A Q&A WITH ANDREA CARÈ AS HE RETURNS TO COVENT GARDEN AS DON JOSÉ

16/02/2018

Andrea Carè © Juan Carranza

The Italian tenor Andrea Carè has recently appeared at the Teatro Real in Madrid – in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (Puccini) and Bizet’s Carmen – and at the Palau de Les Arts in Valencia – in Verdi’s Don Carlo alongside Plácido Domingo – and he returns to Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House (February 16, 27 and March 8, 12, 16) in the role of Don José in Carmen, a role he first performed there in 2015. He has previously said: ‘In spite of the brutality and intolerance of what Don José does, I still believe that in reality he is a pure man who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is a passionate man, as many of us are, but he does not have the luck or intelligence to realise that Carmen represents a danger to his own life, his heart and his mental stability. I believe that, however mistakenly and violently he behaves, there is a Don José in every one of us, constantly struggling not to fall into the abyss of insanity’.

In advance of these performances at Covent Garden Andrea Carè answers Seen and Heard International’s questions about this current role, as well as, looking back on his life and his career. Read more

BARRY DOUGLAS IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN

12/01/2018

Barry Douglas discusses – amongst other things – his career, composers, interpretation, recordings, masterclasses, chamber music, competitions, and his annual Clandeboye Festival

Barry Douglas © Katya Kraynova

Winner of the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 1986, Barry Douglas has toured the world for the last three decades, bringing distinction and splendour to the wide range of concertos he plays, and taking on innumerable institutional responsibilities as well. That is to be expected from any major competition-winner, but perhaps closest to the artist’s heart is the founding of his orchestra, the Camerata Ireland, and overseeing his annual Clandeboye Festival, both of which serve as a meeting place for Irish artists in general and young Irish musicians in particular. Read more

OMER MEIR WELLBER IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON

27/12/2017

Michael Cookson Meets Omer Meir Wellber

Earlier this year during a reporting trip to Munich I was fortunate to secure an interview with charismatic and hardworking conductor Omer Meir Wellber whose burgeoning career has taken him to the world’s greatest opera houses and working with the finest orchestras. Read more

THE PIANIST VALENTINA LISITSA IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE

16/12/2017

AN INTERVIEW WITH VALENTINA LISITSA

Lisitsa_Valentina_pc_Sam Jones_2_300

Valentina Lisitsa (c) Sam Jones

The Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa has achieved the accolade of becoming the world’s most popular classical artist since her first YouTube recital in 2007. By leading the way to finding new audiences with sensational success, Lisitsa has gained a staggering 95 million views and almost 200,000 subscribers on YouTube. Read more

Dénes Várjon Talks to Sebastian Smallshaw About Budapest’s Kamara.hu

03/12/2017

Dénes Várjon in conversation with Sebastian Smallshaw

KU

András Keller and Dénes Várjon playing Busoni’s Second Violin Sonata at kamara.hu 2019
(c) Liszt Academy/Gábor Valuska

Dénes Várjon studied music at the Liszt Academy with Sándor Falvai, György Kurtág, and Ferenc Rados. Over the last 25 years, he has established an international career as a concert pianist and chamber musician, and is a regular guest at prestigious festivals in Europe and the United States. Since 2015, he has been artistic co-director of the chamber music festival kamara.hu, which he coordinates together with his wife, the pianist Izabella Simon. I spoke with Dénes Várjon in Budapest, just after he had performed in the second concert of this year’s kamara.hu. Read more

Composer Speaks Up for the Environment: An Interview with Margaret Brouwer

01/11/2017

Mark Sebastian Jordan Encounters Margaret Brouwer

American composer Margaret Brouwer will be premiering an oratorio, Voice of the Lake, on November 12 in Cleveland. Though she grew up in Michigan, the composer now lives near Lake Erie in Ohio, where she served as head of the composition department of the Cleveland Institute of Music until 2008. By her own reckoning, she has a special relationship with nature in general, and water in particular, which is reflected in many of her pieces.

 Margaret Brouwer, composer of 'Voice of the Lake' (Photo: Christian Steiner)

Margaret Brouwer, composer of Voice of the Lake
(c) Christian Steiner

Read more

JUSTIN DOYLE DISCUSSES MONTEVERDI WITH MARK BERRY

18/09/2017

Justin Doyle Discusses Monteverdi with Mark Berry

RKC17_Justin Doyle Antritt GP01_Fotograf Matthias Heyde

Justin Doyle from the general rehearsal for Vespers (c) Matthias Heyde

For his first concerts as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the RIAS Chamber Choir, Justin Doyle finds himself very much in at the deep end: dual-venue performances of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers of the Blessed Virgin (at the Pierre Boulez Saal) and the Missa ‘In illo tempore’, with which it was published (just around the corner, at St Hedwig’s Cathedral). ‘Finds himself’, one might ask, or was he pushed? I was lucky enough to be able to do so, on the lunchtime in between the first, Friday evening performances, and the second ones on Saturday afternoon (the latter to be reviewed shortly). Read more

ITINÉRAIRE BAROQUE 2017: TON KOOPMAN TALKS TO COLIN CLARKE

07/08/2017

Ton Koopman Talks to Colin Clarke

IMG

Ton Koopman performing at his 2017 Itinéraire Baroque festival

I met Ton Koopman in his lovely home near Verteillac, France. Koopman’s festival, Itinéraire Baroque, had finished the night before; arriving at the house, there was a palpably convivial atmosphere, with artists featured in the festival relaxing alongside Koopman and his friends and family. The interview itself took place in a lovely, peaceful space away from the hubbub. Read more

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