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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..

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 ..

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 ..

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..

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, Let's block ads! (Why?)

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..

Opera in Williamsburg announces new season

Opera in Williamsburg’s 2018-19 season will bring to life "Carmen" and "La Traviata" alongside a third production yet to be determined. The productions also herald the opera returning to the Kimball Theatre after reaching an arrangement with the College of William and Mary. “Everything we do builds on what we have done in the past,” said Naama Zahavi-Ely, the opera’s founder and artistic director. The announced productions, Georges Bizet’s “Carmen” and “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi, both focus on unorthodox women and tragic romance. Both are also among the most popular and enduring operatic works, something Naama-Zahavi-Ely said they focus on when determining which shows to produce. “The reason they’re the most popular operas is because they’re just beautiful,” she said. “They’re tried and true. People do them all over the world.” April’s “Carmen” relays the story of a gypsy factor worker in the custody of Don Jose, a soldier who comes to neglect his duties as his affection for her g..

Joshua Kosman’s classical music picks, June 10

Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi Violinist Benjamin Beilman. JOSHUA KOSMAN’S CLASSICAL MUSIC PICKS Vox Luminis: The Belgian early-music vocal ensemble, directed by Lionel Meunier, concludes the Berkeley Festival and Exhibition with a concert of music by Bach, Buxtehude and Pachelbel. 4 p.m. Sunday, June 10. First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley. Benjamin Beilman: The rising young American violinist is joined by pianist Andrew Tyson for a recital of music by Mozart, Dvorák, Beethoven and Kreisler. 3 p.m. Sunday, June 10. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 11. Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 12. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F. “Das Rheingold”: The San Francisco Opera’s summer festival devoted to Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelung” gets under way with the first opera of the tetralogy, in director Francesca Zambello’s American-themed productio..

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..

170 Days in Nanking, Opera Hall, Nanjing — strength in subtlety

Ken Smith December 14, 2017 Experimental feature Listen to this articlePlay audio for this articlePause00:0000:00Experimental feature orGive us your feedbackThank you for your feedback. What do you think? I‘ll use it in the future I don‘t think I‘ll use it Please tell us why (optional) Send Feedback What Oskar Schindler was to the Jews of Kraków, John Rabe was to the civilians of Nanjing. Both men were members of Germany’s Nazi party who used their influence to hinder atrocities: in the case of Rabe, a Siemens executive, his chairmanship of the city’s International Safety Zone was credited with saving more than 250,000 Chinese lives during the 1937 Japanese invasion that has become known as “the rape of Nanking” (in pre-communist romanisation). Already well covered in documentaries and fiction, Rabe’s story finally came to the opera stage this week, marking the 80th anniversary of the event as the inaugural production of Nanjing’s new Jiangsu Centre fo..

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