Monday, 29 November 2010

Backstage ... A Wig and Make-Up

Despina (Aoife Miskelly) getting ready for the stage.

The final production of Cosi fan tutte features tonight at the Royal Academy of Music.
Also tonight, Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld opens at the International Opera School of the Royal College of Music, running till 4th December.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Diary ... Advent

Temperatures have dropped. Snow has been announced for most of the UK. It's the time of the Christmas Oratorios, of Messiahs. It's hard not to be busy as a singer around Christmas.
For January I am preparing a scene from Handel's Giulio Cesare, playing the role of Achilla, a hearty bass-baritone role.
I am finally beginning to look at the last remaining major Mozart role, Guglielmo from Cosi fan tutte. Including lots of ensemble music, it is a comprehensive part, very much essential to the modern core repertoire.
Preparing new Lied repertoire, I am working on a collection of Abendlieder, Evening Songs inspired by German folk songs and repertoire by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. What better way to finish the week than to work with Roger Vignoles on 'Alinde' or 'Auf der Bruck'.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Friday, 26 November 2010

Don Alfonso and Despina

Don Alfonso convinces Despina to help thicken the plot by bribing her into helping to conceal the true identity of the strangers that are about to change the lives of the two sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella...

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Cosi opens

What a great opening night of Cosi Fan Tutte at the Royal Academy. The show runs this Wednesday and Friday and next Monday.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Cosi ensemble

Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte premiers with Royal Academy Opera tomorrow, Monday 22 November.
Jane Glover conductor
John Cox director

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Thursday, 18 November 2010

James Rhodes

James is the new kid on the block. Endless Talent combined with a great story and attitude, he is an artist for all the right reasons. Make sure you get to see this one soon!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann

Following the ROH dress rehearsal of Adriana Lecouvreur, Angela and Jonas dropped by the ROH shop for a signing. Its the speak of the town at the moment as this new co-production with Vienna State Opera, San Francisco Opera, the Liceu, Barcelona, and Opéra Bastille premieres on Thursday. Literally everyone wants a ticket for this one.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Angelika Kirchschlager

Angelika Kirchschlager following her performance at Wigmore. A beautiful artist, she has so much time for people and young artists in the making. The performance is incredibly intimate, her music smiles to the audience. In between pieces she chuckles, at the beginning she whispers to the audience ... 'Hausmusik!'

Friday, 5 November 2010

RAM Scenes Up close

Young Opera Singers up close and personal! This is the latest set of scenes featuring postgraduate students of the Academy. They include Die Fledermaus, Manon and Rosenkavalier. Scenes are prepared over a period of two months, are sung in original language and often with spoken dialogue. I am currently preparing Achilla from Giulio Cesare for January.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Diary ... Air Miles

Fantastic Concert last night yet again at Wigmore Hall.

Christopher Maltman and Malcolm Martineau as part of the Wigmore series on 100 Years of German Song 1810–1910.
Speaking to Chris at the end, two things struck my mind. He was keen to point out that he feels he is still working technically, extending range and vocal ability: and that fundamentally it is all down to 'air miles'; Gaining experience over time on the job. It is great to see professionals being so humble. And then rock the show when it comes down to it.

The series continues Friday with Angelika Kirschlager. See you there!

Alle Seelen ruhn in Frieden

Recently, my dear dear Grandfather passed away, severely ill with Cancer.

Joseph Schilcher was and always will be a great inspiration to me. He introduced me to photography and was an ardent follower of the arts. He painted and wrote and dedicated most of his life to the teaching of others about language and History.
As a young boy, he was swept up to serve in the Second World War. With great cunning and incredible maturity he not only survived but stayed true to his own beliefs and values of righteousness.

On the evening of the 2. October 1943, he witnessed the final performance of the Bavarian State Opera, Eugen d'Albert's Tiefland , conducted by Meinhard von Zallinger, before the 'National Theater' was destroyed by night Bombing Raids on the 3. October.
As young students, they had gone to all the performances in their spare time. Hitler's youth for war, searching for music, poetry and song.

Following a solemn funeral in the old town of Munich, singing Bach and Schubert for all the souls, I found a small cupboard in the flat: It contained, yes the most wonderful collection of old gramophone records. Solti, Schwarzkopf, Dieskau; Wolf Moerike Lieder, Brahms, Requiems and Masses, Mozart and Beethoven Sonatas and more more more.
I will sit many a time, listening to his old records, remembering a great man; I will wish he was there, and we would talk of all the great times and of Art, of the opera, of German poets and song, of politics, old and new.

Opa wir vermissen dich sehr...

Alle Seelen ruhn in Frieden