Opera + Classical Music Features

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…



Interview: 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...

Steve Reich interview: “In 1987 I decided that I don’t need 18 first violin...

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...

Spotlight: 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...

Interview: John Tomlinson

by Dominic McHugh

The leading Wotan of his generation, 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 of...

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...

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...

Spotlight: Shostakovich at 100

by Ben Hogwood

25 September 2006 marks the exact centenary of the birth of Dmitri Shostakovich, who has latterly become one of the most influential and most performed composers of his generation – second only, perhaps, to Stravinsky....

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,...

Interview: Kurt Streit

by Dominic McHugh

American tenor Kurt Streit is something of a rarity in the opera world: he is both a specialist in a particular repertoire (Mozart) and a good all-rounder, too. He’s famous for singing the title roles...

BBC Symphony Orchestra: 2006-7 Season Preview

by Ben Hogwood

Jiří Bělohlávek’s first full season as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra shows promise in a series of concerts that reaffirms the ensembles commitment to contemporary music, whilst exploring some familiar masterworks. In the...

Preview: Great Violinists at the 2006 BBC Proms

by Yangen Xu

Thirteen concerts in the Proms this summer will feature over fifteen violin concertos, something for all violin enthusiasts to look forward to. July 21 will see Austrian violinist Thomas Zehetmair take on Brahms’ legendary D...

Kyle Ketelsen: “The more you listen and take it in, the better you get, hopefully...

by Dominic McHugh

Since making his Covent Garden debut as the Sprecher in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in February 2005, American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen has quickly become a Royal Opera House favourite. Returning in September to star as...

Preview: London Concerts and Opera Preview, July-August 2006

by Yangen Xu

Following the England football team’s heartbreaking quarterfinal exit to Portugal, and Wimbledon ending on the coming Sunday, it would seem that July and August could be terribly boring months with nothing else to do. However,...

Interview: Albert Dohmen

by Dominic McHugh

German bass-baritone Albert Dohmen has conquered audiences in opera houses and concert halls the world over, garnering particular praise for his Wagner roles. Two years after his previous London appearance as Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca,...

Preview: BBC Proms 2006

by Dominic McHugh

With 90 concerts and over 120 events, the BBC Proms 2006 are the highpoint of the classical music calendar. Celebrations of the anniversaries of Mozart and Shostakovich, a focus on new music and a visit...

Interview: Rory Macdonald

by Dominic McHugh

Since becoming a member of the Royal Opera House’s Young Artists scheme in September 2004, Stirling-born conductor Rory Macdonald has assisted leading conductors Antonio Pappano and Mark Elder in various important productions, led performances of...

Preview: Royal Opera 2006-7 Season

by Dominic McHugh

From a new production of Bizet’s Carmen to a revival of the classic production of La boheme, the Royal Opera’s 2006-7 season looks like one of its strongest since reopening. Antonio Pappano’s influence on the...

Spotlight: Mozart at 250

by Dominic McHugh

One of the peculiarities of the classical music world is the way composers’ births and deaths dominate concert programmes and opera schedules. Where would the Proms be without a dozen or so anniversaries every year?...

London Concerts and Opera Preview: September-October 2006

by Dave Paxton

After the Proms die down, things are back to normal in London, with the start of new seasons from most companies. The Royal Opera offers an enticing collection of operas, starting 15 September with the...