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 perky new conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Thomas Søndergård, made his second Proms outing with an exciting programme of contrasting works which kicked off with the first UK performance of Colin Matthews’ Turning Point.First performed by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2006, Turning Point is an eighteen-minute work of considerable technical skill.
The WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln put its fate in the hands of the younger generation for this evening’s concert. Conductor Kazuki Yamada is only 34. The original violin soloist was to have been Lisa Batiashvili, but she pulled out and was replaced by the 22-year-old Serge Zimmermann.
To mark the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta was invited to kick-start the Koerner Hall’s chamber music series as part of their debut tour in North American. Despite competing concerts held downtown that very same evening, those who supported the HKS were rewarded by their fine performances.
It was a night that didn't augur well for those Hollywood Bowl patrons seeking the usual symphonic serenade under starlight. Los Angeles, on Thursday night, was seized by a sudden heat wave that was accompanied with stifling humidity more fitting for Manila or Saigon than the Hollywood Hills.
In memory of violist Coen van der Heide who passed away earlier in October, the Rotterdam Philharmonic opened with the second part of Antonín Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings, which was deeply moving and followed by a minute of silence. Ottorino Respighi’s Fontana di Roma was the first piece on the official program.