The risk and reward challenges facing Irish National Opera and Wexford

Have you been following Joyce Flaherty lately? I have. The New York Times carried an interview with her earlier this month, under the title “Opera’s Miss Congeniality takes on a rare Cinderella”. The article’s mention of rare opera and the singer’s penchant for offbeat repertoire started me thinking about the international world of opera into which the new Irish National Opera company has been born. Joyce Flaherty, of course, is not known to the world by that name. The Kansas-born Irish-American mezzo soprano is famous as Joyce DiDonato, though she has drawn attention to her Irish heritage when performing at the National Concert Hall. DiDonato has been described in the Guardian as “the most critically acclaimed and popular mezzo soprano of our day”. I’ve had a niggling question in my head for years about Ireland’s musical diaspora. It’s a really simple one. Why don’t we connect with them more? The question first came to me in that way in relation to the American experimental composer ..

Tokyo Metro to trial playing classical music on Hibiya Line

Starting Monday, Tokyo Metro Co. will experiment with playing background music on their trains in a bid to provide a more comfortable travel experience for passengers. The background music will be played on the recently introduced 13000 series trains on the Hibiya Line, for a limited number of trains that run between Naka-Meguro and Kita-Senju, the subway operator said. A selection of classical music, including popular pieces such as “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy as well as relaxation music conducted by a composer named Mitsuhiro, will be heard on the trains. The 13000 series trains, which entered service in March last year, boast a high-quality stereo system. Although the upgraded system was initially intended for special events and automated speaker checks, a recent event sparked an idea to utilize the speakers on regular train services as well, a Tokyo Metro official said. “A train conductor played some classical music (which is usually used for speaker checks) by accident durin..

Why we should be listening to classical music by Canadian women

When you hear a piece of music, you will have one of two reactions. You will either like it enough to listen to it again, or you won’t. You might like the melody, the harmony, or the way the poetry makes you feel. Then again, you might not like the melody, the harmony, or the way the poetry makes you feel. But if you don’t know that the music exists, how can you know if you like it or not? That is the exact difficulty classical music by Canadian women is facing today. There is so much excellent music by Canadian women that has only been performed a handful of times — some pieces have not even been performed at all — because they are simply unknown. article continues below Trending Stories Before I tell you why we should be listening to classical music by Canadian women, I’d like to give you a few reasons why we haven’t been listening to them. It wasn’t verylong ago that being a composer and a woman could not be seen as one and the same. Women, Canadian women included, were socially ..

Estate known for hosting Santa Fe Opera parties for sale

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An estate known for its owners’ hosting of lavish Santa Fe Opera parties is for sale. The Albuquerque Journal reports the 11-acre Pueblo Revival estate in Santa Fe is on the market for $11.5 million. Current owners Bob and Miryam Knutson say the property earned its nickname while it was the home of Peggy Driscoll, a Santa Fe Opera board member and donor. She used her home to host extravagant opera gatherings. The property includes a six-bedroom main residence, three guest houses, a tennis court, a swimming pool and spa and expansive gardens. Most Read Nation & World StoriesUnlimited Digital Access: $1 for 4 weeksStephanie Duran of Barker Realty says the “Opera House” was built during the 1930s. ___ Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com Let's block ads! (Why?)

Hannah Rankin's mix of classical music and boxing is paying dividends

PRO boxer Hannah Rankin’s tactic to ensure that she performed to her very best during her final recital at the Royal Academy of Music was somewhat unusual: she treated it like a professional boxing match. Her boxing coach, Noel Callan, was there in the wings and was psyching the bassoonist up and calming her down at exactly the right moments. And it worked perfectly. “I really wanted to be at my best for my final recital so I got my coach, Noel, to come in treat it like I was going into to a fight,” she explained. “So, in my breaks between playing, I’d go out and have a few deep breaths with him just to help me relax and calm down. And it turned out that was the best I’d ever performed.” Rankin's two passions could not be more divergent. She spends half her life as a classical musician and the other half as a professional boxer. The 27 year-old, who is originally from Luss near Loch Lomond, has played in orchestras from London to St Petersburg, will tonight embark on her fifth..

Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen primed to handle choice role in S.F. Opera’s ‘Orlando’ – The...

DARIO ACOSTA/PHOTO Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is delighted to be singing the role of Medoro in San Francisco Opera’s production of Handel’s “Orlando.” Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen arrives for our interview looking exuberant. “I love Handel,” says the countertenor, who is making his San Francisco Opera mainstage debut as Medoro in the company’s summer production of the composer’s “Orlando.” He’s just finished a lengthy rehearsal, but he seems to have enough energy to go back and take it ..

Pic story: Inheritors of Xiangdong Mask of Nuo Opera

Video PlayerClose Chen Quanfu checks a mask of Nuo Opera in Xiangdong District of Pingxiang, east China's Jiangxi Province, Dec. 28, 2017. Mask is an important element of Nuo Opera, which was listed as one of the national intangible cultural heritages. Chen Quanfu and Peng Guolong are the inheritors of Xiangdong Mask of Nuo Opera. The craft calls for a great deal of times as well as mastery. Chen can carve 400 types of masks and Peng creates many new models on the basis of traditional skill. (Xinhua/Peng Zhaozhi) Let's block ads! (Why?)

Van Cliburn in Moscow, 1958: When Classical Music Made the World Stand Still

“… nothing compares to the effect Van had at the darkest moments of the Cold War, calming a world that believed itself to be on the brink.” Stuart Isacoff, When the World Stopped to Listen: Van Cliburn's Cold War Triumph and Its Aftermath (Knopf)When a tall 23-year old Texan from a small town called Kilgore won the first ever International Tchaikovsky Competition in a big town called Moscow in April 1958, the impact was cataclysmic both musically and politically. It was more than fabulous technique. Cliburn had played Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto and Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto for his competition finale with such authentic love and romantic sweep that there was little doubt who was the best. But the jury hesitated, haunted by Stalin's shadow, until Soviet premiere Nikita Khrushchev, happy to show that the generous Russian soul was alive and well, said give it to the kid. It was a Cold War coup that significantly melted international relations, made Clibur..

Aldeburgh Festival releases 2018 line-up

This year’s Aldeburgh Festival has been curated by Artists in Residence violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, conductor John Wilson and flautist Claire Chase, and will take place from 8 to 24 June. Its focus this year will be on Britten, America and the centenary of Bernstein. The opening weekend features the world premiere of a new orchestration by Colin Matthews of Britten’s Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo with tenor Robert Murray, as well as Four Sea Interludes from Britten’s opera Peter Grimes, of which Bernstein conducted the American premiere in 1946 and then included it again in his last concert. The weekend will also feature individuals connected to the two composers, including Aaron Copland, whose ballet Billy the Kid will be performed. Conductor John Wilson will be leading his orchestra in both popular and less well-known Broadway hits by Bernstein including excerpts from West Side Story, On the Town, Candide, Peter Pan, Wonderful Town, Trouble in Tahiti and 1600 Pennyslvania Aven..

Meet The Man Who Conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra And The Met Opera – NPR

Enlarge this image Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been the music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012. Jan Regan/The Philadelphia Orchestra hide caption toggle caption Jan Regan/The Philadelphia Orchestra Ever since he was a little boy, Yannick Nézet-Séguin knew he wanted to be a conductor. He likens the feeling to something "almost like a religious call." "Making music in the group is what animates me," he says. Now 44, Nézet-Séguin is the music director of New York'..

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