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For devotees, opera is the art form which stands above all others; the combination of great singing via unamplified voices, powerful music, engaging productions and the electricity of live theatre stirs the emotions like few other experiences. At its very best, it can floor you, leaving you dazed, uplifted, clamouring for more.
The overriding theme of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s season finale concert appeared to be night, teaming Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain with the raging force and violence of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
With the double bicentenary of Verdi and Wagner this year, other musical landmarks risk being eclipsed. But this October “La Verdi” commemorate the 140th anniversary of Rachmaninov’s birth with a series of concerts and lectures featuring all four of his piano concertos alongside works by other Russian greats.
Conductor and wunderkind Yannick Nézet-Séguin returned home to Montreal to lauch the 33rd season of L’Orchestre Métropolitain with a concert dedicated to compositions written or created a century ago in 1913.
Rarely does one see five grand pianos in one room, let alone on one stage. Enter the 5 Browns, a classical piano quintet. Siblings and Juilliard graduates – they were the first family to be enrolled at the Juilliard School simultaneously – it is clear this family has talent. Performing individually and together, this young ensemble has a vivacious and affable approach to classical music.
“Gergiev, your silence is killing Russian gays!” Activists from Queer Nation had disrupted opening night at the Metropolitan Opera three weeks ago, and with demonstrations outside it was almost inevitable that the same protests would accompany the start of the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra’s three-concert stay at Carnegie Hall.