Russell Thomas, tenor – In Conversation

African-American tenor Russell Thomas is the owner of an extraordinary voice and an interesting, intelligent, articulate and friendly personality. Interviewing him was a pleasure that I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope you will too.

Read here or click on the photo.

Photo of Mr Thomas by Fay Fox, courtesy of Karen Kriendler Nelson (KKN Enterprises) – Mr Thomas’s Personal Press Representative

Poetry in Motion

Opera inspires and so do beautiful buildings. Both come together in harmony and exquisite proportions at the Opera House in Dresden, Germany.

I was inspired to write the poem below after a performance of Rossini’s opera William Tell and the beauty of the Dresdner opera is a gorgeous tribute to the power of music.

 

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Grand Opera

I saw the fairies and felt the caves,
touched the woods
and crossed the waves,
swam through the rain,
glided the storm and surfed the pain
engraved in the music form.

I felt the call of the night
in clear arpeggios of fountains dried
and in the heat of the fight
I stumbled, I cried
I broke the crystalline light.
In peril, I hovered over luminous voices
but fearless I rode the ocean
and stared at my choices.

And then, just closing my eyes,
I saw the music
in flowers of motion,
rainbows and skies.
And the heavens opened
crushing my heart,
leaving the silence to tear me apart.

Poem by myself (Margarida Mota-Bull, nom de plume M G da Mota) / Photograph of the Dresdner Opera courtesy of Malcolm Bull

The Albanian Tenor

TRAVIATA_MET_3199a from Ken

On Saturday 4th October I went to the Royal Opera House where I interviewed young Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu.

Intelligent, committed to his art, professional and with a good sense of humour, he was a very interesting subject to interview. You can read it here.

Photo of Saimir Pirgu as Alfredo in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata, New York, by Ken Howard – courtesy of Mr Pirgu’s PR Karen Kriendler Nelson of KKN Enterprises

Stars of the Future

Portuguese tenor Luis Gomes and Brazilian baritone Michel de Souza are part of one of the most prestigious young artists’ programmes in the world. I am talking about the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.

I went to meet Luis and Michel on Friday, July 11. I was curious to discover how they came to opera, as neither Portugal nor Brazil are countries with a great operatic tradition, and what it means for them to be a part of the Jette Parker programme.

It was a delightful experience, as they are both very pleasant and dedicated to their art. I think they are real stars of the future and it was a great pleasure to talk to them. Enjoy reading the interviews by clicking on the photos.

 

Luis Gomes
Luis Gomes
Michel de Souza
Michel de Souza

Photos of Luis Gomes and Michel de Souza courtesy of the Royal Opera House

 

 

The Pirate!

The ballet Le Corsaire with music by French composer Adolphe Adam (and a few others!) is based on a poem by British romantic poet Lord Byron. The poem is called “The Corsair” and deals with the story of a pirate, which is the meaning of the French word “corsaire”.

It is a sort of a crazy plot ballet, with virtuoso dancing moments and perhaps because of these two facts, it is not often performed. My latest DVD review is of a different version of Le Corsaire: less crazy, with a much simpler story, good dancing moments but alas, also with less virtuosity. If you would like to find out more, please click here or on the DVD cover photo below to read my review.

Adam_Corsaire_OA1129D

Christiane Karg: A Real Breath of Fresh Air!

Christiane Karg is a young German soprano (33) with a flourishing international career, which has naturally developed from her already celebrated, distinguished work in Germany and Austria. She is the owner of a delightful voice, with crystal clear tone and easy, very warm high notes, a solid, accomplished technique and an admirable enunciation and intonation of whatever language she happens to be singing. Her personality is cheerful, straight-forward, open and honest but at the same time she is vivacious, spontaneous and there is a quiet strength that emanates from within her once she begins to speak about her work.

She is an honest, determined, passionate singer and a charming, spontaneous, warm and genuine human being. Her energy and vivacity are contagious; her knowledge and professionalism commendable. Whether she is speaking about herself, her colleagues or her work, she is always open in her opinions, truthful and appealingly natural. In a world where image and perception seem to be everything, Ms Karg was to me a real breath of fresh air. Read my full interview with Christiane Karg. Enjoy!

Christiane Karg 17703 High Res 
Photos of Christiane Karg by Gisela Schenker, courtesy of Ms Karg’s management

The World of Your Fridge

Ever wondered about what might be lurking behind your fridge? Possibly but I am pretty sure that apart from the obvious creepy crawlies, you didn’t expect to find Pluto and his reign of the Underworld! Neither, I am certain, have you thought that Cupid might suddenly hatch out of one of the eggs that you keep inside your fridge or his followers emerge from a pack of sausages! This however is exactly what happens in Glyndebourne’s brand new production of Jean-Phillipe Rameau’s first opera “Hippolyte et Aricie”. Directed by Jonathan Kent this is French Baroque Opera with an edge.

Imaginative! Original! Over the top but absolutely amazing this is a production that one shouldn’t miss. It captures the spirit of the Baroque and is extremely entertaining while managing to be thoughtful and make the lesson of the opera clear. Excellent cast alongside Glyndebourne chorus and a magnificent performance by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, under the expert, outstanding baton of William Christie, plus a smiling sun and blue skies made for a brilliant, unusual and very satisfying evening, last Saturday, 29th June. You can read my review here.

Hippolyte et Aricie; GLYNDBOURNE,Hippolytus; Ed Lyon,Aricia; Christiane Karg,Phaedre; Sarah Connolly,Theseus; Stéphane Degout,Diana; Katherine Watson,Pluto,Jupiter/Neptune; François Lis,OEnone; Julie Pasturaud,Mercury; Samuel Boden,Arcas,Secon

Hippolyte et Aricie at Glyndebourne Festival 2013 – Photo by Bill Cooper, courtesy of Glyndebourne’s Media Manager