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.

Oct 182014

Warner Clas­sics have put together a six-minute high­lights video of Joyce DiDonato’s Stella di Napoli album launch con­cert at the Gow­anus Ball­room above the Ser­ett Metal­works fact­ory in Brook­lyn. DiDonato in her sequined ruby gown and flashy new hair-do remarks about the atmo­sphere of the place, so dif­fer­ent to the Wig­more Hall:

It reminds me of the time of Andy War­hol, Green­wich Vil­lage in the six­ties, where there was this hot­bed of vol­canic activ­ity of cre­ativ­ity and ima­gin­a­tion and exper­i­ment­a­tion… push­ing the boundaries.

When she’s not in sequins, the girl from Kan­sas finds her­self the other side of the rain­bow where she is a pas­sion­ate and lifelong fan of her homet­own Kan­sas City Roy­als. …con­tinue reading.

Oct 162014

Marijn Rademaker

Mar­ijn Rade­maker’s face already adorns the site of the Dutch National Bal­let which he will join at the begin­ning of next year.

After 15 years with the Stut­tgart Bal­let he returns ‘home’ and will be the only Dutch prin­cipal dan­cer in the com­pany; the last was Boris de Leeuw. After such a long time with the Stut­tgart com­pany, and with an intim­ate know­ledge of their rep­er­tory, he will con­tinue to guest there, which will delight his many local fans. …con­tinue reading.