Saturday, 21 November 2009

The RAO Semele with Sir Charles Mackerras

Roberto Carlos Gomez Ortiz sings Jupiter
'honeyed tone and glamorous looks' The Times

Oliver Dunn as Cadmus

Sir Charles

Jonathan McGovern, an awesome Zephyr!

The Semele Chorus. All FT Readers, naturally ...

Serving Handel. Always return to the Music.

Mary Bevan as Iris

Laura Kelly (Juno) and Oliver Dunn. What Cool.

Conductor: Sir Charles Mackerras
Laurence Cummings
Director: Anna Sweeny
Designer: Michael Holt

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Sir Charles Mackerras

Sir Charles Mackerras is one of the greatest conductors of our time.
He currently conducts the Royal Academy Opera Main Production of Handel's Semele. He remains an artist full of energy and I have found his passion for music truly moving. Thank you for a lovely pictures Sir Charles!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Royal Academy Scenes

The Academy once again played host to a fantastic set of Opera Scenes, directed by John Ramster. The excerpts included Rinaldo, Poppeia, L'Amico Fritz and Cosi. The Scenes were played in the round and featured fantastic costumes, production details, and above all brilliant young, eager voices of the Royal Academy Postgraduates. Like true artists, they were inspirational.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Georg Solti

The Royal Academy hosted its most recent Barbirolli Lecture yesterday. Dr Raymond Holden introduced and led an exciting tribute to the life of the great Maestro Georg Solti. Amongst his distinguished guests were Lady Valerie Solti, Yvonne Minton and Ryland Davies.
Solti was truly a great artist of the 20th century. His skill and talent are nothing less but awe inspiring. I sat there listening to the stories of Solti with great admiration. Solti's career began at the Munich Opera with the Bayerische Staatsorchester, the famous Bavarian State Orchestra, where he was amongst the last to conduct alongside Richard Strauss before his death in September 1949. The Münchner Staatsoper has always been closest to my heart and I feel driven to follow in the footsteps of those men, like Solti, who went out and conquered the world.

Lady Solti is the founder of the Solti Foundation, dedicated to supporting young artists at the start of their career.

The Solti Te Kanawa Accademia Di Bel Canto is a distinguished 3 week summer course created in the memory of Georg Solti, training the best new generation opera singers.

Sir Georg Solti said: "My life is the clearest proof that if you have talent, determination and luck you will make it in the end: never give up!"
It is a guiding testimony for all of us.

Lady Valerie Solti

Yvonne Minton

Friday, 13 November 2009


Pudong, Bund, Tianzi Fang, Yu, Suzhou, New Hights, 上海环球金融中心, Jin Mao

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Münchner Lieder

I was happy to spend one day in Munich with my family after returning from Shanghai this weekend. By chance really, this little photo-shoot came together. I really like the result and I think it would work well as album cover art for a German Lieder recording of some sorts. We shot on a perfectly cold, crisp, German autumn afternoon, with leaves dropping everywhere. The location is one of the most beautiful settings in Munich at Prinzregentenstrasse, looking up to the Friedensengel, the statue of the angel of peace.
I am currently putting together a new Schubert programme, adding some of the beautiful Schubert bass songs, such as 'An der Donau' and 'Der Alpenjäger'. As part of my Shanghai recital, I also experimented with adding more expression and stage actions to my song presentation, a custom which will surely be frowned upon by my peers or any European audience. But to me it felt like I could open up a whole other world, a world of stories told in magic wonderment.

Monday, 9 November 2009


I have just returned from a successful week to Shanghai. I have met many new friends and I hope to return to Shanghai and Asia soon. Although I encountered a very different culture and mentality I felt very much at home and once again it was with Music, that I was able to bridge intercultural differences.
Music is truly a universal language of its own. Its expressive beauty overcomes all social conventions.