Maestro Riccardo Frizza in Conversation

Maestro Riccardo Frizza is an Italian conductor and a charming, pleasant human being. But don’t take my word for it, read the interview he gave me here or click on his photo and judge for yourself.  Find out why he thinks “music is an exchange of effort and energy” and a lot, lot more. Enjoy!

Photo of Riccardo Frizza by Joan Tomás, courtesy of Karen Kriendler Nelson (Maestro Frizza’s Publicist)

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

Master Singers – A Book

MasterSingerscover

Master Singers: Advice from the Stage is a book by pianist Lucy Mauro and tenor Donald George. It is a compilation of opinions, advice and experiences by some of the most famous opera singers in the world today. Some of the singers are names that need no introduction: Jonas Kaufmann, Joseph Calleja, Joyce DiDonato, Lawrence Brownlee to name only a few.

I enjoyed it immensely and had the pleasure of writing a review. It was like going through a long, collective interview with lots of interesting people. I’d recommend it not only if you’re a young singer at the beginning of your career but also if you’re just a keen reader who loves music, opera and would like a glimpse into the world of some of today’s greatest operatic stars. Masters Singers is to my mind a must in the bookshelves or kindle collections of any self-respecting bookworm.

Headshotshawl  copy Lucy Mauro

Photos from Lucy Mauro (left) and

Donald George (right) courtesy of

Ms Mauro and Mr George themselves.

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

 

 

Joyce DiDonato on Twitter for San Diego Opera

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Opera is an extraordinary art form; art is what makes us different from other animals. So, I believe that it is always worth saving any opera house or opera company! My words but Joyce DiDonato said on Twitter:

Joyce DiDonato @JoyceDiDonato

“You guys are FABULOUS! But not fabulous enough just yet…approaching 7K signatures – COME ON! DO THIS!! PLEASE SIGN!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/827/516/648/save-san-diego-opera/#sign

Joyce is actively trying to prevent a closure of an excellent opera house on what appears to be very feeble grounds. Have a look and if you think it is important to save San Diego Opera, sign the petition (via the above link) and share it!

Last Night of the Proms and A Dream Come True!

As a little girl, growing up in my native country of Portugal, one might think that I did not know anything about the Proms. But in those days, the Portuguese Television used to broadcast live, every summer, the Last Night of the Proms. It became a tradition in my family to watch it together, in particular my father and I. He is a lover of classical music, opera and literature and I owe him my first experiences and learning of all those fantastic things. It should come as no surprise that since then I wanted to be there, in person, at the Royal Albert Hall in the middle of all those lovely people, singing along with the orchestra and soloists, dressed in elaborate costumes and waving their flags; obviously, having a whale of a time. Finally, after so many years, my dream came true and I was a member of the audience at The Last Night of the Proms. And what a Last Night it turned out to be! Read the rest of the review if you enjoyed the beginning

Joyce DiDonato triumphant at the Last Night of the Proms
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Magnificent Marin Alsop, the first woman to ever conduct a Last Night

Photo Credits & Copyright: Packed Royal Albert Hall (at the top) on Sat, 7th Sept for the Last Night; of Joyce DiDonato and of Marin Alsop taken by Chris Christodoulou for the BBC, courtesy of the BBC Proms Publicity Office

Elegance and Style at Glyndebourne

Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at this year’s Glyndbourne festival is a so-called traditional production, meaning a period piece, which some people may think too conventional or conservative. What is definitely true is that it is a stylish, charming production that perfectly matches Donizetti’s elegant music.

It was a delight in every sense of the word and just proved that period pieces are not boring. Read my review here or click on the photo below.Glyndebourne 2013 - Don Pasquale_31

Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at Glyndebourne Festival 2013

Photos by Clive Barda, courtesy of Glyndebourne Press Office

 

Listening to a Treat!

The CD from the label PREISER with arias and songs performed by Alfredo Kraus as a young man and entitled “The Young Alfredo Kraus” is a real treat and a feast for opera lovers, admirers of the great tenor or any other who likes singing and has never heard Kraus perform.

The tenor of grace and elegance of his generation, Alfredo Kraus’s artistry was unsurpassed. So much so that one of the greatest tenors alive, Peruvian Juan Diego Flórez, looks up to Kraus as his role model. Read my review of the CD “The Young Alfredo Kraus” and enjoy!

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