2016 in stats
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.
Upcoming eventsSee more...
Alain Altinoglu; Willy Decker; Gran Teatre del Liceu; Wolfgang Gussmann; Piotr Beczała; Josep Bros
Marco Comin; János Mohácsi; Hungarian State Opera; Khell Zsolt; Kriszta Remete; István Kovács; Ferenc Cserhalmi
Adams: Nixon in China
Robert Spano; James Robinson; Houston Grand Opera; Allen Moyer; James Schuette; Scott Hendricks; Andriana Chuchman
Rimsky-Korsakov: Snegurochka, The Snow Maiden
Leo McFall; John Fulljames; Opera North; Giles Cadle; Christina Cunningham; Aoife Miskelly; Heather Lowe
Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Harem)
Jérémie Rhorer; Johan Simons; Dutch National Opera; Bert Neumann; Nina von Mechow; Lenneke Ruiten; Paul Appleby
Gounod: Roméo et Juliette
Plácido Domingo; Jürgen Flimm; Vienna State Opera; Patrick Woodroffe; Birgit Hutter; Aida Garifullina; Juan Diego Flórez
William Christie; Andreas Homoki; Zurich Opera; Hartmut Meyer; Mechthild Seipel; Stéphanie d'Oustrac; Carmen Seibel
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Brett Bailey's acclaimed production of Macbeth is unmissable, combining top-notch theatrical and musical values with a disturbingly timely political warning
Richard Eyre's uncomplicated production remains as watchable as ever; Joyce El-Khoury makes a promising Covent Garden debut.
Simon Rattle leads the LSO and a fine chorus and cast of soloists in Ligeti's masterpiece: surreal, madcap but touching the sublime.
Die tote Stadt at the Vienna State Opera features strong playing and singing but little drama.
Two fascinating casts make Peter Konwitschny's stripped-down Traviata a must-see artistic event in Seattle.
The opera parody Atys en Folie created for the Valletta International Baroque festival is an interesting historical curiosity, but the genre's very specific brand of humour doesn't appeal to everyone.
An excellent performance of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s The Last Supper receiving its Scottish première, with Roderick Williams and Susan Bickley heading a luxury cast.
The revival of this nine-year-old production feels dated, but its three Rs – Ruiten, Rose and Rhorer – make it a worthwhile evening.
As a tenor, Jay Hunter Morris is used to playing the love interest. In Jennifer Higdon’s new opera Cold Mountain, which receives its world première on 1 August at Santa Fe Opera, the tables are turned and he gets to portray a nasty, dark villain himself.
Opera director and producer David Pountney has always been prepared to shake up people’s perceptions about opera. He already had a long association with Welsh National Opera, before becoming its Chief Executive and Artistic Director in September 2011. As part of Opera Month, we caught up with David Pountney to ask about programming ‘tougher’ works and about the impact opera screenings in cinemas is having.
Opera lovers have never had it so good. Last December alone, I saw Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros star in Martin Kušej's new Bavarian State Opera production of La forza del destino, watched Piotr Beczała booed at the opening night of La Scala’s new season and experienced the Metropolitan Opera’s Eugene Onegin – all without leaving the house.
In February, English National Opera made its big screen debut when David Alden’s hit production of Britten’s Peter Grimes was beamed live to over 300 cinemas. Stuart Skelton’s performances of the title role in this production have garnered international acclaim. Here, he tells us what is like being in front of the HD cameras.
“If music be the food of love, play on,” declares Duke Orsino at the start of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. There is no operatic version of Twelfth Night, but plenty of the Bard’s plays have been turned into operas or ballets, many of which feature in Hungarian State Opera’s new season.
Santa Fe Opera's 2015 season comprises five new productions, including the world première of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain. The operas span the old and the new, the famous and the less familiar, the scandalous and the light hearted.
Opera Holland Park is adored by opera newbies for its friendly, informal atmosphere and its accessible ticket prices. Yet it is adored by aficianados too for its brave programming... and this season is no different.
Political intrigues in exotic settings lie at the heart of three new productions at Deutsche Oper next season, headed by a rare outing for Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine in its original version, as left by the composer, under the title Vasco de Gama.
Leoš Janáček’s career as an opera composer was an unusual one. Unlike Verdi, who wrote successful operas throughout his life, and unlike Rossini, who retired from operatic composition in his late 30s, Janáček only came into his own as a composer of operas after the age of 50.
Opera is central to Jonathan Dove’s output and few composers have been as active in bringing opera to a new generation of audiences. His hugely successful opera The Adventures of Pinocchio has delighted family audiences around the world since its 2007 Opera North première. As part of Opera Month’s focus on accessibility, we asked Jonathan about writing for – and collaborating with – children.
Mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham has received accolades for her operatic and concert performances throughout the world, not least for her portrayal of the title role in Bizet’s Carmen. As part of our Opera Month investigation into the opera in HD experience, we asked Rinat about the role cinema can play in bringing a new audience to the art form and about acting for the cameras.
Yesterday, Benjamin Millepied stepped down as director of Paris Opéra Ballet, prompting the question: can the director of a large international company juggle a management role with the desire to create?
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera's production of Guillaume Tell caused an uproar at the première and has caused a great deal of comment since. David Karlin argues that director Damiano Michieletto failed by succeeding too well.
Voice competitions attract singers like moths to a flame, but what can they hope to achieve by competing and how great are the dangers of getting their wings burnt?
In a warehouse on the San Francisco Marina, in the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition building, three men in yellow workmen’s gloves are dragging a dilapidated 25-foot boat across the concrete floor. They pause and begin to sing, a fourth man standing on the boat sings with them. The voices are beautiful, the harmonies bizarre, somewhat honky-tonk and 100% Kurt Weill.
American opera has experienced some notable upheaval over the past several months, first with the closing of the New York City Opera late last year, then with the announcement that the 49-year-old San Diego Opera will cease operations at the end of this season. Nonetheless, it would be a mistake to call New York a “one-opera town”, as newer and smaller opera companies are flourishing in the Big Apple.
Earlier this year, English National Opera launched its own cinema broadcasts and, to my extreme delight, chose to begin with David Alden’s staging of Peter Grimes, starring my very own other half, Stuart Skelton, in the title role. By my count, of the thirty-odd performances of Peter Grimes I’ve seen in my life, very nearly half of them have been in Alden’s production
"The most important thing is to love what you sing to bits". Following this simple guideline, Russian mezzo-soprano Maria Ostroukhova found her way to the final of this year's London Handel Festival vocal competition.