The evolution of the solo percussionist has advanced dramatically over the last couple of decades and among the superstars of the hardware that can be struck and pounded or caressed and stroked is the flying Scotsman Colin Currie whose profile has steadily grown since becoming the first percussionist ever to reach the finals of the … [Read More]
After seven fulfilling years at the helm of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko has extended his contract, his tenure, his commitment, as he puts it, “to eternity”. Another decade in Liverpool is guaranteed taking him past the record of the longest serving Chief Conductor of the orchestra, Sir Charles Groves. Petrenko has had … [Read More]
In 2007 the English tenor, Ian Storey, made a dramatic and highly visible debut as Tristan in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at the season opening of La Scala, Milan, conducted by Daniel Barenboim and directed by Patrice Chereau. It was seen by millions on TV, in cinemas, and on DVD and marked a big … [Read More]
The 36th Dresden Music Festival has a big title and even bigger ambitions – EMPIRE – a theme which Artistic Director Jan Vogler hopes will embrace not just the cultural achievements of the British Empire but the broader implications of the word. The Brits are coming for sure with a range of music stretching from … [Read More]
Vasily Petrenko’s highly acclaimed cycle of the Shostakovich Symphonies with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra reaches an important chapter in what Petrenko himself calls a “biopic” of the composer’s life and times. The 7th Symphony “Leningrad” chronicles one of the most shameful episodes in the annals of man’s inhumanity to man – the 900-day … [Read More]
The place is the elegant One Aldwych hotel and in a suite kindly provided by the management Broadway star Betty Buckley is in post workout mode chatting to Edward Seckerson about her return to the London stage in Jerry Herman’s charming but much-misunderstood show Dear World. Restored to an intimacy only previously imagined by … [Read More]
Not many singers could entitle a recital album The Beautiful Voice and ensure that in every sense it lived up to its name. Renée Fleming’s now iconic album is shortly to have a successor and in this exclusive Sinfini podcast the glamorous American diva – perhaps the pre-eminent Strauss voice of our time – … [Read More]
Backstage at English National Opera, David McVicar & Sarah Connolly discuss Charpentier’s Medea.
It is Wednesday 6 February and just prior to the afternoon stage rehearsal at the London Coliseum I sit down with David McVicar and Sarah Connolly to discuss the UK premiere staging of Charpentier’s Medea.
For anyone (like me) for whom … [Read More]
Sir John Eliot Gardiner dislikes being branded a “Baroque specialist” and with a discography exceeding 250 recordings and embracing a bewildering diversity of repertoire one can understand why. From Monteverdi to The Merry Widow he is and always has been a great stylist in every period and in every genre. In this exclusive audio podcast … [Read More]
Fresh from four cycles of Wagner’s Ring at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and a run of performances in one of his signature roles – Wagner’s Flying Dutchman – the great Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel was not even close to running on empty. The critical consensus on his storming London concert performance of the … [Read More]
Backstage at English National Opera, Edward Seckerson meets Corinne Winters – Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata.
Peter Konwitschny’s highly filmic new staging of Verdi’s La Traviata is now an opera in four “pictures”: no interval, no grandstanding finales – not even Violetta’s show-stopping “Sempre libera” – but an intense, immediate, fast unfolding, and highly … [Read More]
It’s an amazing statistic in itself that Jonathan Miller’s now iconic production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado is one-fifth as old as the piece itself – that is 26 years. For 25 of those Richard Suart has groveled magnificently as the Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko to the point where one honestly cannot conceive of … [Read More]
Sunday 18th November 2012, London Jewish Cultural Centre at Ivy House
It was a real a real privilege being invited by the London Jewish Cultural Centre to interview Maxim Vengerov at Anna Pavlova’s old London home – Ivy House in Hampstead. I have known Maxim professionally and personally for 18 years and featured in his … [Read More]
There’s more than just Football and Formula One and the Rio Olympics to divert global attention to Brazil – indeed the whole of South America – at the present time. Classical music has never been hotter than it is right now and in Brazil’s most sprawling metropolis, Sao Paulo, a converted railway station is now … [Read More]
The image of the toilet cubicles lingers on but no one can deny the fierce theatricality that shakes up English National Opera whenever Calixto Bieito’s in town. His anarchic Don Giovanni made us reassess the motivations of both sexes in the piece; his flamboyant staging of Verdi’s A Masked Ball was quite simply one … [Read More]
The Baltic Youth Philharmonic (founded in 2008) is part of a much larger and bolder enterprise embracing the 10 nation states bordering the Baltic Sea. At a time of financial duress when governments are downgrading culture as a low priority the BYP is forging ahead with privately funded and ever more ambitious schemes whose aim … [Read More]
Stephen Triffitt leaves his alter ego, Francis Albert Sinatra, under wraps for a few hours and shares the amazing story of how the two of them became one. From The Rat Pack to his own solo tribute shows this is an amazing story of how an Englishman assumed the performing persona of an American … [Read More]
Vaughan Williams’ rapturous “Morality” (his chosen description) of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress comes to English National Opera for its first fully professional staging since its premiere at the Festival of Britain in 1951. It’s a bold and important enterprise and an international one with the visionary Japanese actor-director Yoshi Oida at the helm. With … [Read More]
The vibrant ELIAS STRING QUARTET are 14 years young, well established, and well respected on the international scene. Former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and recipients of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2010, they are at that major crossroads in any quartet’s life when they embark upon a complete cycle of the Beethoven Quartets. … [Read More]
Two days after the world premiere of Finding Neverland at Leicester’s Curve Theatre I am backstage with its star Julian Ovenden for the story so far on this musical adaptation – Allan Knee (Book), Scott Frankel (Music), and Michael Korie (Lyrics) – of Harvey Weinstein’s much-admired Miramax film.
For a man whose role as J.M. … [Read More]