Opera Now provides a unique and all-encompassing perspective on the international opera scene through its lively and colourful mix of news, reviews, interviews, travel articles and commentary.

Read about new productions, festivals, performance previews and world premieres, as well as reviews of all the latest opera CDs, DVDs, books, websites and films.

With our mixture of celebrity interviews, leadership profiles and behind-the-scenes features, you'll appreciate the diversity, passion and dynamism of the people who make opera happen. It is the global platform for opera, reaching out to opera lovers worldwide, but also into the heart of the industry from the grassroots to the glamorous.


ISM performers and composers 2015

Music Pages

Latest News

Operalia 2015 winners announced

20 July 2015, London, UK

Domingo with Lise Davidsen and Ioan Hotea
Domingo with Lise Davidsen and Ioan Hotea(Photo: Alastair Muir)

The Romanian tenor Ioan Hotea and Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen have been named as the joint winners of Plácido Domingo's 2015 Operalia competition, which took place last week at London's Royal Opera House.

Both first prize winners also garnered other titles: Hotea won the Don Plácido Domingo Sr. Prize of Zarzuela, while Davidsen took the Birgit Nilsson prize and the Rolex audience prize.

This year’s jury included Joan Matabosch (artistic director of Madrid’s Teatro Real), Eva Wagner (former co-director of the Bayreuth Festival) and Anthony Freud (general director, Lyric Opera of Chicago).

Operalia 2015 prizewinners

  • First Prizes ($30k) – Ioan Hotea, Romania/Lise Davidsen, Norway
  • Second Prizes ($20k) – Darren Pene Pati, New Zealand/Hye Sang Park, South Korea
  • Third Prizes ($10k) – Edward Parks, USA/Noluvuyiso Mpofu, South Africa
  • Birgit Nilsson Prize ($15k) – Lise Davidsen, Norway
  • Don Plácido Domingo Sr. Prize of Zarzuela ($10k) – Ioan Hotea, Romania
  • Pepita Embil Domingo Prize of Zarzuela ($10k) – Hye Sang Park, South Korea
  • Rolex Audience Prizes – Darren Pene Pati, New Zealand/Lise Davidsen, Norway
  • CulturArte Prize ($10k) – Kiandra Howarth, Australia

A full review of this year's Operalia will be published in the September issue of Opera Now

Operalia

Auto-translating opera glasses trialled at Avignon

16 July 2015, Katy Wright

Audience members test the glasses
Audience members test the glasses

The world’s first auto-translating opera glasses made their debut at this year’s Avignon Festival.


Co-developed by Atos and Theatre in Paris, the augmented reality glasses allow audience members to choose surtitles in their native language, which are displayed on the glasses at a pace matching that of the performance.

The technology was used for the first time during performances of King Lear at the Palais de Papes, with the option of translation into French, English or Mandarin. It will undergo further testing at future festival productions.

Paul Rodin, managing director of the Avignon Festival, said: ‘These glasses not only demonstrate technological prowess, but are an accessibility tool, providing a simple way for cultures to be spread and making the ‘other’ accessible to very different publics.’

Further alterations will be made before the glasses are rolled out for general use. A greater selection of languages and additional content (such as superimposed 3D animation and dramatic effects) will be available, while those with hearing difficulties will be able to customise the devices.

According to Carl de Poncins of Theatre in Paris, the final product could be in use in opera houses and theatres in the UK within a year.

Operalia finalists announced

16 July 2015, Katy Wright

The finalists for the 2015 Operalia competition have been announced. 11 singers will perform in the opera final, while five will sing for the Zarzuela prize.

The opera finalists are:

  • Edward Parks, baritone, USA
  • Andrea Carroll, soprano, USA
  • Julien Behr, tenor, France
  • Kiandra Howarth, soprano, Australia
  • Bongani Justice Kubheka, bass-baritone, South Africa
  • Hyesang Park, soprano, South Korea
  • Tobias Greenhalgh, baritone, USA
  • Darren Pene Pati, tenor, New Zealand
  • Noluvuyiso Mpofu, soprano, South Africa
  • Ioan Hotea, tenor, Romania
  • Lise Davidsen, soprano, Norway

The Zarzuela finalists are:
  • Andrea Carroll, soprano, USA
  • Darren Pene Pati, tenor, New Zealand
  • Kiandra Howarth, soprano, Australia
  • Ioan Hotea, tenor, Romania
  • Hyesang Park, soprano, South Korea
The final round of the competition will take place on 19 July at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Operalia

Armed robber takes €11k from Greek National Opera

13 July 2015, Katy Wright

The Olympia Theatre, home to Greek National Opera
The Olympia Theatre, home to Greek National Opera

The extended bank holiday in Greece has seen individuals and businesses to hoard cash rather than deposit it in a bank – and led to a parallel increase in robberies. On the morning of Wednesday last week (8 July), the Greek National Opera’s accounts office was held up by an armed robber who made off with €11,000 (£7,800). The cashier present at the time was slightly injured but released from hospital later that day.

The incident was kept under wraps until the weekend when a report leaked to the press and the company’s administration was forced to release the details.

It is not known whether the incident was directly related to the postponement, announced on 9 July, of the GNO’s production of Carmen at the outdoor Odeon of Herodes Atticus amphitheatre, original scheduled for 26 to 31 July. It is clear, however, that the ongoing uncertainty and lack of functioning services in Greece is severely affecting its companies’ ability to operate.

Greek National Opera

ENO artistic director announces departure

10 July 2015, Katy Wright

John Berry
John BerryENO

English National Opera has announced that its artistic director, John Berry, is to relinquish his post on 17 July after 20 years with the company. 

Berry said of the decision: 'My work is now done and ENO is today regarded as one of the most creative forces in opera. The decision feels right to leave at the end of a hugely successful season both from an artistic perspective and in terms of audience numbers. ENO is an institution that has an international reputation for producing important new work, recognised by opera awards won at the Oliviers earlier this year and the recent Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Opera and Music Theatre. We played to packed houses for Sweeney Todd – over half the audience had never visited the London Coliseum before – and we welcomed record numbers to see The Pirates of Penzance on stage and in cinemas across the UK.

'After eight seasons leading the Company artistically and as the award winning 14/15 season comes to a close, I am looking forward to spending the summer deciding on my next role. I look forward to remaining involved with ENO in the future, as an audience member and supporter.'

Acting chairman Harry Brunjes described Berry's contribution as 'phenomenal', saying: 'Under his leadership, the artistic programme at ENO has been unrivalled in its quality, ability to entertain and to innovate. He has helped build ENO a UK-wide and international reputation for excellent dramatic opera that makes us unique – introducing directors from other art forms to the world of opera. He has driven the use of international collaborations bringing in significant financial contributions to our productions and has been instrumental in forging a future for the London Coliseum with a partnership with Benugo.'

Arts Council England chief executive Darren Henley said: 'John Berry’s track record for innovative and challenging work is well established and warmly welcomed across the global opera fraternity. Throughout his time at ENO he has demonstrated a strong commitment to keeping opera at the cutting edge of cultural production in the UK. We wish him all the best for the future.'

Berry's departure is the latest in a number of administrative changes at ENO. In March 2015, Cressida Pollock was appointed interim chief executive, while Harry Brunjes stepped in as acting board chair in January. The artistic director leaves at the same time as Edward Gardner, who will be replaced by Mark Wigglesworth in September.

The board of ENO will be undertaking a full evaluation of the artistic leadership of the company before appointing a successor, and will instigate a global search process in due course.

English National Opera


Sign up to enews

Click here to sign up for free e-newsletters from Rhinegold magazines.


Opera Brochures

Customer Service

Our dedicated customer service team is here to help.

Please click for full details of how to contact us.

©2015 Rhinegold Publishing | Website by Semantic