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Swedish academy to stage rediscovered Donizetti opera

8 February 2012, Stockholm, Sweden

Gaetano Donizetti
Gaetano Donizetti

The Vadstena Academy in Stockholm is to stage Donizetti’s Enrico di Borgogna (Henry of Burgundy) for the second time ever since its 1818 world premiere.

An heroic opera based on August von Kotzebue’s 1798 play Der Graf von Burgund, Enrico was Donizetti’s third stage work, but the first to be performed. It received a warm response at its premiere, with one critic noting a ‘regular handling and expressive quality in his style’, for which ‘the public wanted to salute Signor Donizetti on stage at the end of the opera.’

Vadstena Academy’s new production, directed by Clara Svärd, will feature seven young soloists from Hungary, Germany and Sweden under the baton of Olof Boman, including mezzo-soprano Kinga Dobay as Enrico.

Performances at Vadstena Castle run from 20 July to 7 August 2012.

Angela Meade wins seventh Beverly Sills Award

2 February 2012, New York, US

Meade as Elvira in the Met’s 'Ernani'
Meade as Elvira in the Met’s 'Ernani'(Photo: Marty Sohl)

Soprano Angela Meade has been named the seventh recipient of the Metropolitan Opera’s Beverly Sills Artist Award.

Launched in 2006, the annual $50,000 Award is open to singers aged 25 to 40 who have performed solo roles at the Met.

Meade made her Met debut in 2008 as Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani, and has subsequently appeared as the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and, most recently, in the title role of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena.

‘I would have loved to have met Ms Sills,’ said Meade, ‘since we share much of the same repertoire, and her interpretations of Norma, Anna Bolena, Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux, Cleopatra and Violetta have been a great inspiration to me.’

Glyndebourne wind turbine unveiled

25 January 2012, East Sussex, UK

Glyndebourne's executive chairman Gus Christie with Sir David Attenborough
Glyndebourne's executive chairman Gus Christie with Sir David Attenborough(Photo: Charlotte Boulton)

A wind turbine on the Glyndebourne Estate in East Sussex has been launched by the veteran broadcaster and environmentalist, Sir David Attenborough.

Although designed to provide the opera house with renewable energy, the 67-metre turbine has also succeeded in generating its fair share of controversy, with detractors claiming that it is a blot on the South Downs’ landscape.

Attenborough, who spoke in support of the project at a public inquiry in 2008, described the finished result as ‘beautiful’, adding: ‘It is a joy to be involved in something which is working with the environment and not against it.’

Barcelona's Liceu announces cost-cutting closure

24 January 2012, Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona's Gran Teatro del Liceu
Barcelona's Gran Teatro del Liceu

Financial difficulties have forced Barcelona’s Gran Teatro del Liceu to plan eight weeks of closures, from 20 March to 10 April and 5 June to 8 July.

Cuts in subsidies from the Spanish Culture Ministry and Catalonia’s regional government, combined with a fall in corporate sponsorship and ticket sales, have left the company with a running deficit of €3.7 million ($4.8 million).

A total of 27 performances of seven productions will be affected, and temporary staff layoffs are also expected. Unions representing the company’s 395 workers have already begun negotiations with management.

The Liceu’s director general, Joan Francesc Marco, said: ‘It is sad and regrettable to cut performances but we cannot compromise on artistic integrity.’

Keith Warner quits Royal Danish Opera

24 January 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark

Keith Warner
Keith Warner(Photo: Martin Søby)

The British director, Keith Warner, is leaving his post as the artistic director of Royal Danish Opera after just six months at the company’s helm. His decision follows severe budget cuts of more than £11 million, announced at the end of 2011.

‘A combination of factors, made acute by the recent devastating budget cuts, has led me to feel that in the present circumstances I am unable to realise my great dreams for the company,’ said Warner’s official statement.

The same press release also reported that Jakob Hrůša, who had been appointed by Warner as Royal Danish Opera’s next music director, ‘no longer wishes to assume the position’.


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