Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Bayerische Staatsoper

I am currently working in Munich, home of the Munich State Opera, in my opinion one of the great Opera Houses of the world. It is currently headed by Nikolaus Bachler as Artistic Director and Kent Nagano as Musical Director. The Bayerische Staatsoper also runs a prestigious opera studio. Teachers include Prof. Rudolf Piernay.
It was the first opera house which I stood in front of and knew: This is where I want to sing!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Fonteyn and Nureyev

I came to the arts for the first time as a five year old child, dancing ballet. Training in dance meant applying oneself physically to rhythms and melodic lines, being disciplined, and performing in harmony and unity with others. I think it provided me with a deep love and compassion for performance. Only with six years, did I begin my voice training.
If I had one wish to see an artist of the past in their full glory, it would be to see a performance of Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn; Maybe their first performance of Giselle at the Royal Opera House, or one of their passionate portrayals of Ashton's Marguerite and Armand. They are two artists I truly admire. I told a friend recently that I hold no role-models, that I wish to achieve something entirely new. But without doubt I look up to Margot and Rudik; their incredible artistry, dedication and hard work have left me forever awe inspired. In the words of Nureyev, 'art is the first call'. His words imply a great sacrifice for the ability to apply oneself completely to ones art, but it is the art which truly makes us who we are.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

selfportraits with balls ...

As the first ever living artist Anish Kapoor has taken over the Royal Academy of Arts with his exhibition of works in the Main Gallery. The Gallery is dominated by sculptures from various stages of Kapoors career, including his pigment works (1970s) or 'Yellow' (1999), but the most effective of course have proven to be his installations 'Shooting into the Corner' (2008-09) and 'Svayambh' (2007), hailed by the Times as like a giant Penis penetrating the Royal Academy. As with much modern art I struggled to please my insatiable thirst for beauty, as here too I could only find bland statements of materialism. It is interesting to note Kapoor's claim with which he introduces his work:
'I have often said that I have nothing to say as an artist. Having something to say implies that one is struggling with meaning. The role of the artist is in fact that we don't know what to say, and it is that not knowing that leads to the work.'
If so, he has rid art of all intellect, of all knowledge. A common trait, I find; Art simplified. But I think such art will not survive time, because time demands knowledge and wisdom.

Picture: Tall Tree and the Eye (2009) Anish Kapoor
Annenberg Courtyard, Royal Academy of Arts
Anish Kapoor runs until the 11th December.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Philippe Jaroussky

Philippe Jaroussky is one of our generations most prolific countertenors. He gave a small recital as part of his new CD Launch yesterday in Foyles London. Jaroussky has comprised a collection of forgotten castrato arias by J.C.Bach. At 31, this is his seventh studio album with Virgin Classics. Jaroussky will perform tonight at the Barbican.