Friday, 26 March 2010

La Cenerentola and the Bavarian Opera Studio

Rossini's La Cenerentola premiered last night at the beautiful Cuvillies-Theatre in Munich. Featuring a stella cast made up of the ensemble members of the opera studio of the Bavarian State Opera, this was truly a night to remember. Rossini's opera is a real treat and it counts amongts my favourites. There is so much comedy and sad drama packed into one, I cannot be but moved.

The young Irish Soprano Tara Erraught gave a fantastic performance of Cenerentola; her skill and vocal prowess will undoubtedly take her to the great stages of the world, and yet she fared with such ease and airy lightness!
The ensemble was complemented magnificently by Nam Won Huh as Don Ramiro and his fellow countryman Il Hong as Don Magnifico. Todd Boyce stepped out from the audience in order to reveal himself as a powerful Dandini in an unexpected turn of events during Act 1. Clorinda and Tisbe, the horrible half-sisters to Cenerentola were portrayed by Evgeniya Sotnikova and Laura Nicorescu, another great young musician from Bucharest (The ensemble of the main house has just been much enriched by the fantastic Laura Tatulescu, who was taught by a dear teacher of mine). Tareq Nazmi, as Alidoro, was equally impressive, having already sung at the Prinzregententheater and Augsburg Theatre.
Oxford and Guildhall Graduate Christopher Ward lead the orchestra and ensemble with great precision and accomplishment and he is without doubt in good hands as assistant to Kent Nagano.

It is good to see the Munich Opera Studio in such fantastic artistic shape. Without doubt, we will see more of all these great young singers.

The golden facades of the newly renovated Cuvillies Theatre in Munich and the ensemble of the Opera Studio taking their bow.

Styles ... Munich Artists

'Der Unterschied zwischen Kitsch und Kunst ist, dass Kunst einen Inhalt hat und Kitsch keinen.'
Wolfgang Joop

The difference between Kitch and Art is that Art has Content and Kitsch does not

Sunday, 21 March 2010

On Stage ... Good and Evil

Ricardo Barros as Amor in Il Pastor Fido
Costume design: Bridget Kimak

Diary ... Munich

Diary: Monday 21st:
6.20 Flight London - Munich; Breakfast at Granny's; Shopping; Streetstyle Shooting Munich Central; Dinner at Weisses Braeuhaus; 19.00 Le Nozze di Figaro, Bayerische Staatsoper; Meet/Shoot Erwin Schrott; Drinks at Brenners ...
Perfect Day ...

Friday, 19 March 2010

Il Pastor Fido

Il pastor fido
Royal College of Music International Opera School
Conductor: Laurence Cummings
Director: John Ramster

The Royal College of Music and the London Handel Festival have put together a fantastic production of one of Handel's least well known operas Il pastor fido. Starring singers from the Royal College and the London Handel Orchestra, Laurence Cummings and John Ramster deliver a beautifully captivating and imaginative performance of another unknown Handelian Jewel. While this is another 3 hour Handel opera, (it is performed together with Handel's only Ballet, Terpsicore), it is vivid proof of how lively this early repertoire can be. Expert musicianship and performance coupled with expert and witty direction: Handel is undoubtedly for everyone.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

16th March

Me as Leporello from Don Giovanni at Royal Academy Scenes.Thank you Pat!

Sunday, 14 March 2010



Thursday, 11 March 2010

"Albert Herring!"

Backstage with the great Royal Academy Opera cast for Albert Herring.

John Copley director
Tim Reed designer

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Styles ... Life and Smiles

Life is good! Busy week at the Academy. Alex Ross Royal Philharmonic Society Lecture on Monday was great, entry to follow. Albert Herring has started its run at the Royal Academy under the expert directorship of John Copley and Nicholas Kok (Pictures to follow!)

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Handel Singing Competition 2010

Last Thursday saw the annual Finals of the Handel Singing Competition 2010, one of the many highlights of the London Handel Festival under the auspice of the London Handel Society. The concert took place in St George's Church, Hanover Square, just a stone throw away from where Handel lived at Nr.25 Brook Street. St Georges's Church was Handel's parish church which he visited frequently.

The concert was sung by six finalists (four sopranos, one mezzo and one counterternor) and included a brilliant repertoire of Handel Arias from Saul, Serse, Rinaldo, Alcina or Ariodante as well as one Cantata. In the end the winning price was awarded to the young Belgian Soprano Sophie Junker, who gave a thrilling start to the evening with a beautiful tone and an utterly confident way with the orchestra and an enthralled audience. The second price was awarded to the countertenor Christopher Lowrey who will sing the title role of the upcoming Royal College Opera production of Il pastor fido, while the audience price went to the young mezzo soprano Katie Bray.

Results of the Final
Thursday 4 March 2010
St George's Hanover Square - 7pm

Winner of the Adair Prize
Sophie Junker soprano

Winner of the Michael Oliver Prize
Christopher Lowrey countertenor

Winner of the Audience Prize
Katie Bray mezzo-soprano

Elinor Rolfe Johnson soprano
Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli soprano
Sarah Power soprano

Adjudicators: Ian Partridge Chairman Michael Chance Catherine Denley Michael George Patrizia Kwella David Vickers
Director: Laurence Cummings

London Handel Orchestra
Oliver Webber leader

The Handel Society, under the leadership of its Musical Director Laurence Cummings (most recently conducting at the English National Opera) has set out to reveal and expose the multitude of music by Handel which is vastly unknown. I am happy to see, that London audiences are thoroughly enjoying this great programme of Handel and other early music. Concerts are frequently sold out and receive much attention. A feat that is equally satisfying for us young musicians, most of whom cannot resist the great temptation that lies in the Art of Early Music.

To check out more on this brilliant music and further events in London go to:

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Florian Boesch and Roger Vignoles

London was home to a very special celebration tonight, as it witnessed an exquisite recital by one of the worlds finest Lied interpreters, bass baritone Florian Boesch, and his outstanding accompanist of choice, and friend, Roger Vignoles. Together they explored a selection of Lieder by Schumann and Schubert based on the poems of Heinrich Heine. The concert is part of a very special series of ongoing performances conducted by Richard Stokes in the very ambient, archaic settings of Westminster School in London. The series of concerts has included all the great interpreters of our time, including Graham Johnson, Thomas Allen, Malcolm Martineau, Ian Bostridge, Julius Drake, Matthias Goerne or Simon Keenlyside.

Florian Boesch is one of those very special artists who are able to capture our imagination with music and words of olden times and who thus magically transform the times of our own. For we look back in longing at the beauties of times past, and we seek to create beauty on the foundations built by our ancestors. Any man, who witnessed the music of Florian Boesch and Roger Vignoles will have been struck by the great masterstroke of storytelling that was presented tonight, of art painted for eyes and ears, in passing moments, long lasting in the memory of our age.

Thank you Florian Boesch for a lovely picture after a wonderful concert!

London is rich with wonderful art events like tonights! Make sure you go to as many as you can! To my friends, especially the friends of my generation, come and witness this beauty and be moved. Our hearts always understand.
Do ask if you have any questions about concerts or events!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Matthias Goerne and Helmut Deutsch

Robert Schumann Mondnacht performed by Matthias Goerne and Eric Schneider

Matthias Goerne continued his incredibly moving Schubert Project, the performance of Schubert's vast Lieder Repertoire in London. He was accompanied by Helmut Deutsch, the legendary German Lieder accompanist. I have never witnessed such a chemistry between pianist and singer, such a complete unison sound, as if from one source, one instrument. It was a magical experience, the birth of beautiful art; what a perfect end, to a perfect day.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Styles ... City Boy

My good friend Kevin works in the city. And even though he works extremely hard he still makes it to my concerts! Thanks for a great picture Kevin!