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On 4 March 2020 I went to Symphony Hall, Birmingham to hear the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the CBSO Chorus give a fine performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem conducted by the orchestra’s charismatic Osborn Music Director, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (review). Though the Coronavirus alarm bells were ringing ever more loudly by that point, little did I imagine that this would be the last time that I would be able to hear the CBSO during their 2019/20 season. I had plans to review several more of their concerts, most notably their planned performance of Britten’s War Requiem on 20 June. Not long after that Brahms concert, though, the UK was put into lockdown and the orchestra was obliged to cancel future concerts on an incremental basis, including a 12-concert tour of Germany and Austria. Eventually, on 30 April, they bowed to the inevitable and cancelled the remainder of the season.
POSTPONEMENT OF OPERA NORTH’S AUTUMN / WINTER SEASONS
As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and the latest guidance on live performances, Opera North has today announced the postponement of all mainstage productions due to tour in Autumn 2020 and Winter 2021.
Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich Season Preview
The Swiss Government have not yet announced how concerts may resume in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, so the management of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich have had to be creative and flexible with their planning of next season.
The orchestra hopes that concerts will be able to resume as ‘normal’ from January 2021 onwards. Sadly, the virus has led to a further postponement of the opening of their renovated concert hall (the Tonhalle) until August 2021. Concerts next season will therefore continue at the Tonhalle Maag.
World Ballet School Day
Training a new generation of dance artists
Inaugural edition Tuesday 7 July 2020 from 12 noon BST
English National Ballet School and The Royal Ballet School are delighted to announce that they will be participating in the inaugural World Ballet School Day which will be streamed online on Tuesday 7 July from 12 noon BST.
After the bad news of the cancellation of Glyndebourne’s 2020 Autumn Tour due to the ongoing uncertainty around Covid-19 comes more encouraging news that Glyndebourne will welcome back audiences for our first ever full summer season of open-air concerts and operas during July and August. Glyndebourne Festival 2020 was forced to close following the outbreak of … Read more
The Longborough Festival Opera has launched a podcast series that will feature conversations with many of opera’s biggest stars. For more information about LFO’s podcasts click here.
The company has released four episodes to this point, with three of them focused on Wagner’s Ring cycle.
In the first, journalist Richard Bratby, Longborough music director Anthony Negus, and bass-baritone Paul Carey Jones talk about Wotan’s journey through the tetralogy.
In a second episode, Writer and librettist Sophie Rashbrook, soprano Lee Bisset, and historian Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough analyse the role of women in the cycle.
The third installment features a conversation on The Cunning Little Vixen hosted by Richard Bratby.
Finally, in the fourth installment, Opera director and librettist Sir David Pountney and Longborough’s artistic director Polly Graham delve into the comedic aspects of Wagner’s magnum opus
Longborough artistic director Polly Graham notes: ‘What we hope to achieve from this podcast is a chance to open up some of the amazing works we had programmed for 2020, and to celebrate the thinking of the artists we work with. The lockdown has been hugely challenging for the performing arts, but it has given us the opportunity to think creatively about different experiences we can still offer audiences. We miss our audiences so much and cannot wait to connect with them again through live theatre and music. In the meantime, we hope this podcast will continue to feed their imagination. We are so grateful for their continued support at such a challenging time.’
The Music Critics Association of North America (MCANA) has given its 2020 Award for Best New Opera to composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson for Blue.