IMPORTANT NEWS FROM THE SINGER
20 January 2012
As of February 2012, we will no longer be publishing The Singer as a distinct publication. We will, however, be continuing to cover all the topics and areas of interest to singers within Classical Music and its in-depth supplements. Upcoming topics include a range of articles on performance techniques, working abroad, vocal health and education, as well as keeping you up-to-date with news, listings and jobs. You will also find frequent focus sections on singers, choirs and ensembles, and supplements dedicated to the many aspects of classical singing.
You should have received a letter informing you of this change, and how it will affect your current subscription. After the 28 January issue, which contains the last issue of The Singer, you will receive a certain number of issues of Classical Music depending on how much of your current subscription is left. After this, if you wish to continue receiving Classical Music, you will be offered a reduced renewal rate.
If you do not wish to automatically receive the forthcoming issues of Classical Music, please contact us before 28 January 2012 to let us know.
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Domingo celebrates 40 years at Covent Garden
28 October 2011, London, UK
Plácido Domingo as Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera House(Photo: Catherine Ashmore)
Review by Francis Muzzu
After 230 performances of 26 roles with the Royal Opera, you could excuse Plácido Domingo for resting on his laurels. But at a performance yesterday marking the opera superstar’s fortieth anniversary with the company, he added yet another role to this list, singing the title role in Act 3 of Rigoletto.
The evening started with Act 4 of Otello, where Domingo’s formidable clarion tones overrode worry about the top of the voice. Descending to his current baritonal register, Rigoletto posed less of a problem, as the main burden of performance fell upon others. Next came Act 3 of Simon Boccanegra, which although beautifully phrased and acted, revealed a lack of true baritonal depth and richness. But an ecstatic audience would hear no wrong, and this truly amazing artist received the standing ovation he deserved.
Antonio Pappano offered sterling support in the pit, and particularly good contributions came from Ailyn Pérez and Francesco Meli in Rigoletto, and Paata Burchuladze in Simon Boccanegra.
ROH's Plácido Domingo Celebration will receive a second performance at 3pm on 30 October 2011
REVIEW: Carols for Choir 5, Ed. Blackwell/Chilcott
28 October 2011, Matthew Greenall
It is 50
years this Christmas since the first publication of Carols for Choirs by OUP. Few,
if any, would question the importance of this publication in setting the agenda
for Christmas services and carol concerts in the decades since. Its mix of
traditional favourites, arrangements and new compositions – mostly sourced from
the UK but encompassing Europe, America and beyond – has been the benchmark
ever since. It is however, nearly a quarter century since the publication of
the last book in the series, 100 Carols for Choirs, so this new volume is
Editors David Blackwell and Bob Chilcott clearly see little point in disrupting a successful formula, so the range and difficulty level of the contents will be familiar. Among the 50 items are simple congregational carols, including touching re-harmonisations of classics like Away in the Manger (Alan Bullard). There are some snazzy descants, which may not displace the best of Willcocks but are nice alternatives to have, and striking new versions of carols one had imagined done to death, such as Andrew Simpson’s engaging take on I saw three ships. If anything, the balance by comparison with Carols 1 to 4 seems to favour new composition, with a whole fresh roster of composers brought on board – there are outstanding pieces by Howard Skempton (Adam lay ybounden) and Gabriel Jackson (The Christ Child), among others. Links with past volumes are honoured however, and there are items new to the series from David Willcocks, Philip Ledger and John Rutter, whose lovely 2006 carol New Year is a mini-masterclass of fine writing in itself. Carols for Choirs 5 is a high quality publication that fully maintains the standards of this illustrious series. Not everyone will like the spiral binding, but if you don’t, go out and buy the paperback version instead.
New award for British opera singers
28 October 2011
The Susan Chilcott Scholarship, an independent charity set up in 2005 in memory of singer Susan Chilcott, has announced a new award for British opera singers.
The Chilcott Award, open to singers aged 22 to 33, offers a cash prize of £10,000. The award will replace the annual Susan Chilcott Scholarships which were set up in 2005 and have helped over 50 young singers since its establishment.
Instead, the Chilcott Award will be offered on a biennial basis to one singer who, in the eyes of the panel, ‘shows outstanding international potential’.
Iain Burnside, chair of the Susan Chilcott Scholarship said: ‘In awarding the Susan Chilcott Scholarships over the past six years we have all been struck by the depth of talent in young British singers. Our new Chilcott Award is about identifying an emerging UK artist who, like Sue herself, has the potential to make an international impact within the world of opera. In singing, the devil is in the detail, and we all realise that careers are the product of years of hard work. Our hope is that this new award will facilitate this hard work, and give a significant hand up to a major young artist.'
The inaugural Chilcott Award will be presented in 2012 with applications being accepted until 9 January 2012. Full details and an application form can be found at www.royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk
British countertenor makes Met debut
28 October 2011
On 3 December, British countertenor Iestyn Davies will make his Met debut playing the role of Unulfo in Handel’s Rodelinda. The debut will not only signify a considerable development in Davies’ career, but it will also mark the first time that a British countertenor has sung on the Met stage.
Davies has forged a notable career in the UK performing in acclaimed productions including ENO’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Oberon and the Royal Opera House’s production of Niobe, Regina di Tebbe as Creonte. His Met debut will see him perform opposite renowned countertenor Andreas Scholl as Bertarido – who made his own Met debut in the 2006 revival of the production – and Renée Fleming in the title role.
The production will also form part of the Met’s Live in HD season and will be broadcast live to 80 cinemas across the UK. Viewers will be able to watch the performance at selected cinemas at 5.50pm on 3 December.
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