Classical and Opera Features

The Opera Group’s John Fulljames: “We have this obsession with going to the gym but we don’t treat our emotions the same way” – Interview

by Simon Thomas

John Fulljames is the Artistic Director of the middle-scale touring company The Opera Group, which is gaining a reputation for exciting and accessible productions of contemporary operas and seldom-performed classics from the 20th Century repertoire….



Preview: Concerts in the UK 2007

by Simon Thomas

One of the joys of living in London is that you can go out almost every night of the year and see world-class music-making. Londoners are simply spoilt for choice but it’s not just in...

Interview: Felicity Palmer

by Dominic McHugh

Mezzo-soprano Felicity Palmer is one of the most respected and admired opera singers of the past three decades, her vivid performing style, pronounced acting ability and vocal prowess fitting a wide repertoire from Bach and...

Interview: Anthony Michaels-Moore

by Dominic McHugh

A witty conversationalist and modest interlocutor, baritone Anthony Michaels-Moore’s real-life persona could hardly be further from that of the character he’s about to play at the Royal Opera House. Il Conte di Luna is the...

Preview: Opera In The UK 2007

by Dave Paxton

Antonio Pappano in the pit and a high-octane cast including Eva Maria-Westbroek, Bryn Terfel and Placido Domingo gracing the boards, anticipation is sky high (from October 2). The even better news is that the Royal...

Great Performers 2007-2008

by Dave Paxton

With the Royal Festival Hall threatening to finally reopen in June of this year, its competitors must work especially hard to attract both audiences and performers.The Barbican’s Great Performers line up looks to be the...

Classical Review of the Year 2006

by Dominic McHugh

2006 was the year of the big anniversary, as orchestras and opera houses went head to head in celebrating the 250th and 100th birthdays of, respectively, Mozart and Shostakovich.It also saw the completion of the...

Sarah Chang

by Ben Hogwood

Sarah Chang is the classic child prodigy, beginningto play the violin at the age of four, performing withmajor orchestras by the age of eight.While mostviolinists have barely reached grade one by thatstage, Chang was learning...

Francesca Zambello on Carmen: “‘Live free or die’ is her motto and lo...

by Dominic McHugh

American opera and theatre director Francesca Zambello‘s productions have been seen the world over. From La bohème in the round at the Royal Albert Hall to Aladdin: The Musical for Disneyland, and from Berlioz’s epic Les...

Interview: Will Todd

by Dominic McHugh

It’s been a busy year for composer Will Todd, his projects including an off-Broadway musical, an opera world premiere at Gateshead and another for Welsh National Opera, an important new recording of his Mass setting...

Classical and Opera Preview: November-December 2006

by Dominic McHugh

The clocks have turned back and winter’s here.But there’s no need to despair: some of London’s best concerts and opera productions might just help you to get through those cold nights, and we’ve rounded up...

Dominique Le Gendre and Yuval Zorn

by Dominic McHugh

A special excitement is gathering around the Royal Opera’s next production it’s the world premiere of an opera that has been several years in development.Bird of Night was originally a short piece written by Dominique...

Steve Reich: “In 1987 I decided that I don’t need 18 first violins” &...

by Ben Hogwood

When the musical style known as Minimalism began to take hold in the late 1960s it would have seemed almost inconceivable that, 40 years on, whole weekends would be devoted to public celebrations of its...

Interview: Katie van Kooten

by Dominic McHugh

American soprano Katie van Kooten has benefited from her time on the Royal Opera’s Young Artists Programme even more than most.Back in November 2004, only a couple of months into her time at the ROH,...

Milka Ternina Exhibition

by Dave Paxton

If there is such a thing as the ‘ideal Tosca’, the name that springs to mind is that of Maria Callas. Less familiar to those under a certain age will be the name of Milka...

BBC Symphony Orchestra: 2006-7 Season Preview

by Ben Hogwood

Jiri Belohlavek’s first full season as chief conductor of the BBCSymphony Orchestra shows promise in a series of concerts that reaffirms theensembles commitment to contemporary music, whilst exploring some familiarmasterworks.In the course of seven concerts...

Interview: John Tomlinson

by Dominic McHugh

The leading Wotan of his generation, Sir John Tomlinson has sung at Bayreuth every year since 1988 and has appeared regularly at the two London opera houses since the 1970s. The Lancastrian bass is something...

Classical Music in Budapest: Summer 2006

by Agnes Kory

This was not the most ideal time to sample musical life in Hungary as the summer holiday period was still not quite over.Nevertheless, there was plenty to enjoy, to admire or to be disappointed with.On...

Piotr Beczala: “I never planned to be a singer – it just happened” &#...

by Dominic McHugh

In recent seasons, Piotr Beczala has appeared as the Italian Tenor in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, both to great acclaim. Now the Polish tenor is back to open...

Interview: Dennis O’Neill

by Dominic McHugh

Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill can truly be called one of the operatic all-time greats. Since 1979, he’s appeared in nearly every season at the Royal Opera House, and his distinguished career has included major appearances,...

Shostakovich at 100

by Ben Hogwood

Monday, 25th September will mark the exact centenary of the birth ofDmitri Shostakovich, who has latterly become one of the most influentialand most performed composers of his generation – second only, perhaps, toStravinsky.Anniversaries make life...