Reports on the death of Margaret Juntwait, the voice of Met Opera.
Margaret Juntwait (1957-2015)
Photocredit: RICHARD BLINKHOFF
JUNE 14th – 21st 2015
~ This page will be updated regularly as news comes in ~
Read about the Song Prize and the winner
Vote for The Audience Prize
Read about Round 4 and the winner
More video clips from this year’s competitiom
Read about Round 2 and the winner
Read about Round 1 and the winner
A chat with Céline Forrest, soprano from Wales
* Read about the Song Prize HERE *
* Read the broadcasting schedule HERE *
From the BBC: Nearly all the competitors have been welcomed to Cardiff by the competition management and are already rehearsing with the orchestras and pianists. They will be officially welcomed to the city on Friday at the traditional launch party, when they get to make many new friends, including those in the broadcast production teams, the BBC support structure and competition partners the City & County of Cardiff and Welsh National Opera. For the first time, this will be held in the beautiful Senedd building in Cardiff Bay, home of the National Assembly for Wales. ‘Croeso’ (welcome in Welsh) is a word the competitors will learn very quickly!
You can download a sweepstake pack!
Read Jamie Barton’s tips for success photocredit Brian Tarr
GOOD NEWS FOR SOME! …
Sonostream will live stream the competition ( charges apply )
Read Norman Lebrecht’s comments on that! :)
Interesting article from the artistic director of the competition
Video clips of previous years, back to 1983
Docmentary video – 30 Years of Cardiff Singer of the World
Canadian finalist Aviva Fortunata – video interview
*The repertoire for each contestant is now available. Click the photos below*
This year’s trophy
SONG PRIZE NEWS
Announcement from the organisers …
Song Prize fans – we’ve got some good news! Due to an overwhelming demand for Song Prize tickets, we’ve arranged for the recitals at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama to be relayed live to an additional venue so more of you have the opportunity to enjoy the competition taking place inside the Dora Stoutzker Hall. Cardiff University Concert Hall on Corbett Road is just a couple of hundred yards from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. For just £5 you can enjoy the concerts on a big screen, with top quality sound courtesy of our colleagues at BBC Radio 3. You’ll get the whole package – every note of the music, plus the pre-performance talks by Donald Maxwell. Okay, it’s not quite the same as being there in the flesh, but those of you who have attended opera relays will know that it can be a satisfying experience in its own right! Book your tickets now via St David’s Hall. 029 2087 84444
Patron Dame Kiri Te Kanawa receives an honour
image via RCM
Single Tickets for the 2015 competition went on sale 10am Monday March 2nd via the St David’s Hall Box Office on 02920 878444 and via their website. Tickets for the Song Prize Recitals at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama have now sold out, but there are still seats for the Song Prize Final and the Main Prize competition as well as the Cardiff Singer Fringe Events.
David Jackson, Artistic Director, BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.
THE FINALISTS ~ click on each photo for details
This year there are representatives from Malta and Mongolia, two countries new to the competition.
More detailed photo gallery
~ THE 2015 JURY ~
~ FULL EVENT LIST ~
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World takes place every two years. The next competition runs from Sunday 14 June to Sunday 21 June inclusive, when 20 of the finest classical singers at the start of their careers come to the capital of Wales, hoping to win this prestigious singing competition.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, patron
“I’m really looking forward to the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. As Patron, I have wanted to become more involved, as I do believe that competitions are very good for singers. To be given the opportunity to have their talent seen by a larger audience is a huge plus. The BBC is very dedicated to promoting these classical singers and I feel that the competition has gone from strength to strength. The singers this year are very exciting, and I’m very proud to be Patron of this prestigious, career-changing competition. The BBC is so supportive of music and the arts in this country, and indeed around the world. I’m pleased to be associated with them, and to be able to lend my experience and advice to the producers there.”
Wiki article for full history and information about the competition
Brochure pdf: information, venues, tickets
Click to enlarge
Auditions were held in cities including Milan, Helsinki. Finalists will be announced very soon and will join Welsh representative Celine Forest to compete for a place in the final. In 2013, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton from Georgia, USA, won both the song prize and the Cardiff Singer of the World prize. HERE she speaks of the impact the competition had on her career.
And the 2013 competition HERE
Images are from BBC website, Facebook and screenshots
BBC Radio’s Opera on 3 has several recent offerings which may be of interest if you are in the mood. They have been archived.
Mezzo Kate Lindsey as Nicklausse in “Tales of Hoffmann.”
(Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera)
Each of the links will take you to the programme, synopsis and photo gallery.
SATURDAY 13 DECEMBER at 17.00 on BBC RADIO 3
Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Live from the Metropolitan Opera House, New York
Johannes Martin Kränzle – Beckmesser, James Morris – Hans Sachs
Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
In the words of the BBC: James Levine returns to Wagner with a signature run of this epic comedy, back at the Met for the first time in eight years. Walther wants to marry Eva, but is only allowed do so if he wins the song contest held by the local guild of mastersingers. His self-taught method of song writing breaks all the complicated rules, but fortunately the wise Hans Sachs is on hand to offer advice on both song-writing and love. Michael Volle sings the central role of Hans Sachs. Johan Botha reprises his indomitable Walther, and the elegant Annette Dasch is Eva.
Link to BBC iPlayer, synopsis and photo gallery
Presented by Margaret Juntwait and Ira Siff Eva…..Annette Dasch (Soprano) Magdalene…..Karen Cargill (Mezzo-soprano) Walther von Stolzing…..Johan Botha (Tenor) David…..Paul Appleby (Tenor) Hans Sachs…..Michael Volle (Baritone) Beckmesser…..Johannes-Martin Kranzle (Baritone) Pogner…..Hans-Peter König (Bass) Nightwatchman…..Matthew Rose (Bass) New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus James Levine (Conductor).
Review from vulture.com
**Now listen on demand for 4 weeks on iPlayer**
THURSDAY 4 DECEMBER at 14.00 GMT on BBC RADIO 3
A recording of Massenet’s Cendrillon, ROH Pelly production
Link to iPlayer and photo gallery
Cendrillon ….. Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano)
La Fée ….. Eglise Gutiérrez (soprano)
Le Prince Charmant ….. Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano)
Madame de la Haltière ….. Ewa Podles (mezzo-soprano)
Pandolfe ….. Jean-Philippe Lafont (baritone)
Noémie ….. Madeleine Pierard (soprano)
Dorothée ….. Kai Rüütel (mezzo-soprano)
Roi ….. Jeremy White (bass)
Doyen de la Faculté ….. Harry Nicoll (tenor)
Surintendant des Plaisirs ….. Dawid Kimberg (baritone)
Premier Ministre ….. John-Owen Miley-Read
Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus, Bertrand de Billy (conductor).
Acts 3 & 4 on YouTube
NOW ON BBC iPLAYER FOR 4 WEEKS
SATURDAY 29 NOVEMBER at 18.50 on BBC radio 3
L’elisir D’amore from the Royal Opera a House, Covent Garden
Lucy Crowe (Adina) and Levente Molnár (Belcore)
(ROH) © Mark Douet
In the words of the BBC:
Live from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London, Donizetti’s everlasting comic opera L’elisir d’amore, in an acclaimed production by Laurent Pelly. Desperate for the love of Adina, Nemorino tries to win her with the help of a quack doctor, a fake potion and a furtive tear. The cast is led by tenor Vittorio Grigolo and soprano Lucy Crowe as the lovers, as well as Bryn Terfel as doctor Dulcamara. Daniele Rustioni conducts the orchestra and chorus of the Royal Opera House.
Link to the programme, synopsis & photo gallery
Adina…..Lucy Crowe (Soprano) Nemorino…..Vittorio Grigolo (Tenor) Dulcamara…..Bryn Terfel (Baritone) Belcore…..Levente Molnar (Baritone) Giannetta…..Kiandra Howarth (Soprano) ROH Orchestra, ROH Chorus, Daniele Rustioni (Conductor).
I was reminded of this production by a recent blog post extolling its virtues. Carmen is by no means my favourite opera but I have chosen from it one of my favourite scenes. It contains consummate singing and acting – the singing from Kaufmann and the acting from Kasarova. The subtle, tiny changes in her facial expression, eyes and breathing, all without discernible body movement are just wonderful. A masterclass.
What would she like to be remembered for?
‘To have been a special personality, and for my acting.’
“But I am always careful to wait for the right moment when adding new roles to my repertoire, and with this very special role I wanted to wait for a new generation of audience members to come along before presenting my Carmen. I didn’t want to do an old-fashioned version of her. I wanted it to be more psychological.
My characterisation always depends on the interpretation and style of the production, of course. A more traditional production with gypsies and flowers in the hair would have meant a different kind of acting from me. You can’t just do what you feel like. I felt lucky that the Zurich production was very modern, so Carmen herself was a modern young woman. This reduced the drama to its essence, and I was really impressed by how well the director moved the chorus around in a very natural and meaningful way.”
Full interview link
Verdi’s La Traviata streamed live from Glyndebourne
NOW WATCH ON DEMAND UNTIL 17 AUGUST
The stream will appear HERE via The Telegraph
or HERE at Glyndebourne
Review from The Guardian
Also in cinemas at the same time
Image via The Guardian
The Glyndebourne production of Der Rosenkavalier ( semi-staged )
live from the Royal Albert Hall, London
Photcredit: Bill Cooper
Link to programme on BBC iPlayer
18.30 – Act 1
19.40 – Interval
20.00 – Act 2
21.30 – Act 3
Marschallin ….. Kate Royal (soprano)
Octavian ….. Tara Erraught (mezzo-soprano)
Baron Ochs ….. Franz Hawlata (bass)
Sophie ….. Louise Alder (soprano)
Herr von Faninal ….. Michael Kraus (baritone)
Marianne ….. Miranda Keys (soprano)
Valzacchi ….. Christopher Gillett (tenor)
Annina ….. Helene Schneiderman (contralto)
Notary ….. Gwynne Howell (bass)
Italian Singer ….. Andrej Dunaev (tenor)
Innkeeper ….. Robert Wörle (tenor)
Police Inspector ….. Scott Conner (bass)
Glyndebourne Festival Opera, LPO, Robin Ticciati conductor.
I remember back in the 2011 Proms there was a “semi-staged” version of the Glyndebourne “Rinaldo” with Sonia Prina and Brenda Rae. There was mention then of defibrillators for the audience and I wonder if they will be necessary this time?
You can still watch the production on demand at BBC ARTS
Christoph Loy’s production of Ariadne Auf Naxos
From the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Photocredit: Catherine Ashmore/ROH
In the words of the BBC:
Radio 3 continues its survey of all of Strauss’s operas in this anniversary year, with a revival recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden of Christoph Loy’s production.
Karita Mattila stars as the Prima Donna who appears later as Ariadne and Roberto Sacca is the Tenor, later Bacchus in this often funny work which once again sets a libretto by Strauss’s greatest collaborator the librettist Hugo von Hoffmansthal. The work was originally intended as a short divertissement to be performed after Hoffmansthal’s version of Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme which itself had incidental music by Strauss. However it soon became clear that in this version the work wouldn’t be performed often due to the expense. So it was revised as an opera in a prologue and one act, albeit with a small orchestra and with another of Strauss’s great soprano roles.
Link to BBC iPlayer for programme, synopsis and photo gallery
Ariadne / The Prima Donna ….. Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Bacchus / The Tenor ….. Roberto Sacca (Tenor)
Zerbinetta ….. Jane Archibald (Soprano)
The Composer ….. Ruxandra Donose (Mezzo-soprano)
Harlequin ….. Markus Werba (Baritone)
Music Master ….. Thomas Allen (Baritone)
Dancing Master ….. Ed Lyon (Tenor)
Wig Maker ….. Ashley Riches (Baritone)
Lackey ….. Jihoon Kim (Bass Baritone)
Scaramuccio ….. Wynne Evans (Tenor)
Brighella ….. Paul Schweinester (Tenor)
Truffaldino ….. Jeremy White (Bass)
Officer ….. David Butt Philip (Baritone)
Naiad ….. Sofia Fomina (Soprano)
Dryad ….. Karen Cargill (Mezzo-soprano)
Echo ….. Kiandra Howarth (Soprano)
Major Domo ….. Christopher Quest (Speaker)
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Antonio Pappano (Conductor).
Read dehggial’s thoughts on the production
Review in The Guardian
Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda live from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
In the words of the BBC:
Donizetti’s tragic opera Maria Stuarda portrays the bitter rivalry between the Scottish Mary Stuart and Queen Elizabeth I of England. They never actually met in real life, but in the operatic version the sparks fly in all directions as Donizetti sets a fictitious confrontation between the two queens. In this new staging by directors Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser, Bertrand de Billy conducts a star cast with Joyce DiDonato and Carmen Giannattasio.
Christopher Cook presents live from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, with guest Roger Parker and interviews with the directors and cast.
Link to BBBC iPlayer for programme, synopsis & photo gallery
Maria Stuarda…..Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo-soprano)
Elisabetta…..Carmen Giannattasio (Soprano)
Leicester…..Ismael Jordi (Tenor)
Lord Cecil…..Jeremy Carpenter (Baritone)
Talbot …..Matthew Rose (Bass)
Anna Kennedy…..Kathleen Wilkinson (Mezzo-soprano)
ROH Orchestra & Chorus, Bertrand de Billy (Conductor)
* 19.30 Act 1
* 20.45 Interval
* 21.10 Act 2
Manon Lescaut live from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
with Opolais, Kaufmann and Pappano
Puccini’s Manon Lescaut in a new production by Jonathan Kent
For links to useful stuff about this production click here
Manon Lescaut ….. Kristine Opolais (Soprano)
Chevalier des Grieux ….. Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Lescaut ….. Christopher Maltman (Baritone)
Geronte de Ravoir ….. Maurizio Muraro (Bass)
Singer ….. Nadezhda Karyazina (Soprano)
Edmondo ….. Benjamin Hulett (Tenor)
Dancing Master ….. Robert Burt (Tenor)
Lamplighter ….. Luis Gomes (Tenor)
Innkeeper ….. Nigel Cliffe (Baritone)
Sergeant ….. Jihoon Kim (Bass Baritone)
Naval Captain ….. Jeremy White (Bass)
ROH orchestra and chorus, Antonio Pappano (Conductor)
BBC iPlayer time expired
Manon, who has shown a taste for pleasure, is on her way to a convent on the orders of her parents when she meets the young student Des Grieux. The pair fall in love and elope to Paris, but when the elderly Geronte offers Manon a life of wealth and luxury, her head is turned. Puccini’s first triumph returns to Covent Garden for the first time in 30 years.
Duration: 3 hours, 15 minutes
22 June at 19.30 BST
Marking the 80th anniversary of Glyndebourne Festival, Glyndebourne: The Untold History, filmed this year, explores the beginnings of the opera house which sprang from the romance between founder John Christie and his opera singer wife, Audrey Mildmay, and provides an insider’s view on the company as it prepares to present a new production of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, an opera which, like Glyndebourne itself, incorporates both tradition and innovation. The 90-minute film tells the story of the creation of this unique opera house and shows how it grew from the love story of John Christie and Audrey Mildmay into the international house of today. It will also show the making of the new production of Der Rosenkavalier in the 150th anniversary year of the composer Richard Strauss. We discover how Der Rosenkavalier is entwined with the history of the Christie family and with Glyndebourne itself through the connections between Strauss and Carl Ebert, Rudolf Bing and Fritz Busch, the trio of German émigrés who were essential to Glyndebourne’s early success 80 years ago. The new production of Rosenkavalier, directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Glyndebourne’s new Music Director, Robin Ticciati, is the first new production of the opera in 32 years at the festival. Audiences will witness the journey from the early explorations of the music and libretto, through the development of the designs, staging and costumes, to meet some of the production’s principal singers, as well as the costume and prop makers who help turn the creative team’s vision into a reality. The complete performance can be seen on BBC Arts Online (bbc.co.uk/arts) alongside the special Glyndebourne Festival collection. Glyndebourne: The Untold History offers viewers unparalleled insight into the Glyndebourne Festival 2014 production of Der Rosenkavalier, available to watch in full on BBC Arts Online from 22 June, and demonstrates the commitment, rigour and pioneering spirit which Glyndebourne brings to everything it does.
iPlayer time expired
For those without immediate access to BBC TV – the programme should be available on BBC iPlayer afterwards or you may like to browse the History of Gyndebourne in Pictures from The Guardian.
A brief history of this opera festival by Rupert Christiansen
This production of Der Rosenkavalier features at The Proms on July 22, available on radio 3
With Kaufmann, Opolais and Pappano.
Some useful bits and pieces:
Manon Lescaut will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 on 1 July from 18.45 BST.
And here’s Kaufmann in The Telegraph!
Kaufmann talks about the opera – in English!