Oct 292014

Joyce DiDonato National Anthem at World SeriesJoyce DiDonato will sing the national anthem tonight at Game 7 of the base­ball World Series, in her homet­own of Kan­sas City.

DiDonato — a lifelong Kan­sas City Roy­als fan — was selec­ted after a fan star­ted a social media cam­paign based around the hashtag #let­joyces­ing. The cam­paign quickly became viral, res­ult­ing in a peti­tion which received over 3,000 sig­na­tures, as well as cov­er­age in New York Times sports sec­tion, The Wall Street Journal, Phil­adelphia Magazine, Kan­sas City Star, and UK Inde­pend­ent, among oth­ers. …con­tinue reading.

Oct 232014

Franco Fagioli - photo by Thibault Stipal 2When did you start singing?
I don’t remem­ber exactly when…

Why did you start singing?
Because it felt good.

Which sing­ers inspired you most when you were young?

Which singer do you most admire?
The great mezzosopranos.

What’s your favour­ite role?
There is not a favour­ite, I love them when I am doing them.

What role have you never played but would like to?
The Rossini roles I still have not played, like Arsace in Semir­am­ide, Mal­colm in La Donna del Lago and many oth­ers by Rossini.

What’s your favour­ite opera to watch?
Dif­fi­cult to say… it’s between Tosca, La Travi­ata and one that a friend is singing in.

Who is your favour­ite com­poser?
That’s between Han­del, Moz­art and Rossini. …con­tinue reading.

Oct 222014

Marianela Nunez and Gabriele CorradoMari­anela Núñez is an extraordin­ary dan­cer who seems to pos­sess an inner light which not only makes her glow, but illu­min­ates every­one around her. There is a pure, almost spir­itual qual­ity to her appar­ent hap­pi­ness on stage, as though there there is nowhere else she would rather be. It is an extremely rare qual­ity: many sparkle, many dazzle, but few com­mu­nic­ate heart to heart.

She is also a fine act­ress, using her dance to com­mu­nic­ate a story, and at every moment is thor­oughly engaged with her col­leagues on stage, not dan­cing in a bubble like many guest­ing dan­cers. Add to this that she is also “a dan­cers’ dan­cer” in that all the tech­nical wiz­ardry is firmly in place, and this will explain the yells and screams that greeted her cur­tain calls at La Scala after her first per­form­ance in Ken­neth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet last night. Even more extraordin­ary was the fact that a last minute sub­sti­tu­tion for an ail­ing Massimo Murru left her with less than a couple of hours to rehearse all those tricky lifts, but Gab­ri­ele Cor­rado rose to the occa­sion and was strong and reas­sur­ing. If fact, there was noth­ing that indic­ated that the two hadn’t already danced together, or that Núñez was dan­cing on the set for the first time. That is the res­ult of exper­i­ence, con­fid­ence and a great deal of cour­age.
…con­tinue reading.

Oct 212014

Maria Callas RemasteredWarner Clas­sics released a new Maria Cal­las LP today. LP? Yes LP!

Although the Long Play­ing disc has had a niche mar­ket after the intro­duc­tion of CDs in the pop music field, espe­cially for indie music, or for DJs who spe­cial­ize in that back­wards scrap­ing sound as they manip­u­late the turntable with their hands, it is extremely rare in the clas­sical field. How­ever, being that the remas­ter­ing of the entire Cal­las cata­logue was such an import­ant under­tak­ing, Warner’s has issued a greatest hits disc — the company’s first vinyl release in 15 years — as a limited-edition single-LP, with a lux­uri­ous 180 gram weight.

As it spins at 33 1⁄3 rpm (that’s “revolu­tions per minute” for those who are not indie fans, DJs or were born after 1990) you can hear, unsur­pris­ingly, O Mio Bab­bino Caro, Casta Diva, Vissi d’arte and so on. …con­tinue reading.

Oct 202014

Cecilia_Bartoli_MissionCecilia Bar­toli has waded into the murky waters of the Rome Opera crisis. Although she hasn’t sung in the theatre for years, it is her homet­own, and where she star­ted her career.
“We must find a solu­tion, that’s obvi­ous, but the solu­tion isn’t to fire the chorus and orches­tra and keep the man­age­ment. What will the man­age­ment do if there is no one left to manage?

“No [artist] should be fired, but there needs to be a fresh start with com­pet­ent people at the artistic helm, and not politi­cians as has been the norm in the past. The prob­lem of mis­man­age­ment at the Rome Opera has been going on for years.

“If they have found a solu­tion for La Scala then they can find one for Rome. La Scala has a solid basis which allows it to go ahead with its season’s pro­gram­ming, and seems to be work­ing. Some­thing must be done in Rome; the theatre can’t just be left to die. I hope it emerges from its cur­rent state.”

She also flew her Muti col­ours: …con­tinue reading.