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Feature...

Bite-size opera: The Little Greats

How do you entice people to spend a night out at the opera? How do you grow new audiences? This autumn, Opera North may have a solution. 
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From Valhalla to the New World

During his five seasons at the helm, Jaap van Zweden has raised the Hong Kong Phil’s international profile, particularly through his ongoing Ring Cycle in concert which reaches its conclusion in the new season.
interview

From Brno to London: Jakub Hrůša

Last week, Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša was appointed as one of two new Principal Guest Conductors of the Philharmonia Orchestra from the 2017/18 season. Before the announcement, Jakub talked to us about his experience working with the orchestra thus far and about Smetana’s Má vlast which he conducts next season.
preview

Wealth of jewels at Toyko's Suntory Hall

Four of the world's great orchestras are all set to celebrate cornerstones of their repertoire in the fabled acoustic of the recently renovated Suntory Hall.
preview

Deutsche Oper's new season

Deutsche Oper has a cornucopia in store for the new season. It promises some bold takes on the core repertoire, several enticing rarities, and a world premiere by the eminent German composer Aribert Reimann.
Preview...

Pleasure in pain: Munich's new opera & ballet season

New productions, including a stellar Parsifal starring Kaufmann and Gerhaher, mix with the standard rich repertory pickings in the Bavarian capital
Pick of the bunch...

April hot list!

Welcome to your April Hot List, hand-picked by our editorial team from the wealth of listings (36 pages!) on Bachtrack's 'What's On' section.  The listings should begin with your 'home' city – if you have set one as your most usual concert/opera-going city. You can also select other cities as your favourites, so that these should appear next on the list.
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APRIL FOCUS ON TRAVEL and FESTIVALS: Click here for more information and ideas
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Travels: the 2017 BRQ Vantaa Festival

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, Artistic Director of BRQ Vantaa Festival, gives us a taste of the 2017 Festival; David gives you a taste of travelling to Vantaa and Helsinki.
feature...

“Unusual": the 45th Istanbul Music Festival

Now in its 45th year, the Istanbul Music Festival embraces and celebrates an extraordinary city, bringing together Turkey’s musical heritage with music from around the world.
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Opera under the stars at Festival d'Aix

Summer sends audiences scurrying all over Europe for their operatic fix. Glyndebourne and a whole host of imitators dominate the English country house scene, or you may head for Savonlinna’s Finnish castle, or the glitz and glamour of Salzburg. But one destination in South France draws the connoisseurs: Aix-en-Provence.
round up...

Italian music festivals: As prolific as pasta!

Italy has such an abundance of la dolce vita musicale it can be overwhelming, especially in the long, languid summer months when music-lovers, culture-cognoscenti and garrulous gourmands alike can savour the best of what this extraordinary country has to offer.

Postcard from Wrocław

The hardest task facing foreign visitors to the fascinating Polish city of Wrocław is how to pronounce it. 
Round up...

Summer music and opera in France

In July and August, Parisians flee the city to the provinces, where stunning landscapes and hundreds of music festivals await them. We explore the rich diversity.

Postcard from Dublin

Situated on the sea, Dublin has a rich cultural past and a lively social scene making for a very pleasant visitation. Just don't forget to pack the umbrella! 
round up...

Guide to Opera Festivals 2017

Opera with the stars or under the stars? Country house picnics or rare repertoire in smaller venues? Our 2017 opera festivals guide has something for everyone!

Postcard from Bergen

A quick tour around the fjords, medieval buildings, art and music of Norway's second city - and perhaps the world's most beautifully set recital hall, at the Edvard Grieg Museum.
Make Bachtrack your guide to the best classical music concerts, opera and dance performances worldwide. You can search for your favourite composer or performer or read some of the 200 reviews we publish each month across the world.
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MontrealLabadie conducts Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven

Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal; Bernard Labadie; Andrew Wan; Brian Manker; François-Frédéric Guy

BernTannhäuser

Wagner: Tannhäuser
Kevin John Edusei; Calixto Bieito; Stadttheater Bern; Rebecca Ringst; Ingo Krügler; Liene Kinča; Claude Eichenberger

MuscatDee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater, Voice

LondonGreat Exhibitionists: Set in Stone

Carola Krebs, Artistic Director

AmsterdamA Dog's Heart

Raskatov: A Dog's Heart
Martyn Brabbins; Simon McBurney; Dutch National Opera; Michael Levine; Christina Cunningham; Sergei Leiferkus; Ville Rusanen

ShanghaiMozart

Mozart: Così fan tutte
Freiburger Barockorchester; René Jacobs; Sunhae Im; Robin Johannsen; Sophie Harmsen; Marcos Fink

BrnoTurandot

Puccini: Turandot
Jiří Klecker; Jiří Nekvasil; Janáček Opera NTB; Daniel Dvořák; Simona Rybáková

MadridWilliam Forsythe Session

Schubert, Various, Willems
William Forsythe; Compañia Nacional de Danza; Stephen Galloway
Upcoming eventsSee more...

Los AngelesTosca

Puccini: Tosca
James Conlon; John Caird; LA Opera; Grant Gershon; Bunny Christie; Sondra Radvanovsky

GothenburgThe Magic Flute

Mozart: The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte)
Henrik Schaefer; Rikard Bergqvist; Göteborg Opera; Tomas Sjöstedt; Johan Schinkler; Adam Frandsen

ZürichWertherNew production

Massenet: Werther
Cornelius Meister; Tatjana Gürbaca; Zurich Opera; Klaus Grünberg; Silke Willrett; Juan Diego Flórez; Anna Stéphany

BerlinLa Rondine

Puccini: La rondine
Roberto Rizzi-Brignoli; Rolando Villazón; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Johannes Leiacker; Brigitte Reiffenstuel; Dinara Alieva; Alexandra Hutton

ViennaLady Macbeth von Mzensk

Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District
Ingo Metzmacher; Matthias Hartmann; Vienna State Opera; Volker Hintermeier; Su Bühler; Eva-Maria Westbroek; Brandon Jovanovich

BerlinL'incoronazione di Poppea, SV 308

Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea, SV 308
Matthew Toogood; Barrie Kosky; Komische Oper Berlin; Katrin Lea Tag; Katharina Tasch; Alexander Koppelmann

StockholmThe Merry Widow

Lehár: The Merry Widow (Die Lustige Witwe)
Joakim Unander; Ole Anders Tandberg; Royal Swedish Opera; Erlend Birkeland; Maria Geber; Elin Rombo; Marianne Hellgren Staykov

KarlsruheAdriana Lecouvreur

Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur
Johannes Willig; Katharina Thoma; Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe; Dirk Becker; Irina Bartels; Barbara Frittoli; Katherine Broderick
Latest reviewsSee more...

Winding voices: Jansons places the clarinet centre stage

Thrilling performances of Sibelius and Bartók at the Philharmonie overshadow lightweight Weber from Andreas Ottensamer.
****1
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Elegance and excellence from Elder:

A classy performance under the baton of Sir Mark Elder unites a seemingly disparate sounding programme.
****1
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Fresh-sounding Weber and fiercely energetic Mahler

Stunning musicianship and passionate commitment gave two repertoire works a new lease of life. 
****1
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Gabel brings French Romance to Birmingham

With a Francophile programme of Berlioz, Chopin and Franck, conductor Fabien Gabel had the constant challenge of exploring the orchestra for fresh insights into each of these Romantic works.
***11
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Janowksi ascends Bruckner 7 and admires the view

Long climbs often provide the best views. The Adagio second movement of Anton Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony bears the tempo marking Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam… and it is very solemn and very slow indeed.
****1
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Fresh, funny, frivolous: Patience in Cambridge

A joyous explosion of tuneful Victorian satire provides an unlikely, yet ideal, contrast to English Touring Opera's Tosca as their Patience tours the UK in this finely-cast, period-perfect production.
****1
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Aspen Santa Fe Ballet: a Gem

Catch this company wherever and whenever you can.
****1
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Juilliard students put on Káťa Kabanová

Sung in English, a performance of Káťa Kabanová lacked the expressive power of the original, but exposed Juilliard Opera students to the marvels of Janáček’s musical style.
***11
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FESTIVAL PREVIEWS
Discover....

Theatrical feast: Hipermestra at Glyndebourne

This year's festival opens with the most lavish work of an exceptionally important composer. So why has it languished unperformed for so long?
Interview...

Michael Chance on the new Grange Festival

Michael Chance tells us about planned improvements to the festival-going experience and tells us about the operas that will form part of the new festival.
Preview...

Innsbruck Festival of Early Music 2017

The 41st Festival focuses on the voice, with a myriad of operatic, sacred and secular offerings, as well as a sprinkling of notable instrumental concerts.
MARCH FOCUS ON BAROQUE:
interview...

Baroque Inquisition: Rinaldo Alessandrini

The prolific recording artist and founder of Concerto Italiano answers our questions about Monteverdi and other music of the period.
interview...

Sir John Eliot Gardiner on Monteverdi

Read our wide-ranging interview about Monteverdi's operas, their cultural context, performing them today and why they remain as contemporary and fresh as when they were written four centuries ago.
interview...

L'Arpeggiata founder Christina Pluhar

Christina talks about improvisation, her passion for unusual voice types, combining early music with jazz and traditional styles, and more.
interview...

A Monteverdi Odyssey: B'Rock Orchestra

Ahead of their tour of Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, starting at Klarafestival, B'Rock's general director Hendrik Storme tells us about this very international young orchestra, Monteverdi's masterpiece and working with René Jacobs.
Celebrating women...

Top Six Women Baroque Composers

Following the example of Rebecca Lentjes’ January feature “Top Ten Living Women Composers”, I have made my pick of women composers of the Baroque period in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Preview...

Baroque and Early Music Festivals: the 2017 guide

Whether you're looking for Handel, Bach, Monteverdi, Telemann or mix of all of these; whether you like your Baroque music in a grand palace, an intimate chapel or a state-of-the-art concert hall, our 2017 roundup has something for you.
Best of baroque...

Photo gallery: Baroque theatres you should see

Feast your eyes on this marvellous collection of Europe's surviving baroque theatres.
Play it yourself...

Telemann: your faithful music teacher

Jane guides you through Der getreue Music-Meister, Telemann's treasure trove of pieces for amateur musicians of every description.
Baroque Australia

Pinchgut Opera: a rare compounding of age and youth

As far as you can get from opera's birthplace, a small company leads the way in exploring the repertoire of its early years.
NEW SEASON PREVIEWS
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Strong new season from Zurich Opera

At Zurich Opera, Andreas Homoki, the Intendant since 2012, and Music Director Fabio Luisi have built a strong season, with a range of new productions unveiled for 2017-18
We preview...

This is Rattle: LSO new season

It’s been the most hotly anticipated arrival in British classical music for years. Sir Simon Rattle takes up his post as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra with a refreshing season programme. 
FEBRUARY FOCUS ON OPERA
Interview...

“It’s not a Cinderella story”: Kristine Opolais

Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais shot to international fame in 2010 in Dvořák’s Rusalka at the Bavarian State Opera. She talks to us having recently performed the role in Mary Zimmerman’s much anticipated new production at The Met.
Preview...

A wealth of new productions at DNO

DNO unveils an astonishing eleven new productions next season – either completely new or co-productions which are new to Amsterdam  – with just three revivals.
Interview...

Ferruccio Furlanetto on a lifetime with Philip II

The great Italian bass talks about his relationship with Philip II in Verdi's Don Carlos, and about other seminal roles.
Interview...

Crossing borders: Roberto Alagna

Ahead of Vienna's première of Il trovatore, the tenor who crosses borders between France and Italy, opera and popular song, spoke to us about the roles of Manrico and Cyrano, being a gypsy, a hero, returning to Italy, about family and more.
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Strong women, big voices at LA Opera

Los Angeles likes to think big and so does LA Opera. It attracts star singers and the second half of its season features some big female voices taking on some of opera’s strong women.
Interview...

Stuart Skelton on tackling Tristan

The Australian Heldentenor shares his preparations for learning Tristan, his thoughts on opera productions and his passionate views about the current state of Opera Australia and ENO.
Interview...

Ermonela Jaho on her heartbreaking soprano roles

Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho is renowned for heartfelt performances as some of opera's most tortured soprano roles, especially Violetta in La traviata, the opera in which she sprang to fame in London when she jumped in for an indisposed Anna Netrebko. 
Interview...

Creating opera roles: Stéphane Degout

With two new role creations in progress, baritone Stéphane Degout will be back this summer to the Aix Festival for the world première of Pinocchio. He talks to us about the process of creating new opera roles.
News: world première...

The Castle in the Water: a new work for Savonlinna

Savonlinna’s contribution to the centenary has been to commission a new work from the country’s senior operatic composer, Aulis Sallinen. Not an opera per se in this case, but what he describes as a “chronicle for speaker, four singers, orchestra and Olavinlinna”.
News

The Wiener Staatsoper's Live at Home

The Vienna State Opera's subscription service offers 45 live broadcasts a year for a monthly fee. The intention is to foster in your home a sense of the live occasion, as distinct from the mere provision of a video library.
Interview...

Brian Jagde on flawed characters

American tenor Brian Jagde discusses two key roles in his career so far, Don José in Carmen and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly.
Interview...

No cookie cutter soprano: Joyce El-Khoury

Joyce El-Khoury discusses her long-awaited Covent Garden debut and the role Violetta has played in her career. 
Interview...

Wigglesworth: Throwing paint at the canvas

In rehearsals at ENO, Ryan Wigglesworth discusses his first opera The Winter's Tale which opens on 27th February. 
Interview...

Kate Lindsey on Così fan tutte in Aix

For mezzo-sopranos, playing boys comes with the job. Kate Lindsey is no different, but it's the –very feminine – role of Dorabella we spend much time discussing. 
Preview...

Operatic worlds collide in Linz

This spring the Austrian city of Linz is encompassing the world. Or rather worlds: worlds of celestial harmony and of dreams characterise two operas being mounted by Landestheater Linz.
CONTEMPORARY MONTH HIGHLIGHTS
Retrospective...

Remembering the legacy of Pauline Oliveros

“Music is a multi-dimensional, dynamic process unfolding as a relationship between an individual or a group of individuals, and sound vibrations.
Interview...

“Not a political composer": John Adams

Taking time out from working on his new opera, Girls of the Golden West, which premières in San Francisco later this year, we spoke to John Adams about politics, Scheherazade.2 and where he sees the future for classical music.
Preview...

From Crumb to Kaufmann: Holland Festival 2017 revealed

The Holland Festival has always celebrated and promoted new work and takes its 70th anniversary to both look forward, with plenty of world premières, but also to reflect on its past. 
Retrospective...

Keeping the Boulez spirit alive

Daniel Barenboim inaugurated last month the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin. The most interesting feature of the hall lies not in its flowing architecture, but rather in its name: the Pierre Boulez Saal. One year after the French composer death, what is his legacy?
Preview...

A guide to contemporary music festivals

There are plenty of occasions to hear Beethoven's symphonies or Mozart's operas throughout the year. But what about the 21st century repertoire? Contemporary music lovers often find it hard to quench their thirst for new music. Thankfully, some festivals specialise in contemporary music, giving to everyone the opportunity to drink their fill.
Contemporary focus...

Top 10 Living Women Composers

According to online showcase/podcast Listening to Ladies, during the 2015–2016 season, the top 89 symphony orchestras in the US dedicated only 2% of their programs to music composed by women. 
CONDUCTOR INTERVIEWS

Uniting through music: Q&A with Marin Alsop

Period instruments, Rusty Musicians and inspiring a new generation of female conductors: just a few topics touched upon in our interview. 

Paavo Järvi: Musical ambassador

Where is home for Paavi Järvi? The life of an international conductor consists of airports and hotel-hopping and Järvi’s passport is more well-travelled than most. 

Sincerity itself: Semyon Bychkov on Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky has a special place in the heart of Russians. Semyon Bychkov caught the bug at an early age. In an interview, he reflects on what Tchaikovsky means to him, and the man behind the notes. 

Rolling his sleeves up: Ed Gardner in Bergen

As commutes go, London to Bergen has its attractions. Nearly a year into the post of chief conductor at the Bergen Philharmonic, Ed Gardner has a bounce in his step and exudes genuine enthusiasm for the job.

A sense of theatre: Sir Antonio Pappano

Sir Antonio Pappano reflects on recent performances of Fidelio and Norma and how his Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia has evolved and the difficulties staging Verdi.

Valery Gergiev: “I'm a relatively busy man”

Ahead of his appearance with the Munich Philharmonic at this year’s Prom 4, Valery Gergiev gave Bachtrack a wide-ranging interview, discussing the Mariinsky, Russian music, education and much more.
RECENT ARTICLES AND PREVIEWS
interview...

Conversation with Ashley Bouder

Ashley Bouder is putting the finishing touches on her upcoming program for the Ashley Bouder Project. It is an all-women choreographers program, and the composers are also specially commissioned.
Preview...

Classical Music in Latvia in 2017

From the Early Music Festival to contemporary opera, we guide you through what Latvia has to offer this year.
interview...

Bringing world culture to Oman’s doorstep

There’s no doubt Royal Opera House Muscat likes to do things in style. Director General Umberto Fanni explains the progress of what he proudly calls “the most exciting new opera house in the world”.
News

Gergiev tops Bachtrack’s 2016 classical statistics

Some people crack open the Champagne to launch the New Year, but here at Bachtrack Towers the corks have barely popped before we dive into the classical music statistics for the year just ended.
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Celebration time! All systems go for the European Day of Early Music

How best to celebrate Johan Sebastian Bach's birthday and the arrival of spring? Don't miss the European Early Music Day, organised by REMA on 21st March at venues across Europe.
Opera weekend...

A weekend at Barcelona's Liceu

Of all European cities, one of the best for a weekend break has to be Barcelona. Head there in May and you can soak up a wonderful weekend at the Liceu, Barcelona’s opera house.

Chailly and the Berliner Philharmoniker: the critics’ choice

Which are the greatest orchestras and conductors according to the professional critics? Bachtrack's poll reveals the top ten! 
Bachtrack announces Classical Music Statistics for 2016: The busiest conductors and orchestras, the most performed works, the most played living composers, most performed operas and ballet. Whatever you're looking for, check the Bachtrack statistics first HERE.