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!
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
Johan Botha the great South African/Austrian tenor who died of cancer in September 2016 at the age of 51 had an extraordinary, unforgetable voice. This CD is a tribute to the talent and voice that have to be remembered.
Read review here or click on CD cover above.
I was given this lovely, little gem of a book to review. It is by Tim Lihoreau of Classical FM radio. Funny, witty and to lol for many pleasurable hours at any time, rain or shine.
Read review here or click on the book cover.
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.
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
After the premiere of Mozart’s opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio or Harem), it is said that Emperor Joseph II told the composer something around these lines: “Too beautiful for our ears, my dear Mozart, and an awful lot of notes.” To which Mozart replied: “Exactly as many as are necessary, Your Majesty.” It isn’t certain if this episode ever took place but if the Emperor really said that, Mozart’s reply was in line with his personality and with the fact he knew the quality of his music. As a composer Mozart was far ahead of his time and aware of it.
“Too many notes” doesn’t refer only to the exotic Turkish elements Mozart introduced in the opera which are in line with the location where the plot takes place, Mozart’s music also describes the characters as well as words or, to my mind, even better, displaying his great sense of the dramatic. This wasn’t happening in opera until Mozart came along.
A semi-staging of Glyndebourne Festival’s production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail was presented at the BBC Proms last Friday, 14th Aug at the Royal Albert Hall. It was a lovely evening of music with the cast in costume and the fabulous Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, led by Robin Ticciati, giving an authentic, energetic and beautiful performance of Mozart’s great opera. I had the pleasure of reviewing it.
All photos by Chris Christodoulou, courtesy of the BBC Proms Press Office –
Except feature photo above “Seascape of Normandy” courtesy of Malcolm Bull
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.
Photos from Lucy Mauro (left) and
Donald George (right) courtesy of
Ms Mauro and Mr George themselves.
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
Sit back and enjoy the whole disc – and my review! – but mostly, the outstanding performance of Mozart’s glorious symphony no. 41, “The Jupiter” brought to life in all its splendour by the Concilium musicum Wien, using precious period instruments.
Wonderful, lively and colourful. Beautiful singing and fabulous acting. These words summarise the very enjoyable summer performance of Jette Parker Young Artists Programme of the Royal Opera House, which I had the pleasure of reviewing.
Click here to read the full review.