the international concert circuit since her victory in 1985 at the International Bach Piano Competition in Toronto, one of the awards of which was a debut recording with Deutsche Grammophon of Bach. Her recording in many ways opened up her career to new audiences and she has since established herself as a formidable interpreter of Baroque music along with the Impressionist French school of Fauré, Debussy and Ravel. Read more

NEW! MAESTRO RICCARDO FRIZZA IN CONVERSATION WITH MARGARIDA MOTA-BULL

19/09/2018

‘Music is an Exchange of Effort and Energy’

Riccardo Frizza © Joan Tomás)

Riccardo Frizza grew up in Brescia, a town in Northern Lombardy, close to the city of Milan. He got interested in music when he was only five years old and began playing a little keyboard at home. Although neither one of his parents was a musician, they soon recognised the talent of the young Riccardo and sent him for piano lessons. He later continued his studies at the Milan Conservatoire. During that period he greatly admired Leonard Bernstein and later was influenced and looked up to such luminaries as Claudio Abbado and Riccardo Muti. Frizza also studied with composer Elisabetta Brusa and conductor Gilberto Serembe who both contributed to his artistry and to whom he feels indebted. Read more

NEW! THE GESUALDO SIX IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN

24/08/2018

 

Gesualdo Six (Owain Park fourth from right) © Ash Mills

Owain Park talks to Geoffrey Newman 

Few young British choral ensembles have climbed more readily into audiences’ affections than The Gesualdo Six, led by 24-year-old Owain Park. Formed in 2014 for a performance of Don Carlo Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday at Trinity College Cambridge, and along with Park, it features a handpicked group of England’s finest young consort singers: Guy James and Alex Chance (countertenors), Joseph Wicks and Josh Cooter (tenors), Michael Craddock (baritone) and Samuel Mitchell (bass). Read more

NEW! A Q&A WITH GERMAN SOPRANO PETRA LANG

22/08/2018

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. Read more

NEW! TENOR NICHOLAS PHAN IN CONVERSATION WITH CHRISTOPHER SALLON

09/08/2018

Holding the Key: Nicholas Phan talks to Christopher Sallon

Nicholas Phan 

‘Music is for everybody, but the artist, alone, holds the key’ declares Nicholas Phan, one of the USA’s most accomplished lyric tenors. In a blog recorded in 2010, some eight years before our July interview in Tanglewood, he stood calmly before the camera and provided an ‘insider’s’ glimpse, as he prepared for his Carnegie Hall debut recital with accompanist Myra Huang. With a maturity and self-assurance which belied his years – he was then just 31 years old – he spoke of the need to take risks and proceeded to provide a key to his programme of songs by Benjamin Britten. Phan’s performance that night, particularly his account of Britten’s Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, and the song cycle Winter Words, a setting of Thomas Hardy poems, garnered rave reviews, as did his Winter Words CD, released soon thereafter. Read more

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