Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Garsington Opera, 50 minutes’ drive from central London, has turned in record attendance figures for this summer. If the season were longer and the pop-up house larger (just 600 seats), it could probably do twice as well. The performance quality just keep on getting higher. We saw Rossini’s Turco in Italia yesterday – a piece of fluff for a summer’s night, redeemed by quicksilver comic direction (Martin Duncan), pinpoint orchestral playing (conductor: David Parry) and a sex-manic, melting, matchless account of Fiorilla by the inexhaustible Sarah Tynan – so swift about the stage you couldn’t imagine the role sung or played any better. The laughs came thick and fast. Geoffrey Dolton kept the cuckold role of Geronio just the right side of farce, Quirijn de Lang was a convincing Riviera Turk and if Katie Bray’s Zaida all but disappeared in the second act that was more Rossini’s fault than hers. Compared to the 1954 Callas recording from La Scala, this was lighter and more musical in every department. The notion that an English country house could match the home of Italian opera in a Rossini repertoire piece might sound absurd, but Callas’s voice was too shrill for Fiorilla, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni was portentous as the Turk, the rest of the cast was variable and the orchestra was decidedly poor. Give me Sarah Tynan at Garsington any summer’s night. photo: Alice Pennefather/Garsington Opera
Stop Talking: More on Deleting the Formal On the day of the Comey hearing, we sat in a bar in Paris watching CNN. Lordy, that was a lot of talking. As if to balance that experience, we went to a piano ... read more AJBlog: The Bright Ride Published 2017-07-09 Other Matters: Mount Adams And The Moon With the abeyance of certain physical annoyances, cycling is back in more or less full swing. Glorious weather makes it a pleasure to be on the road again, but only if the ... read more AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-07-09 Consistency within Variety Jessica Lang Dance performs at Jacob’s Pillow July 5 through 9. Jammie Walker and members of Jessica Lang Dance in Lang’s Lyric Pieces. Photo: Christopher Duggan Jessica Lang graduated from the Juilliard School and danced ... read more AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2017-07-08 Followup: Gunnarsson Quartet Seen And Heard Moments after I posted yesterday’s Riftides review of Fanny Gunnarsson’s Mirrors, I came across a video of the pianist and singer with her quartet performing a piece from the album. Again, the ... read more AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-07-07
The pianist, out with a left-arm injury for the past three months, has returned to the stage for the state celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China. But he played right hand only, we’re told, with an unnamed child covering the left hand part.
The Chinese pianist, still suffering from an arm injury, has cancelled upcoming concerts in London and Munich. The LSO has flown in Leeds winner Denis Kozhukhin in a like-for-like substitution in Bartók’s second Piano Concerto. Bavarian Radio, more daring by half, has called in the showman percussionist Martin Grubinger for an evening of bang-bang. Lang Lang is 35 today.
Marina Harss talks with Clifton Brown, who spent 13 years with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater before leaving to dance with Lar Lubovitch and Jessica Lang and is just now returning to the Ailey fold.
Amid a negligible classical response , the chairman of Universal Music Group, Lucian Grainge, has written to all employees. UMG lost three employees in the Paris Bataclan bombing . Here’s what Sir Lucian writes: Dear Colleagues, Once again, we try to make sense of a senseless act of violence. Today, our emotions are raw. We are deeply saddened by the awful events last night in Manchester. We extend our thoughts and prayers to all of those affected. And we grieve for all of those lost there, offering our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. We can report that no UMG employees were injured in the attack, and that Ariana Grande and her crew are safe. That said, the fact that such an unspeakable act can be committed at a place where innocent people – including so many young people – come together peacefully to enjoy music reflects a level of evil beyond comprehension. This hits home for us as a music company—because so many of us, myself included, spend so much time out seeing our artists perform, let alone attending concerts as fans. That’s why we’ve chosen music as our career—or rather music has chosen us. Your safety and security is absolutely paramount to us. I want you to know that if, for any reason, you ever have any questions or concerns, we want you to reach out so we can resolve it. Our Security team and Human Resources staff stand ready to assist you. Please take advantage of all they have to offer. Today is a day of remembrance, a day to pause and reflect, with thoughts for yesterday’s tragedy. Thank you, as always, for everything you do. Lucian Happier days: Lucian signs Lang Lang