Tag Archives: Wigmore Hall

Ruxandra Donose + Roger Vignoles / Rosenblatt Recitals / Wigmore Hall – 6 October 2014

9 Oct

Donose RosenblattSecond time unlucky for the Rosenblatt recitals as the second one of the new season also had an indisposed singer programmed, so instead of Carmen Giannattasio we had Ruxandra Donose performing, fresh from her triumphant return to the Royal Opera as the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos and her recent Carmen in Calixto Bieto’s celebrated production at English National Opera.
She explained at the start of the recital that she put together arias and songs she loves despite of any strange leaps in mood. Clearly a deft decision being asked to fill in for another artist at such a short notice and also a great chance to show her taste in repertoire and to display her versatility.

Her two Carmen arias (second as encore) were predictably beautifully executed with impressive ease and sparkle. Hinting at a naughtiness inside but never becoming base and cheap. What was immediately noticeable was her easy going stage manner and personable character. All too frequently singers look so ill at ease on the concert platform without being able to hide behind make up and costume.
Her Offenbach aria was coquettish, sassy she had great fun playing with the text. The letter aria from Werther was a solid attempt at transmitting the sense of sadness and the world closing in. Her dark hued voice used with artistry to convey the mood. 

The three songs by Fauré were a good display of her ability to restrain her exuberance and not smother the material under artifice. So effective she was in evoking the dreamy mood that her Eboli was like a thunderbolt. Her rendition of this old warhorse was captivating, her dark chest voice reflecting the troubled state of mind of the heroine. Despite a certain shortness of breath at the finale she pulled off an impressive end to the first half.

After the interval the programme took a more romantic turn with Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix which was seductive and with a hint of calculation behind the pleasantry. Her use of her dynamic range to colour the aria and its different moods was very effective. A sign of how committed her signing was throughout the evening.

Donose Rosenblatt list

The sets of songs by Enescu and Bretan were beautiful and unfussy. The second set in Romanian was particularly notable for the sheer joy and abandon she invested each one of them. I always relish an artist inserting songs in their native language in a recital as it removes any residual language barrier and allows for direct a communication. Particularly the wistful last two songs were a great display of sensitivity and piano singing. The final Rossini aria showed her agility and her adept coloratura technique. What we maybe lost in not being as quick firing as some was a more rounded sound that caressed the ear at every turn. Humanising what can seem like empty fireworks in the hands of other singers.

The accompaniment by Roger Vignoles was as sprightly and joyful as Donose’s stage presence. Particularly impressive at such short notice and with presumably limited rehearsal time

As you can tell I really enjoyed her performance I was rather excited to see her after her excellent Composer at Covent Garden and she did not disappoint. Her unwavering intensity paired with her musicality were wonderful to see.

Some tweets from the evening

Rosenblatt Recitals 15th season, an overview

4 Sep

Rosenblatt Recitals 15th SeasonIf you have been reading my blog for sometime or follow me on Twitter (there are such masochists out there, I’m told) you will know how much I like attending as many recitals of the Rosenblatt series as possible. For a privately organised, and increasingly high profile, series it is extraordinary that it has reached its fifteenth year. A testament to the dedication of the organisers and now even with a record label to release the recordings. With the relocation a couple of years ago to the Wigmore Hall, they are going from strength to strength and in a venue that is ideal for singers giving, frequently, their first London recitals.

Here’s the run down of all recitalists in the coming season, the prices are very reasonable with a top price of £30, they would make a good starting point for anyone interested in opera and song and haven’t dipped their toe in live performances.

The opening recital by Stephen Costello marks his solo return to this recital series after his UK debut with the Rosenblatts in 2006. He did sing for them in 2008 when he was paired with his wife Ailyn Pérez.

23 September

Stephen Costello + Danielle Orlando

As Stephen Costello was indisposed Javier Camarena has stepped in, for what will be a rather exciting occasion as it marks his UK debut.

Javier Camarena + Enrico Cacciari

6 October

Carmen Giannattasio + Jonathan Papp

6 November

Belén Elvira + Jorge de León + Juan Antonio Lavarez Parejo

3 December

Aida Garifullina + Iain Burnisde

10 February

Saimir Pirgu + Simon Lepper

4 March

Simone Piazzola + Vincenzo Scalera

8 April

Ben Johnson + James Bailleu

19 May

Jessica Pratt + Vincenzo Scalera

8 June

Marcello Giordani + Macri Simone


For detailed information check the dedicated page on the Rosenblatt Recitals website

You can read all my previous blog posts on Rosenblatt recitalists if you so fancy:















Nino Surguladze + Gianluca Marcianò / Rosenblatt Recitals / Wigmore Hall – 10 February 2014

11 Feb

Surguladze Marciano Feb 2014It is sometimes an unpredictable ride when attending a recital. What seemed like a straightforward programme of opera arias in the first half and lieder in the second became a very mixed up affair last night.

What made the biggest impression was Surguladze’s unfussy and confident platform manner. Not the one for too many ridiculous mannerisms or unnecessary overacting. Her presentation was simple and wide open eyed. Unfortunately what let her down was not getting used to the intimate acoustic of the Wigmore Hall. She spent a large part of the first half singing far too loudly and in the process compromising her technique, diction and colouring. The opening Mozart aria was rendered irritating with the excessive vibrato and the forced volume. Thankfully things started to settle mid way and led to two beautiful final arias. It was disappointing that her French was cloudy and a memory lapse mid aria did disturb what was otherwise a gorgeously sung Delila with all the sultry charms, chest voice and warm tone to die for. Her Acerba voluttà was exactly the kind of singing that excites me, full bloodied, open and dramatically involved. What was all too obvious was what a wonderful actress she must be in a fully staged opera.

The second half brought both a music stand on stage and a much more quiet delivery and appropriate interpretation. Her Schubert songs were lovingly delivered but not in the class we are used to at this particular Hall, with Alice Coote being the resident lieder deity. They need a quiet dignity and internalised emotion than only years of stage experience can bring. Given time she could be a compelling lieder interpreter in the future.

The most surprisingly satisfying songs were the three Brahms numbers where she brought glowing girlishness and attentive subtlety that presented her warm voice in the best possible light. Her Georgian encore was also a great showpiece for her glowing dark timbre and flowing legato.

She was accompanied rather beautifully by Gianluca Marcianò taking the night off from conducting an orchestra and playing for his leading lady. He showed to be a natural accompanist displaying  textural variety and rapport. Having seen him conduct beautifully Bellini and Verdi last year I had high expectations and was not disappointed in the slightest. Makes me wish more conductors would accompany singers on the concert platform. As he brought a different sensibility than most professional accompanists which added to a pleasurable evening.

Once more a very enjoyable evening if a bit more mixed in results but this is the drama and excitement of live performance with many variables that can alter its course.

Surguladze Marciano Feb 2014 List

Some tweets from the evening

Top 5 most read posts of 2013

31 Dec

Most read of 2013The end of the year makes us all look back at statistics and moments of the previous twelve months.

Here is the top 5 blog posts of the year

1 Why I don’t like Sinfini

The quasi free-spirited website, that is meant to be run by passionate music lovers, but is indeed a property of Universal Music, who owns over 70% of the classical recording labels output


2 Kicking the Prommers to the ground is poor form

The rather unnecessary attack on prommers by Christopher Gillett…a blatant attempt at click baiting by Sinfini?


3 Gergiev gets a London welcome

A post on the rather blasé  approach by maestro Gergiev on the goings on back in Russia. It seems the campaigning has had limited success as he still seems to be largely unwilling to make any definitive statements. We will be happy to see his departure from the LSO by the end of 2015.


4 The shine of the blade / English National Opera’s Medea

The post on a glorious dress rehearsal that blew my socks off. Sarah Connolly in blazing form taking on and conquering one of the gems of the French baroque repertoire. I was floored by the intensity and would count it among the most memorable performances of my opera going life to date.


5 Wimsy and gorgeousness / Sophie Bevan and Sebastian Wybrew recital at Wigmore Hall

A gorgeous recital by two very accomplished young stars that was instantly charming and affecting. The rendition of Barber’s Hermit Songs was so fresh and beautifully realised it put a spring on my step.


A mixed bag but shows how topical subjects tend to be read more.

Calm and blast / Celso Albelo / Rosenblatt Recital Series / Wigmore Hall – 16 September 2013

26 Sep

Celso AlbeloAlongside the opening of the new opera season at London’s Houses comes the opening of the season for the Rosenblatt Recital Series that has been running since 2000. A good spotting ground for up and coming international talent.

I approached the evening with a slight trepidation as my last live experience of him was the 2011 La Sonnambula at the Royal Opera House, his Elvino was the main disappointment of that evening, clearly having a difficult night, looking out of sorts in both style and vocal output.

For this recital the two halves were mainly divided by temperament which made for a slightly odd and too homogeneous programming. But one particular saving grace of this recital series is allowing the singers to make personal choices of songs and arias that reflect their interests and frequently in their native language, allowing them to show a different side from the expected standard rep.

Albelo listAlbelo’s delivery of the brooding at times near lacrimose material in his native tongue was beautifully engaging. His reserved stage personality well in tune with the material. The attention to the words and the soft caress of the melody was a great start and brought out a side to his interpretive capability I hadn’t seen before.

His Pampamapa (Song of the trail) was a great example of his ability to weave the thread of a story with simple means and to keep the audience captivated. His colourful rendition of a meditation on a love affairs that has gone wrong was affecting and not over dramatic. Revealing a sensitive side to our preconceptions of what a lyric tenor is expected to sing in recital. In Ya me voy a retirar (I’m going to go away) he brought a broken simplicity and expressive economy full of  tenderness. Hi El sampedrino (The herdsman) was a meditation on bitterness after the end of a love affair.  The last item of the first half Besos en mis suenos (Kisses in my dreams) was a strange melange of MOR melody and light vocalism that reminded me a musical backdrop for an MGM musical from the 1940s. Breaking a bit the spell cast from all the previous songs.

After the interval things got much more vibrant to maybe the expense of subtlety (a danger with lyric tenors oi).

The first (very loud) song Deten tu lado paso (Don’t take another step) was the exact opposite of all the songs of the first half, the subtlety replaced with volume and overarching ardency.

But maybe the most musically futile and overall problematic number was the solo piano Danza de los Nanigos (Dance of the Negroes) which except for a break for the singer offered very little to the overall recital and the very title of it in the programme made me cringe.

The arias from the Donizetti operas were a great display of his bright tone and firm delivery. Particularly his rendition of Spirto gentil was the crowning achievement of the evening and it’s wonderful to have a video released by the Rosenblatt Recitals organisers for posterity. It was exactly one would wish for, full bloodied Italianate singing with clarity of phrasing and a seamless legato.

His finale with La donna e mobile was a bit of chore for me after having seen a performance of Rigoletto two days earlier and was not quite convinced that he had the arrogance and weaselly malice one needs to be a convincing Duke of Mantua. But it definitely ticked a big box for the fans in the audience.

His two encores were Francesco Cilea’s È la solita storia del pastore  (Act II L’arlesiana) and a short version of  Donizetti’s  Ah mes amis (Act I La Fille du Régiment) which made a suitably sparkly end to the evening and continues a Roseblatt tradition for tenors to sneak in a snippet of La Fille du Régiment in their recital programme. It was funny seeing pianist and singer backstage trying to agree on the second encore after Albelo asked for us to wait for a minute…a good light-hearted end to the recital.

Videos from the performance

Some tweets from the evening

Jung Soo Yun + Joseph Middleton / Richard Tauber Prize Recital / Wigmore Hall – 15 July 2013

21 Jul

Yun WigmoreWhat I wasn’t expecting when I attended this Richard Tauber Prize recital was that it would be the final recital in the history of the competition and after 30 recipients since 1951 it will be rolled into the Wigmore Hall  International Song Competitions from 2013. The new Prize will be awarded for the best interpretation of Schubert lieder and it will not carry a Wigmore Hall recital as part of it anymore. A slightly sad but also a good chance to look through the list of the singers that received it over the years, some went on to great careers and some sank without a trace.

Jung Soo Yun fresh out of Opera Holland Park’s Pearl Fishers gave a charming and at times arresting performance. Not a singer to exude ego or unshakable, bombastic over-confidence, but more of an at ease generosity.

His Schubert songs went past in a flash and his voice did not make for a classic combination of material and texture. Sometimes these songs can turn a little be too polite and knowingly elegant and my personal taste veers on wanting a more gritty, more assertive sound.

His Strauss songs, especially Die Nacht showed his impressive ability to shape and colour phrases into an evocative mix of picture making prowess and animated evocation. His open eyed eagerness when singing Nichts had that fresh quality only a younger singer can bring, a feel of young love and melancholy. For Die Georgine he successfully managed to pull back some ardency to allow the lyrical flow to emerge and display a more demure personality in his singing.

The songs by Tosti were a late addition to the programme from what was previously advertised and I can declare him my least favourite art song composer. So was not particularly looking forward to those three songs. But they were proven a great vehicle to display his punchy squillo in Non t’amo più projecting with clarity and ringing sonorities, raising the material above its banal footing. For Ideale depending on his affable stage presence he also impressed with some very italianate rolled Rs in the pivotal line Torna, caro ideal, torna un instante adding a delicious sharpness to it.

It is always enjoyable when a singer picks songs from their own culture and language to sing in recitals and the two Korean songs were so much fun and extroverted that gave a triumphant closing to the song part of the recital before giving way to the two arias. Especially the Sailor’s Song elicited a lot of laughs of admiration and recognition by the numerous Koreans in the audience.

The two arias were by far the most evocative and interpretative complete items.  His Faust was elegant and beautifully projected accompanied by great finesse. The attention to the gentle phrasing and the open throated, secure production was a joy to listen to. His Kuda kuda was restrained and filled with dignity and passion. The reflective mood making for a great end to a recital. He may not have the fetching appearance of Pavol Breslik in the recent ROH Onegin but he definitely can deliver the complex lustful shady world of this aria to good advantage.

Joseph Middleton’s accompaniment was unshowy and communicative without sounding routine. Never trying to overshadow but a team player offering support and propulsion.

His encore Dein ist mein ganzes herz was dedicated to Tauber and sung with great beauty and bounce and the second one was The Lord’s Prayer in Korean, which you can listen to in the curtain call video below. Based on this fetching recital I wish I had seen his Nadir at Holland Park but it is one of those operas that rarely appeals. His Royal Opera debut is coming up this autumn in Les Vêpres Siciliennes directed by Stefan Herheim and will be great to see him as part of such an ensemble cast in a fairly rare opera by Verdi. Another young singer to add to the list of up and coming new stars.

Curtain Call Video

Some Tweets

Yun Wigmore List

Mrs Carter and her dearest friends / Beyoncé at the O2 Arena, London – 3 May 2013

5 May

Any long-term readers will not quite expect a piece on Beyoncé by me…but somehow managed to see her newest, shiniest world tour on Friday night and thought it worth documenting here.

We tend to think of the tribes of people who attend classical and opera evenings, a largely middle class, middle-aged crowd that veers on the reverential and the more reserved side of human nature. If going out to see the London Symphony Orchestra is a visit to the nearest font of greatness for many of us, seeing Beyoncé is the equivalent of breathing the same air as a yogi. Her audience was a uniform mix of 20something girls that seemed to conform to about four types of pre-packaged ideal form. Most of it found in celebrity magazines, with bright fake tans, rampant hair extensions and fashion out of the third aisle left of Primark. As we sat down drinking some wine we looked on as hordes of fans arrived, resembling a self-replicating mass dedicated to having fun and waving their arms in the air to the tune of Single Ladies repeating in their heads for the next three hours. We may want to make assumptions on the looks and submission to the power of marketing and the desperate need to belong to a tribe. But mainly what was in evidence in spades was the undeniable magnetism and brilliant shine of popular culture at its most fundamental.

You will see the opening sequence in my embedded video, a failsafe mix of bright lights, abundant decibels, LED screens giving us an 18th century out of rococo paintings most of this audience never seen in the flesh, dancers and of course the appearance on a stage lift of the poster girl and the centre of attention. It is catchy, it is exciting and it was lapped up with genuine, moving  abandon. Interestingly the fans even found enough benevolence to not boo the turgid Pepsi advert that prefaces the opening of the show in an act of solidarity to the starring lady. Beyoncé like any pop act at the top of their game has the unbeatable mix of inoffensive blandness and a cunning ability to validate their existence in the zeitgeist by infuriating select audiences that would never see her live or download her music anyway.

Her brand of female empowerment may be full of contradictions and moves writers to want to write an open letter to Michelle Obama. But her nearly 80% female audience and all female stage band are serving a menu of inclusive entertainment. Between segments and costume changes we are served a diet of platitudes that would happily rest in the pages of a self-help book on how to attract men without looking desperate, we are told memorably that seduction is intelligent. Not miles away from the last Madonna show I experienced which featured prominently  a video mash-up of dictators intercut with images of genocide and George W Bush.
The pronouncements may be very different but the claim to gravitas in the context of all the hip thrusting and the hair flicking is the same. The appearance of a piano signifies a surface for our heroine to lie on in a fabulous midnight blue sparkly playsuit. What pop chanteuse doesn’t fall for the allure of adding a classical element into the presentation as a coded message for the fans to take away?  She also had a ballerina sequence at a transitional point in the middle of the show, making the point of how the inverted snobbery against ballet when used in a popular context. Carrying its sense of cultural elevation for her show with a subtle hint of high art that contrasts sharply with the immaculate renditions of radio wave fillers.

It would be very easy to turn all sneery and to not understand the point and the mechanics of a pop concert. This is shiny, showbiz glitter (and yes this show came complete with a glitter cannon) that bypasses reason and reaches cult levels. The sea of people around us were believing in her as a chief representative of their tribe, Beyoncé as head priestess of contemporary womanhood. She danced herself into a sweat and all the ladies nearby cheered her on and offered their love and approval at every turn. I felt like a heretic in the middle of it all, trying to judge for myself the source of this love and trying to not lose my hearing to the outrageous over-amplification.

One undeniable observation is the sense of total abandon to a hedonistic escapism for the three hours of the show. The relationship of total trust between the performer and the audience, being built on years of exposure via celeb magazines, TV appearances and being the soundtrack of people’s lives. The catchy tunes are just one part of the story, she manages to sell self confidence and a lifestyle by virtually bypassing the critical faculties of the audience and aiming straight for their emotions. I was moved to tears by Véronique Gens’ rendition of Les chemins de l’amour a few weeks back in a way that pop music will never reach deep inside me. My innate cynicism doesn’t allow for the guard to go down and permit myself to be manipulated by the artifice. The simplicity of the set up (one woman a pianist and a piano) is for me the ultimate way to communicate what it means to be human and to have a connection with one’s interior world. Allows for reflection and appreciation of great artistry without the need for spectacle and lights.

But damn me classical and opera audiences need to be taught a lesson on how to not be so buttoned up and to have a sense of occasion when attending, how to give themselves over to the musical experience and have a notch less reverence and a whole load more interaction. Why is it turning round and telling a fellow concert goer that the performance is incredible such a taboo? Why can’t the classical tribe try to be slightly less “respectable and bookish” and let its hair down. We need to celebrate all music as a genuine form of escapism that gives us safe hiding places from our everyday lives but also a source of essential, unadulterated FUN. So big thanks to Mrs Carter and her ladies in the audience for a giggle of a night out.  I wish I could transfer some of the unstuffy enjoyment and all round Joie de vivre…also hoping the next time I go to the Wigmore Hall it will smell a little less of mothballs.

Some Tweets from the evening

Heard about the recitals…now get the CD (or download).

21 Mar

Opus Arte / Rosenblatt CoversAny long term readers will know that I am not in the business of selling merchandise for anyone and do avoid promoting commercial ventures. But since I unwittingly was quoted on the press release for Ailyn Pérez’s new CD under the new joint project by Opus Arte and Rosenblatt Recitals, it makes sense to let you know about it. Any attempt to preserve great evenings of music as a memory capsule for the future and a source of enjoyment for the present is surely a worthwhile cause.

Do not be put off by the fact that a major producer of filmed opera and ballet like Opus Arte has not got an operational website. On 2 April they release three discs. Poeme D’Un Jour featuring large part of the fantastic recital Ailyn Pérez gave just over a year ago. The Heart that Flutters featuring the bel canto stalwart Lawrence Brownlee and Songs of the Sea by Anthony Michaels-Moore, who was a very effective Giorgio Germont in the recent ENO Traviata by Peter Konwitschny. The recordings will also be available on iTunes if disc formats are not your bag anymore.

The Rosenblatt Recitals have been running since 2000 and have presented over 130 concerts. In the intervening years they have become the platform for important recital debuts in London for the likes of  Juan Diego Flórez, Joseph Calleja and Vittorio Grigolo. They seem to have a good eye at picking promising singers that are at the beginning of their international career.

If you want to read more about individual recitals here is quite a selection of my blogs over the last couple of years. With the recent move to the Wigmore Hall and now this label deal, it seems this promotion of young talent continues even faster and with more permanent results than ever before. It is expected that 5 to 6 recordings will be released per year.

The next scheduled releases for autumn 2013 will be featuring, Ailish Tynan and Ekaterina Siurina.

Wimsy and gorgeousness / Sophie Bevan + Sebastian Wybrew recital / Wigmore Hall – 17 March 2013

18 Mar

Sophie Bevan WH RecitalA short form hour-long Wigmore Hall recital is a great way to see new artists taking their first steps on the platform. Sophie Bevan has graced that very stage as a solo artist, soloist in a couple of operas and oratorios and with her vocal group The Myrthen Ensemble. She is currently touring with the Welsh National Opera’s absolutely fantastic Cunning Little Vixen and this recital was an absolute joy and seeing the Hall sold out was a very good signifier of her power to attract, retain and grow her audience. Her stage presence had a suavity and natural charm that was totally disarming. Little cheeky glances at Sebastian Wybrew, her pianist, were a clear indication of how much in cahoots they were in this programme.

The recital was centered around Samuel Barber’s Hermit Songs the sparkly set of songs based on poetry by Irish monks and religious scholars from the 8th to the 13th century.  The cycle was famously written for Leontyne Price and was premiered and recorded in 1953. The ebb and flow of mood from the whimsical to the demonstrative is a reflection on Price’s personality and one way to deliver them in the most natural, unforced way is to share a fun loving personality and a natural ease on stage. Sophie Bevan showed true class, singing with riveting intensity and full throated staccato passages. The change of atmosphere between The Heavenly Banquet and The Crucifixion was negotiated with a charming little glint in the eye when the audience laughed at the end of the first song and a swift withdrawing into herself for the esoteric nature of the second. In Promiscuity her expressive use of gesture and sharp, playful sideways looks to the audience added to the menacing effect of her crisp delivery, but with her underlying charm adding a sweet addendum. In The Monk and his Cat she displayed plush phrasing and natural warmth. A song that can seem silly they managed to give it a heartwarming, deliciously wholesome colour on par with the recording by Price and Barber. The play on dynamics and a sense of wistfulness when coupled with such playful piano playing realises the full potential of the composition.

The rest of the programme was a great display of beautiful and amply powered singing. The opening Purcell was enchanting, full of colours and delivered with incredible assurance and self-contained melancholy. It felt like a private moment of reflection with the leisurely tempo allowing for this complete unfolding of this exquisite song. A fiendishly difficult opener but a towering achievement of honesty and inner life.

The following numbers by Schubert, Wolf and Berkeley were very powerfully sang despite the fact I wish they allowed for more temperamental variation in reflection of the variety of moods in Hermit Songs. Any singer that can pull off such a powerful, glistening Purcell and then move on to a dark and brooding Herr, was trägt der Boden hier is surely a very special artist.

I will not harp on any longer, but hopefully you get my drift that Sophie Bevan is the real thing. A very intelligent, versatile performer that brings beauty and theatricality to everything she does. I would urge everyone that can make her Vixen performances or her upcoming Royal Opera Pamina to not miss out. This is a special voice that is growing in both breadth of repertoire and flourishing in terms of technique and presentation. It gives me immense pleasure to get out there and support great talent of my own generation. Especially when the rest of the audience is as enthusiastic and loud in its approval as yesterday.

Sophie Bevan WH Recital list

Top five most read blog posts of 2012

29 Dec

Top FiveIn the spirit of end of year lists, I thought I’d pull together a list of the five most read posts on this blog. If you’ve landed on this page from Google or a third party it may be a good introduction to what George’s Musings/OperaCreep was all about.

1. My little investigative report telling the story of a fantasist that survived on his wits and telling interminable lies, attracted a lot of interest and made it the most read item on the blog by a wide margin.


2. A little post on the queen of the UK popera scene, Katherine Jenkins was very popular. It seems her fans and foes like  to search for articles about her latest foray in light entertainment.


3. Was very lucky to be at the world première by Birmingham Opera of Stockhausen’s Mittwoch Aus Light. It was an extraordinary, near indescribable evening. The whole proposition of a Cultural Olympiad seemed just a  polite empty gesture by the government. But I am delighted the Olympic cash made this ambitious production possible. During such a deep recession and with an anti-arts government it was the most pleasant surprise of the year!


4. The collaboration with Claire Pendleton was a source of jollity and insight. Was delighted to work with her and it seems a lot of people were happy to read them.






5. Alice Coote’s return to sing Winterreise at the Wigmore Hall was undeniably one of the early highlights of musical London in 2012. This performance cemented her reputation as one of the foremost mezzos singing today. It seems a lot of people wanted to read about it, which gladdens my heart! Now I wish the Wigmore would release the recording very soon.

Update: The CD and download is available from 8 April 2013, here’s the link to the Amazon UK page.


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