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Carl's Morning Quiz
Carl's Morning Quiz: Later in this hour we will hear pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy play a Beethoven Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A 2-part question today: how many Beethoven piano concertos are there? And what is the nickname of the last one? Answer >>
Yup. You read that correctly. The American National Anthem isn’t American. Well, it has become American. But ironically, the tune to the “Star Spangled Banner” is actually a British pub ballad. How did a drinking song that originated in the country from which America sought its independence travel across the pond and become our National more... more...
The names inscribed on the façade of Chicago’s Orchestra Hall – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Wagner – are familiar to every concertgoer. But another name that is proudly displayed not once, but twice alongside this pantheon of musical masters may be less familiar to you: Theodore Thomas. Theodore Thomas founded what would later more... more...
Countertenor David Daniels on Finding His Voice, Finding Himself, and Being Married by Justice Ginsburg
David Daniels is “the most acclaimed countertenor of the day, perhaps the best ever,” to use the words of the New York Times. Though many know him best for portraying some of opera’s greatest heroes from Julius Caesar to Orpheus, he is also passionate about civil rights. more...
Take this quiz to find out which dean of American music you're most like! Are you sparse and minimal like Philip Glass? Or do you prefer the sis-boom-bah John Philip Sousa? Do you prefer Samuel Barber's sonic landscapes of America, or Scott Joplin's Ragtime portraits of American life? more...
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The great singer, whose Operalia competition comes to London next week, says stage productions need to stay close to composer’s intention
Plácido Domingo, one of the world’s greatest opera stars, has expressed sadness at an explicit rape scene staged at his beloved Royal Opera House last week. The Spanish singer, who famously performed with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras as the Three Tenors, told the Observer he prefers opera productions to stay close to the original intentions of the composer.
His words come in the wake of the controversy surrounding director Damiano Michieletto’s ROH production of Rossini’s opera Guillaume Tell. The opera, which opened at Covent Garden on Monday, was met with loud booing from the audience, many of whom were outraged by scenes showing an uncredited actress being violently sexually abused during a banquet, accompanied by a jaunty passage in the score.Continue reading...
The career path of a young conductor is rarely straightforward. Ahead of his UK opera debut Gad Kadosh talks about tips from Bernard Haitink, music in the army and finding his way in the dark depths of an orchestra pit
Just as the conductor’s art can appear a somewhat mysterious one, so the art of building a conducting career can be equally opaque, even to those engaged in it. On 4 July, , the young French-Israeli conductor Gad Kadosh makes his UK opera debut with the Longborough festival production of Rigoletto. But when Kadosh was a piano student at an arts high school in Tel Aviv in the early 2000s, he had no idea how to develop his interest in conducting. “So I just started asking people who were conducting us in orchestras or choirs,” he recalls. “I’d ask, ‘How do you do that?’ How do you become a conductor?’ It sounds like a stupid question, but it is not wrong. I even asked Daniel Barenboim when he visited us. I was about 16 or 17 and was terrified. But I thought I was quite advanced in having this ambition and so wondered at what age he had started conducting. He said ‘I was nine’. So maybe I wasn’t so advanced after all.”
The route Kadosh eventually found to the podium was via the German kapellmeister system, in which young musicians train as assistant conductors in concerts, opera, theatre and dance in one of Germany’s numerous musical theatres, moving from small to larger venues as their career progresses, and entering competitions. But his invitation to Longborough, and to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra later this year, came after he had distinguished himself in a Bernard Haitink masterclass at the 2012 Lucerne festival. Kadosh conducted for Haitink the whole of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony as well as pieces by Schumann, Ravel and Bruckner. “It was a wonderful experience. Haitink understood that each conductor is different and so it was never a question of him just saying do this or that. One time he worked with me on just the left hand, and far from making me feel insecure it showed me what I was able to do.” Haitink also noticed that Kadosh had a tendency towards adopting slower tempi. “Which is OK, but can be dangerous. He didn’t make me do anything new, but he did encourage me to always question whether I was going down a dangerous route. You don’t want to have a tempo that you are the only one who enjoys. That’s not the idea at all.”Continue reading...
The main complaint about the rape scene is that it doesn’t sit well with a jaunty Rossini piece. But why, then, are graphic operatic murders acceptable?
The opera world is not very porous. When, on the first night of Guillaume Tell at the Royal Opera House earlier this week, people booed at the rape scene, at one point drowning out the music, and critics busted it from a four-star down to a one-star, and people bemoaned a huge range of things about modern life, from the sensibilities of its major opera players to the attention-seeking traits of its audiences, they were not objecting to the depiction of sexual violence for the reasons that you or I would. Well, not for the reasons I would, anyway.
“I was dreading it, to be honest. Regietheater and all that,” said Juliette after Thursday’s performance. (German for “director’s theatre”, which is opera code for “people making you look at things you don’t want to see” – even their codes are coded through other languages). “I gather they covered her in a sheet, for tonight’s performance. She was naked before. But I loved it.” (I dispensed with the normal practice of asking for people’s ages. When I asked their names, some people looked at me as though I’d asked for their pin number).
A video apparently released by the Islamic State group shows 25 men being shot dead in the ancient city of Palmyra.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis accuses Athens' creditors of "terrorism", the day before a referendum on an international bailout.
Princess Charlotte is to be christened later at a ceremony attended by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.
The state's failure to reach a budget agreement has caused a government shutdown, and...
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is pushing for a 1 percent sales tax...
In 1999, a car accident left DePaul University professor Clark Elliott concussed. As a...
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