Opera Now September Issue Out Now!
2 September 2015
American tenor Bryan Hymel describes his steady and fearless ascent to the treacherously high peaks of 19th-century French opera; the earliest-known opera by a woman composer comes to the Brighton Early Music Festival; and Opera Now’s pick of the new season from touring opera in the UK to Macau’s annual festival of music and arts. Plus, the real reasons behind the recent booing at Covent Garden; we visit Gothenburg Opera’s rehearsals for the new Hitchcock-inspired Notorious; an introduction to the Met’s 10th season from general director Peter Gelb; Danish conductor Michael Schønwandt celebrates the operas of Carl Nielsen; WNO music director Carlo Rizzi explores the pathos of Bellini’s I puritani; love, freedom and fate in Bizet’s Carmen; and your chance to WIN three complete operas on DVD starring Bryan Hymel.
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ROH chorus director announces departure
25 August 2015
Renato BalsadonnaNeil Gillespie
Wigmore Hall director in plea to save the song recital
8 August 2015, London, UK
John Gilhooly: 'Now is the time to take action'(Photo: Benjamin Ealovega)
John Gilhooly has launched an impassioned plea to save the song recital, which he says is at risk of becoming an ‘endangered species’.
‘Some commentators insist that the song recital is living on borrowed time’, writes the director of London’s Wigmore Hall. ‘They point to ageing audiences, patchy programming at leading concert venues, and the incompatibility of narrowing attention spans and deep listening to refined settings of poetic texts. The number of song recitals around Europe is quite clearly in decline. This is a concern that we cannot afford to ignore.’
Wigmore Hall, he points out, is one of the few venues still offering a rich programme of song recitals as well as its own International Song Competition. A total of 96 song recitals will be given at Wigmore Hall during the 2015/16 season, including the first part of a two-year Schubert series presenting all 600 of the composer’s Lieder.
‘It is simply not good enough to accept that the song recital is an endangered species and wait for it to expire’, says Gilhooly. ‘Now is the time to take action, to raise capital and invest in ambitious song programmes, to foster extraordinary emerging talent and connect people with the greatest song recitalists of our time.
The Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation’s 2015 International Song Competition runs 6-10 September. Schubert: The Complete Songs opens on 22 September with a recital by the Austrian baritone Florian Boesch and pianist Graham Johnson.
- Read John Gilhooly's full article for Classical Music magazine
Santa Fe announces Steve Jobs opera
7 August 2015, Katy Wright
Mason BatesTodd Rosenberg
Mark CampbellLaura Marie Duncan
WNO appoints new managing director
5 August 2015, Katy Wright
Welsh National Opera has appointed Leonora Thomson as its new managing director. Currently director of audiences and development at the Barbican Centre, Thomson is to take up the position in December 2015. She will work alongside David Poutney, who has extended his contract as artistic director until 2019.
Thomson began her career with EMI Classics as international press and promotions manager, before moving to Radio 3 where she held posts as head of publicity and classic music tv and later strategic communications adviser. She joined the Barbican in 2008 as head of communications, and in 2010 became director of audiences and development.
In her current role, Thomson helped the Barbican achieve record attendances of 1.8m people and record box office figures. She has also been responsible for developing the centre's digital strategy, and developed its relationships with higher education institutions.
WNO chairman Geraint Talfan Davies said: 'I believe Leonora’s political astuteness, openness and strongly analytical approach, not to mention her unusually varied experience, will be a real asset to the company as we face the stiff challenges of the next few years.'
Thomson said: 'I’m thrilled to have been asked to join David at WNO, working with the management team and Board to ensure WNO realises its future ambitions. It’s a privilege to be joining a company with such a great history and brilliant reputation, and which plays such a key role in national life. Opera has always been a major part of life for me, and it’s wonderful to have the chance now to work for one of the UK’s leading opera companies.'
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