Lebrecht has new pictures of Royal Opera productions of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle Operas Das Rheingold, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, as well as Tannhäuser.
Keith Warner’s productions of these three Ring Cycle operas were staged at Covent Garden between 2005 and 2012. With set designs by Stefanos Lazarides, costume designs by Romanian designer Marie-Jeanne Lecca, lighting by Wolfgang Gobbel.
Also pictured: Tim Albery’s production of Tannhäuser for Royal Opera, 8 December 2010. Set designs by Michael Levine. Costume designs by Jon Morrell. Lighting design by David Finn.
Das Rheingold, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung
Tannhäuser. Scene in Act 2: The Hall of Wartburg. Guests make preparations of the singing contest to celebrate the return of Tannhäuser.
Glyndebourne Summer Festival opens on 18 May with a production of Richard Strauss’s opera ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’ by acclaimed young German director Katharina Thoma. Vladimir Jurowski will conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in his last season as Musical Director. Lebrecht Photographer, Laurie Lewis, has sent these preview images, now online at www.lebrecht.co.uk.
Richard Strauss’s opera Ariadne auf Naxos with Kate Lindsey as the Composer, Laura Claycomb as Zerbinetta, Thomas Allen as the Music Master.
A new English National Opera production of Wozzeck opens in London tomorrow. Directed by critically-acclaimed Carrie Cracknell and conducted by Edward Gardner, it will be the first ENO production of Alban Berg’s opera in 25 years. Lebrecht is delighted to have received these preview images from our photographer, Laurie Lewis.
Lebrecht photographer, Marion Kalter, has captured wonderful images of Amilcar Ponchielli’s La Gioconda, the latest production taking place at Opera National de Paris. Marion’s images show the striking stage direction, set and costumes by Pier Luigi Pizzi. The opera is conducted by Daniel Oren and stars Violeta Urmana as La Gioconda. It opened on 2 May and will run until 17 May 2013. For a full selection of images, visit www.lebrecht.co.uk.
We have received images of the Royal Ballet’s controversial new production of Hansel and Gretel from Lebrecht photographer, Laurie Lewis. The Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gretel gets a sinister update in the first full length ballet choreographed by Royal Ballet’s Artist-in-Residence Liam Scarlett. The ballet opened to mixed reactions. Read audience tweets from the opening night here: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/your-reaction-hansel-and-gretel. James Hay stars as Hansel, Leanne Cope as Gretel, Brian Moloney as the Witch and Steve McRae as the Sandman.
Two Major Polish musical anniversaries coming up on the classical music calendar are Witold Lutoslawski this year and Andrezej Panufnik next year.
Musical commentator Norman Lebrecht writes: ‘Poland is defined by musical statements. The liberation cry was articulated by Frédéric Chopin, mostly in Paris. It misled many successors onto a trail of false nostalgia for a prelapsarian paradise that never was.
At the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, newly independent Poland was represented by its first prime minister, the pre-eminent pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski.
“Vous-êtes Paderewski, le grand pianiste, n’est-ce pas?” cried Georges Clemenceau.
“Oui, Monsieur le President.”
“Alors, quelle chute!”
Paderewski may not have seen politics as a comedown, but he lived to see his dream soured by Polish strife and crushed by a second German invasion. His music, like Chopin’s, clung to 19th-century conventions of romantic nationalism. In the next generation, Karel Szymanowski’s complex individualised idiom was condemned for its lack of patriotic zeal. Music in Poland was supposed to conform to political expectations.
Janos Starker, one of the greatest cellists of all time, died in Bloomington, Indiana, USA where he had been a professor at the Indiana University Jacobs Memorial School of Music since 1958. He was a distinguished teacher and prolific recording artist, who played principal cello in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for five seasons during the 1950s.
Richie Havens – American folk singer and guitarist died 22 April 2013 aged 72. He is best remembered for his intense and rhythmic guitar style and for his opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. He was the festival’s first performer and as many of the other artists were held up in traffic jams on the roads approaching the festival site he had to entertain the crowd for nearly three hours and was called back again and again for encores. When he finally ran out of tunes he improvised a song based on the spiritual Motherless Child that became Freedom. The release of the Woodstock movie after this performance helped him reach a wider audience.