martin randall 2015

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.


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The Opera Platform announces January-July streaming programme

11 January 2016

Véronique Gens as Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito
Véronique Gens as Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito

The Opera Platform has announced its streaming programme for January to July 2016.

  • 17 January: Mozart La Clemenza di Tito - La Monnaie Brussels (dir. Ivo van Hove)
  • 31 January: Tchaikovsky Yevgeny Onegin - Komische Oper Berlin (dir. Barrie Kosky)
  • 12 February: Bizet Carmen - Opéra de Lyon (dir. Olivier Py)
  • 4 March: Wagner Die Walküre - Dutch National Opera (dir. Pierre Audi)
  • 18 March: Eötvös Tri Sestri - Wiener Staatsoper (dir. Yuval Sharon)
  • 15 April: Puccini Manon Lescaut - Latvian National Opera (dir. Ināra Slucka)
  • 6 May: Boesmans Reigen - Oper Stuttgart (dir. Sylvain Cambreling)
  • 11 June: Verdi Macbeth - Latvian National Opera (dir. Viesturs Meikšāns)
  • 2 July: Bell In Parenthesis - Welsh National Opera (dir. David Pountney)
  • July, date tbc: Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande - Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (dir. Katie Mitchell)
All of the above performances apart from La Clemenza di Tito, Die Walküre and Manon Lescaut will be available online for six months, subtitled in six languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Polish) within a few days of the live relay.

The Opera Platform launched in May 2015 and broadcast 13 operas and reached more than 575,000 individuals during its first six months. The website features documentary material and behind-the-scenes insights alongside full opera performances.

The Opera Platform: Upcoming

Win a luxury trip for two to Texas

8 January 2016

Bass Hall, home to Fort Worth Opera

Opera Now is offering the chance to win an unforgettable holiday to Dallas and Fort Worth, including flights from the UK and luxury accommodation throughout. During your stay, you’ll be offered a truly versatile Texan experience – from two-stepping and rodeos to fine dining and world-class art.

Expect big things when you come to Dallas. The hub of the fourth largest metropolitan area in the US teems with excitement: designer shopping, the nation’s largest urban arts district and five major professional sports teams including the Dallas Cowboys and NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. Dallas is home to 14 entertainment districts, a cutting – edge culinary scene led by celebrity chefs and impressive hotels. The Dallas CityPASS makes it easy to explore with access to some of the best attractions in the city.

For a truly Texan experience, there’s no better destination than the City of Cowboys and Culture. Fort Worth offers visitors rich Western history, world-class art and entertainment, a top-ranked downtown, contemporary Texas cuisine and outdoor recreation in a friendly, accessible setting.

The Old West is alive and well in Fort Worth, where you can learn to two-step at the world’s largest honky-tonk, watch a year-round rodeo, see a daily cattle drive or have a drink in a real Western saloon. With the Stockyards Adventure Pass visitors can discover the best of the West.

Tickets to Fort Worth Opera and Dallas Opera will be provided wherever availability permits

The winner of Opera Now’s reader competition will receive:

Fort Worth:

  • ·         A 3-night stay at Omni Fort Worth Hotel
  • ·         2 Stockyards Adventure Passes
  • ·         Dinner for two at H3 Steakhouse
  • ·         Dinner for two at Ellerbe Fine Foods
  • ·         Dinner for two at Reata Resturant
  • ·         2 Passes to Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
  • ·         2 Passes to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
  • ·         2 General Admission Passes to Billy Bob’s Texas – The World’s largest Honky-Tonk
  • ·         2 Tickets to Stockyards Championship Rodeo (Best on Friday and Saturday nights
  • ·         2 Tickets to the Fort Worth Zoo
  • ·         $100 shopping card for Grand Prairie Premium

Dallas:

  • ·         A 2-night stay at the Ritz – Carlton Dallas in a beautiful Uptown Dallas
  • ·         2 Dallas CityPASSes
  • ·         A Dinner for 2 at Hoffbrau Steakhouse
  • ·         $100 Dollars in NorthPark Gold to shop at one of Dallas’ best shopping destinations!

Wildcatter Ranch:

  • ·         2-night stay at Wildcatter Ranch in Graham, Texas (90 minutes West of Fort Worth)
To To enter, simply drop is an email with the subject ‘JFK’ to competitions@rhinegold.co.uk, or send a postcard to Rhinegold Competitions, 20 Rugby Street, London WC1N 3QZ. Please include your full name, address and a contact telephone number. (Deadline for entries: 31 January 2016) 

Joyce DiDonato to play Florence Foster Jenkins in film

6 January 2016

DiDonato as Florence Foster Jenkins
DiDonato as Florence Foster Jenkins

Joyce DiDonato is to appear as Florence Foster Jenkins in a documentary feature film.


Directed by Ralf Pleger, The Florence Foster Jenkins Story will tell the story of 'the worst singer of all times'.

Fictional scenes will depict Foster Jenkins’ fantastical world, recreating the tableaux vivants in which she appeared.

The film will contrast the music she imagined herself making (portrayed by DiDonato) with the sounds she actually made. 

The documentary part of the film will feature individuals who saw Foster Jenkins perform, previously unseen photos and original audio recordings.

Principal shooting for the film has already begun, and it is due for release in November.

The Florence Foster Jenkins story

January Issue Out Now!

6 January 2016

Italian bass baritone Paolo Bordogna speaks to Opera Now about his mission to elevate the art of the basso buffo, bringing out the humanity and pathos in characters who tend to be dismissed as buffoons; the off-key singing of the ‘diva of din’ Florence Forster Jenkins; and dream opera destinations in 2016 for culture vultures. Plus, we meet ten of the most promising and distinctive baritones in a new generation of young talent; opera’s most memorable love duets and what they tell us about passion; Brussel’s award-winning Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (de Munt); a weekend in Warsaw; Puccini’s ‘Overcoat’ aria; and your chance to WIN a luxury trip for two to Texas!

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WNO's I puritani dominates What's on Stage opera poll

4 January 2016

Welsh National Opera won two categories in this year's What's on Stage opera poll.

The company's I puritani was deemed best new opera production, while Rosa Feola won the outstanding achievement in an operatic role category for her Elvira.

Valencia wrote that director Annilese Miskimmon’s ‘imaginative vision breathed new life into what could easily have been a moribund slice of bel canto’. 

Many reviewers drew attention to Feola's performance, with Rupert Christiansen praising her ‘questing intelligence’ and Stephen Walsh describing her as ‘a marvellous singing actress’.

Glyndebourne came top as event of the year/outstanding contribution to the UK operatic scene ‘for an exceptionally strong Festival 2015’.

‘Our visits to the summer’s six operas resulted in three five-star and three four-star reviews – a remarkable tally by any standards,’ wrote opera editor Mark Valencia. ‘To cap it all, the autumn Glyndebourne Tour managed the impossible when it revived the Festival’s biggest hit of all, Handel’s Saul, and actually improved on it.’

English National Opera won the category for best opera revival for The Mastersingers of Nuremberg (originally created by Richard Jones for WNO). Valencia wrote that The Mastersingers gave ENO ‘one of its greatest recent successes just when the company’s internal convulsions were at their most acute’.

Sam Furness won the category for breakthrough artist in UK opera as a result of his performances in Garsington Opera’s Intermezzo and English Touring Opera’s The Tales of Hoffmann . Tim Ashley wrote that Furness was ‘terrific in the immensely difficult title role’ of The Tales of Hoffmann, while David Nice celebrated his ‘perfect comedy turn’ in Intermezzo. Valencia described him as ‘an exciting talent on the threshold of a great career’.


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