Short Stories Of A Different Kind

Short Stories is an album with music from various composers performed beautifully by two young German musicians: Mark Schumann (cello) and Martin Klett (piano).

The short stories in this CD are encore pieces by a variety of performers and composers. Like an author’s collection of short stories, these pieces delight or thrill for a brief moment and do not require the commitment and engagement of a novel or, in this case, of a full concerto or a set of complete sonatas.

Short Stories is suitable to anyone who loves the sound of the cello or to someone who would like a gentle, elegant introduction to classical music. Read my full review.

Perahia’s Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto – a Treasure!

Murray Perahia turns 70 years old this April but his electrifying, extraordinary performances are not getting old. They are as fresh today as they were when he won the International Leeds Piano Competition in 1972. I was privileged to be at the Barbican Hall on Fri 07 April to see and hear his performance of Beethoven’s masterful Piano Concerto No. 5, known as “Emperor” in English-speaking countries. Perahia’s rendition, supported by the excellent Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, was simply magnificent and received a well-deserved standing ovation at the end. Read my review HERE or click on one of the pictures.

 

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.

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

 

 

Boston Ballet: Sexy! Beautiful! Electrifying!

Last Friday, 5th July, I went to the London Coliseum to review Programme 2 of the Boston Ballet in a rare London appearance. It was 30 years since they last came to London and one must wonder why. A group so good should be showing off all over the place!

Anyway, they came with two programmes and conquered, I think audience and critics alike. I had the privilege of attending the performance of the second programme.

Modern pieces; gorgeous dancers; sexy, sassy dancing and most of all, beautiful and electrifying movements! An exquisite ballet experience!

You can read my review here or click on the photo below.

Altan Dugaraa, Sarah Wroth, and Yury Yanowsky in Kylian's Bella Figura by Gene Schiavone

Photo of Jiří Kylián’s Bella Figura by Gene Schiavone courtesy of press representative

[Dancers on photo: Altan Dugaraa, Sarah Wroth and Yury Yanowsky]