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      Top Stories

      A Christmas Memory

      Hear Truman Capote narrate his own short story, A Christmas Memory, published originally in Mademoiselle Magazine in 1956. In it, the author tells a largely autobiographical tale (or memory) of being seven years old in rural America at Christmastime more...

      Light and Gold: The Music of Eric Whitacre

      YouTube sensation and popular choral composer Eric Whitacre presents a program of his own works. In this one-hour broadcast, he introduces the music with co-host Brian Newhouse, describing the often colorful backstory of how each piece came to be. more...

      Holiday Special on “The Midnight Special”

      The annual Midnight Special Christmas/solstice program features holiday humor such as Stan Freberg, and Mike Nichols and Elaine May, new Christmas recordings from 2014; and in observance of its 100th anniversary, a very special feature, the entire performance by Cantus of All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 a recreation of carols and readings from that night in WWI more...

      Someone’s Getting Married at the Met

      The Metropolitan Opera presents Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" with Erwin Schrott in the title role, Danielle de Niese as Susanna, Mariusz Kwiecien as Count Almaviva and Rachel Willis-Sorensen as Countess. Edo de Waart conducts the Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra more...

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      Un Ballo in Maschera review – few new ideas, none of them interesting

      Royal Opera House, London
      In Katharina Thoma’s production, the acting is rudimentary and there’s nothing subtle in the musical performance, despite the pedigree of the cast

      The fashion parade of European directors that seems to pass as artistic policy for Caspar Holten’s regime at Covent Garden reaches a new nadir with the latest production there. Katharina Thoma, who, as Glyndebourne regulars will remember to their cost, was responsible for Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos last year, has been recruited to direct the Royal Opera’s new Ballo in Maschera.

      That’s using direct in the loosest possible meaning of the word, for very little that can be seen on stage during this depressing evening suggests that the singers have been given the direction they badly need. The acting is rudimentary, sometimes risible, the blocking of the chorus clumsy. Having set her Glyndebourne Ariadne during the second world war, Thoma locates this Ballo somewhere in Europe (the Balkans?) in the period leading up to the outbreak of the first world war, and then opts for the Boston version of the score, which Verdi was forced to sanction when his original, centred on the assassination of Gustav III in Sweden, fell foul of the censors.

      Continue reading...

      The Hilliard Ensemble review – poignant farewell after 41 years

      Wigmore Hall, London
      The last performance by the much admired early-music vocal group was always going to be an emotional occasion Continue reading...

      Un ballo in maschera; Phantom Voices – review

      Royal Opera House; St Leonard’s church, London
      Star names Joseph Calleja and Dmitri Hvorostovsky light up an otherwise underwhelming Un ballo in maschera

      Continue reading...

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      travel feature

      Join Peter and Kathleen van de Graaff next May on an exclusive classical music cruise down the Danube. Celebrate the genius of Mozart, Strauss, Beethoven, Bach and Schumann.

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      An Exclusive Classical Music Tour through the City of Lights with WFMT! Join Carl Grapentine and fellow opera lovers next May as we tour our favorite European opera destinations in Paris.

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      Opera in La Suissse Romande! Spend a lovely spring week in in Geneva and Lausanne with Opera Adventures and noted composer, pianist, and teacher, Larry Axelrod.

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      new releases

      Christmas in Harvard Square

      Decca B0020969-02

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      Sharon Isbin: 5 Classic Albums

      Warner Classics 0825646243648 (5 CDs)

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      Lux de caelo

      Harmonia Mundi HMU-907615

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      Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker

      Chandos CHSA-5144

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      Music for Advent

      Naxos 8.573260

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