Opera + Classical Music Features

BBC Proms 2007: Week Six preview

by Ben Hogwood

Another week, another starry collection at the Proms – and this without Maxim Vengerov, who has sadly had to pull out of his scheduled late night Prom. No short changing on the part of the…



Spotlight: Paul Potts

by Dave Paxton

Hero worship is nothing new in the annals of classical music – a world of flaunting superstars and lonely, adoring followers. In his book The Queen’s Throat, Wayne Koestenbaum describes the infatuations of homosexual men...

BBC Proms 2007: Week Four preview

by Ben Hogwood

BBC orchestras feature heavily in the Proms festival’s fourth week, which has a distinctly bread and butter’ feel to it in terms of repertoire. Don’t interpret that as a criticism though, as each day still...

Edinburgh Festival 2007

by Dave Paxton

On its 60th anniversary, the Edinburgh International Festival is long established as one of the highlights of the British cultural year. Jonathan Mills, in his first year as Festival Director, has been daring in programming...

BBC Proms 2007: Week One preview

by Ben Hogwood

Yes, it really is that time of year again – the sun may be yet to make a prolonged appearance in the English summer, but the BBC Proms are primed and ready for their 80th...

Interview: Thomas Allen

by Simon Thomas

What is striking about Sir Thomas Allen on meeting him is his passion. A few days before the opening night of his “umpteenth” Così fan tutte, he talks with great enthusiasm about the production, although...

BBC Proms 2007: Week Three preview

by Ben Hogwood

Strike up the band – it’s time for brass at this year’s Proms – a whole day of it, in fact! If you either play or have an interest in a brass instrument then you...

Swiss Paradise: Menuhin Festival, Gstaad

by Simon Thomas

Gstaad, famous as a fashionable winter resort, is idyllically situated at 1,050 metres above sea level, in the Swiss Alps. The town has played host every Summer since 1956 to the Menuhin Festival, which takes...

BBC Proms 2007: Week Two preview

by Ben Hogwood

A jamboree, two substantial sacred works, an opera, two attractive concerts of French music and a premiere – all dishes on the menu as the Proms heads in to its second week. This is often...

Interview: Patrizia Ciofi

by Laura Battle

I bow to the convention of opera interviews in reporting that Patrizia Ciofi arrives in true diva style: fifteen minutes late, but that’s really as far as the stereotype can stretch. Of course, the Italian...

Preview: Buxton Festival 2007

by Dave Paxton

Buxton is one of the gems of the Peak District and its opera house one of the loveliest in England. Yes, the 2007 Festival boasts over 110 events in only three weeks, but do not...

Overture Weekend

by Dave Paxton

The South Bank is an exciting place to be throughout the year, but the weekend Friday 8 to Sunday 10 June promises to be very special indeed. The aptly-titled Overture celebration announces the reopening of...

Interview: Erwin Schrott

by Laura Battle

Devilishly handsome with a voice that can charm the most demanding of critics, the young Uruguayan bass-baritone Erwin Schrott has become something of a sensation in the opera world. Skimming over the press hype (“sexy...

Preview: The 51st Yehudi Menuhin Festival, Gstaad

by Simon Thomas

One of the most appealing of Summer music events is the Yehudi Menuhin Festival held in the fashionable alpine town of Gstaad in Switzerland and this year musicOMH will be attending the opening weekend in...

Interview: Toby Spence

by Laura Battle

Toby Spence doesn’t look like an opera star. Athletically built, with spiky blond hair, he actually looks more like a surfer (which he is, incidentally, when the diary allows) and carries himself with an easy-going...

The Boatswain’s Mate by Ethel Smyth

by Simon Thomas

The thought of a long-forgotten opera playing in a pub theatre in Earl’s Court may send you screaming for the hills, or it may intrigue you enough to make it worth taking a look. I...

Interview: Katherine Broderick

by Simon Thomas

Soprano Katherine Broderick is still coming down from the most amazing week of her life, winning both the Kathleen Ferrier Award and Guildhall’s prestigious Gold Medal. There hasn’t been much time for reflection, though, as...

Preview: Opera North 2007/8 Season

by Simon Thomas

Opera North’s new season is dominated by adaptations of Shakespeare, with no fewer than five productions of operas based on the bard. Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi won’t hit the repertoire until autumn 2008...

Spotlight: Royal Opera acquires Opus Arte

by Simon Thomas

In a surprise move, The Royal Opera has just announced the takeover of DVD producer/ distributor Opus Arte. The label, which has a reputation for quality recordings of operas and ballets, will join the company’s...

Preview: English National Opera 2007-08 Season

by Simon Thomas

If the creative team at English National Opera is putting an optimistic gloss on the company’s potential problems, they have plenty new to boast about. At the press conference to launch their 2007/8 season, they...

Obituary: Mstislav Rostropovich, 1927-2007

by Ben Hogwood

The great cellist died on 27 April 2007, of a long illness believed to be cancer, aged 80