Thursday, 29 October 2009

In Rehearsal

Aoife and Anna-Louise in rehearsal for the next Royal Academy Vocal Faculty Scenes.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Semele and U2

I thought it might be time for a picture of myself.
Times are crazy but in the best way possible. In the past week I have seen three Opera productions, two Wigmore recitals, one masterclass, prepared and performed in one major audition, two Song classes, and began full rehearsals for the Handel Opera Semele. I have met a ridiculous amount of new faces and received plenty advice from those I admire the most. It is easy to forgot how privileged we are doing what we do. So I dont, and up I will get early tomorrow morning and I will nail that Leporello Aria. Why? For that Met performance in ten years time...

Monday, 26 October 2009


My Chinese Visa has arrived!
I will be in Shanghai from 31st October until 6th November as part of a music exchange delegation. I will also be giving performances of well known Schubert Songs.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Simon Keenlyside

Simon Keenlyside in the Green Room of Wigmore Hall, following his Recital with Graham Johnson on Sunday 25th October 2009. He advised us above all to be patient.

Friday, 23 October 2009

For the Young

I was fortunate to speak to Roberto Alagna once again, following the Derniere of the ROH 2009 production of Carmen yesterday evening. To my utter surprise the Maestro remarked on my Blog and the pictures I have published of him below, and that he liked them. In utter gratitude I looked on as he wondered into the night with his friends, without doubt celebrating yet another great artistic accomplishment.
As a young singer I look up in awe at these men and women of the great stages of the world. And I am grateful for having had the privilege of sharing in their music making, and all the time they have to spare, especially for young students and artists, longing to follow in their footsteps.
Thank you Maestro and I look forward to seeing you in February at the latest!

Roberto Alagna, Elina Garanca and myself with my Canon 7d mirrored in the window of the ROH Stage Door. Thank you!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Watching Thomas Allen

The great Thomas Allen taking his bow as part of the Richard Jones production of Gianni Schicchi at the Royal Opera House on October 22nd 2009. Maria Bengtsson as Lauretta has given an impressive Royal Opera debut.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Alagna Carmen

Roberto Alagna and Elina Garanca after their Royal Opera House performance of Carmen on October 21st 2009. Truly great Artists.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Ein Abendlied

On Friday evening the fine soloists of the RAM Song Circle performed an exquisite selection of pre-schubertian German Songs under their expert guidance and mesmerizing artistic authority of Richard Stokes, long a companion of many great lieder soloists of our time. The concert featured music by Haydn, Schulz, Reichardt and Beethoven amongst others and brought forth to me the very essence of art; That of pure beauty transcended through joy, sadness and pain.
Schulz wrote the famous Abendlied, based on the poem by Matthias Claudius, in which the moon has risen in the night and the stars stand clear over the silent fields and woods of the earth. It has always inspired me to contemplate, and contemplate we must if we are to create beautiful art. I believe it descends to us when we recognize those special moments in life, like a clear night sky. Moments when we may truly feel. I felt inspired all weekend, by the songs of Schulz, Reichardt ... , I might even have told a girl, how beautiful she looked ..
So in evening hours, when you feel weary, or sad, listen to beautiful music or song and look up to the skies and they might twinkle back at you.

Der Mond ist aufgegangen,
Die goldnen Sternlein prangen
Am Himmel hell und klar;
Der Wald steht schwarz und schweiget,
Und aus den Wiesen steiget
Der weisse Nebel wunderbar.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Mr Quartermaine

This week saw the premier of the song cycle Elizabeth: Songs of Autobiography by Samuel Quartermaine Smith, set within the fascinating Norman remains of St Bartholomew the Great. Within these ancient halls, we listened to the powerful and succulent voice of Vanessa Bowers and a fantastic ensemble of three recorder players and one percussionist. The unlikely pairing created a multitude of harmonic coloration set against an adventurous yet utterly controlling rhythmic backdrop and the very own words of Elizabeth I, edited gallantly by John Ramster.
What challenge does music face today as we have set out to create new things and can look back on such greats of the classic past. I am in awe of those people who put on paper what they see created in their minds as something coherently of their own time. I hope to hear more of Samuel's music in the near future.
Further of modern art, this weekend will feature many of the most exciting new artists at the Frieze Art Fair in Regent's Park. Maybe you will spot me there, with a camera in my hand ...

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

In Costume

As part of the Royal Academy of Music Vocal Studies MA Courses, the students are involved in Opera Scene productions, providing great opportunities to gain performance experience and to slip into amazing costumes!

Grimoaldo from Handel´s Rodelinda in formal Navy Blue uniform.

Anezka from Smetana's Two Widows in 1920s flapper wig and dance hall headpiece.

Count Errico and Baroness Irene from La Vera Constanza by Joseph Haydn. Rupert and Kristina are wearing mid 18th c. style full dress with elegant lace frills. The only thing missing are the wigs!

The Royal Academy of Music produces four Opera Scene Productions over the entire year, next to an elaborate programme of Scenes and Main Productions staged by the Royal Academy Opera.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Monday, 12 October 2009

Backstage Ghosts

The Backstage is a magical place. Behind the stage, everything is quiet, the singers wait for their grand entrance. The hearts pound and the minds flicker unsteadily through the lines to be spoken and the words to be sung. One last peek at the audience and the stage,. Hush, the audience awaits, the entrance nears ...

... and away.

Many artists say, that on stage they are most free. It is a Freedom than no other, it is not private but exposed, exposed to all the world.
The stage is a public place, and once we have entered the limelight, there is no turning back. All Freedom comes at a cost.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The Kind Audience

I attempted to catch this lovely elderly couple off guard during their interval drinks at the Royal Academy of Music. But as soon as I had pointed my camera, she posed for me (very well), and he looked on in the kindest of spirits.
An audience is everything to the performer, may it be cruel, may it be kind.

nemo vir est qui mundum non reddat meliorem

My name is Maximilian Van London.
I am a young Classical Singer, Actor and Artist in London. This is my website, intended to give an insight into the life of young artists and all those people and events that I am privileged to encounter as I seek artistic accomplishment and recognition.

I have always been fascinated and inspired by artists around me.
But I feel there is much to be done, in creating and bringing together new art and performance, which will fascinate young and old. Classical Music and Art struggles to be cool, it possesses no charisma to inspire the modern young.
I believe it is our greatest task to change this conception and to recreate new artistic enthusiasm and impulses.

I will manage this website in the style of a blog, giving regular publications on my work, fellow artists, singing and opera, art and theatre, photography and painting, fashion and free lifestyle, parties and wandering into fame.

Art is about life and people, it is about you! Read on, come back and be inspired to inspire.