Newport council to discuss naming park after John Wayne

The city could honor one of its most famous residents Tuesday if council members endorse Mayor Kevin Muldoon’s proposal to rename a city park after John Wayne. During the upcoming City Council meeting, Muldoon will ask that Ensign View Park be renamed “John Wayne Park,” in honor of the acclaimed actor. “I wanted to honor […]

Irvine swimming team buoyed by support after losing beloved coach

IRVINE >> Every spring break, a time when Irvine’s girls swimmers might have longed for rest, Coach Scott Hinman held one of his favorite workouts. It was ritual for his teams, an insiders’ invitation to toughen for the push toward a championship season. The girls sprinted, over and over again. On a single practice, Hinman’s […]

Costa Mesa will get July 4 event if councilman can raise $50,000

COSTA MESA The city will forge ahead with its own July 4 celebration on one condition – that Councilman John Stephens raise the $50,000 it will cost to put on the event from private sources by May 15. Stephens asked the City Council to vote in favor of the city setting up a pyrotechnic display at the […]

Tre’ Jackson’s short stint with Rams ends

The Rams waived Tre’ Jackson on Friday, only two days after they claimed the oft-injured guard off waivers from New England. Jackson missed all of last season, and part of the 2014 season, with knee problems, and according to the NFL’s official list of transactions, Jackson failed his physical with the Rams. The Rams were […]

Prominent LGBT activist Cleve Jones to speak at OC fundraiser

The LGBT Center OC will honor prominent activist Cleve Jones, whose life was featured in the ABC miniseries “When We Rise” and the Oscar-nominated film, “Milk,” during its annual Indigo Ball fundraiser Saturday night, April 22, at the Discovery Cube in Santa Ana. Jones, 62, was the brain behind the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, which, […]

Pets calendar: Events for you and your pets

Animal Evacuation Shelter Training: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 29 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. April 30. Learn how to set up and operate a shelter in which to evacuate and secure animals during times of disaster. Sponsored by SoCal Animal Response Team. Saddleback Room, 200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo. $75 registration; includes response team membership. Email […]

Mariss Jansons wins 100 grand

The Bavarian Radio music director does not play the horses or the lottery, so far as we know. His windfall comes today in the form of the 2018 Léonie Sonning Music Prize, awarded each year to an outstanding international performer. All Jansons has to do to collect the money is to turn up in Copenhagen […]

Canada discovers an Italian talent

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week: Do not be put off by the cover, which shows two Victorians of different gender having a pre-Raphaelite snog. What they look like post-Raphael is left to the imagination, as is any thematic connection between Gilbert Baldry’s The Kiss and a set of Schumann pieces that evoke male […]

Sad news: Death of an international US mezzo, aged 54

Friends are reporting the death of Kristine (Kris) Jepson, a popular figure on the opera circuit. Iowa born, she played Kitty Oppenheimer in the first San Francisco run of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic and replaced Susan Graham in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. Kris sang Octavian and Siebel at the Met, as well as numerous […]

Deep sheep trouble at Covent Garden

We hear that one of three live sheep hired for the upcoming UK premiere of Thomas Ades’s The Exterminating Angel has been fired from the show after a disgraceful performance at the pre-general rehearsal. The miscreant is called Sheila and you’re advised to stay well upwind if you meet her. The appearance of the other […]

Flute world mourns distinguished leader

We are saddened by the death of Philip Dikeman, flute player for 20 years with the Detroit Symphony, two of them as acting principal. He also played with Nashville Symphony. Early on, he was Principal Flute of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Philip, who was about 50 years old, was associate professor of flute at Blair […]

Death of a British composer, 86

A prolific pianist, Gordon Langford composed and arranged extensively for brass bands – as well as for many films, including Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman II, First Great Train Robbery, Clash of the Titans and Return to Oz. He also wrote the test-card music for BBC Television. His works were handsomely recorded by Chandos. Gordon died […]

Opera chief falls off her horse

Three months before the launch of her first Vancouver Opera Festival, Kim Gaynor fell off her horse and suffered a serious leg fracture. She’s back at her desk just before the festival begins, but it has been quite a saga. With no WiFi in the hospital, friends wheeled her over to the closest Starbucks so […]

PRS hands out half a billion pounds

The British collection agency today reports a ten percent rise in revenues. It has paid out £527.6 million to songwriters, composers and music publishers. What was your share?

America’s Mr Accordion has died, at 87

Dick Contino held the alltime record of appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show – 48 times. He was jailed for draft dodging, served in in the Korea War and eventually received a presidential pardon, events that are reacts in a James Ellroy novella, Dick Contino’s Blues. Contino’s signature song was ‘Lady of Spain’. He made […]

Barenboim to France: Nationalism is not patriotism

The former music director of the Orchestre de Paris, and briefly of the Opéra de Paris, has been speaking about this weekend’s French election. Daniel Barenboim said he could understand the rise of nationalism in France as a protest against the tide of globalisation, but the French should be aware that the present tendency is […]

Bill Murray Goes Classical? Hey, Why Not?

The beloved actor and comedian will debut a new show with cellist Jan Vogler where he sings Gershwin and recites Whitman. There's a little Schubert and Bach on the side.

Songs We Love: Trio Mediaeval, ‘Morgunstjarna’

The anonymous song from 17th-century Iceland sports a catchy, bittersweet melody that pop outfits like Peter, Bjorn and John might be happy to whistle. Arve Henriksen joins the vocal trio on trumpet.

Jackie Evancho On Speaking Out Through Music

Since her performance at President Trump's inauguration, the 16-year-old vocalist has advocated for transgender rights and released Two Hearts, which includes some of her first original songs.

First Listen: The Knights, ‘Azul’

One of the finest, most ravishing, cello concertos so far this century, written for and performed by Yo-Yo Ma, finally receives its debut recording.

Les Troyens at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s original and superbly cast production of Hector Berlioz’s Les Troyens has provided the musical public with a treasured opportunity to appreciate one of the great operatic achievements of the nineteenth century.

Merry Christmas, Stephen Leacock

The Little Opera Company opened its 21st season by championing its own, as it presented the world premiere of Winnipeg composer Neil Weisensel’s Merry Christmas, Stephen Leacock.

Bampton Classical Opera 2017

In 2015, Bampton Classical Opera’s production of Salieri’s La grotta di Trofonio - a UK premiere - received well-deserved accolades: ‘a revelation ... the music is magnificent’ (Seen and Heard International), ‘giddily exciting, propelled by wit, charm and bags of joy’ (The Spectator), ‘lively, inventive ... a joy from start to finish’ (The Oxford Times), ‘They have done Salieri proud’ (The Arts Desk) and ‘an enthusiastic performance of riotously spirited music’ (Opera Britannia) were just some of the superlative compliments festooned by the critical press.

The nature of narropera?

How many singers does it take to make an opera? There are single-role operas - Schönberg’s Erwartung (1924) and Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies (1969) spring immediately to mind - and there are operas that just require a pair of performers, such as Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart i Salieri (1897) or How many singers does it take to make an opera? There are single-role operas - Schönberg’s Erwartung (1924) and Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies (1969) spring immediately to mind - and there are operas that just require a pair of performers, such as Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart i Salieri (1897) or The Telephone by Menotti (1947). The Telephone by Menotti (1947).

A Christmas Festival: La Nuova Musica at St John’s Smith Square

Now in its 31st year, the 2016 Christmas Festival at St John’s Smith Square has offered sixteen concerts performed by diverse ensembles, among them: the choirs of King’s College, London and Merton College, Oxford; Christchurch Cathedral Choir, Oxford; The Gesualdo Six; The Cardinall’s Musick; The Tallis Scholars; the choirs of Trinity College and Clare College, Cambridge; Tenebrae; Polyphony and the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightment.

Fleming’s Farewell to London: Der Rosenkavalier at the ROH

As 2016 draws to a close, we stand on the cusp of a post-Europe, pre-Trump world. Perhaps we will look back on current times with the nostalgic romanticism of Richard Strauss’s 1911 paean to past glories, comforts and certainties: Der Rosenkavalier.

A clipped Walküre in Amsterdam

Let’s start by getting a couple of gripes out of the way. First, the final act of Die Walküre does not constitute a full-length concert, even with a distinguished cast and orchestra, and with animated drawings fluttering on a giant screen.

A Leonard Bernstein Delight

When you combine two charismatic New York stage divas with the artistry of Los Angeles Opera, you have a mix that explodes into singing, dancing and an evening of superb entertainment.

An English Winter Journey

Roderick Williams’ and Julius Drake’s English Winter Journey seems such a perfect concept that one wonders why no one had previously thought of compiling a sequence of 24 songs by English composers to mirror, complement and discourse with Schubert’s song-cycle of love and loss.

L’amour de loin at the Metropolitan Opera

Opening night at the Metropolitan is a gleeful occasion even when the composer is long gone, but December 1st was an opening for a living composer who has been making waves around the world and is, gasp, a woman — the second woman composer ever t...

Semyon Bychkov heading to NYC and DC with Glanert and Mahler

Heading to N.Y.C and D.C. for its annual performances, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra invited Semyon Bychkov to return for his Mahler debut with the Fifth Symphony. Having recently returned from Vienna with praise for their rendition, the orchestra ...

Philippe Jaroussky at the Wigmore Hall: Baroque cantatas by Telemann and J.S.Bach

On Tuesday evening this week, I found myself at The Actors Centre in London’s Covent Garden watching a performance of Unknowing, a dramatization of Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben and Dichterliebe (in a translation by David Parry, in which Matthew Monaghan directed a baritone and a soprano as they enacted a narrative of love, life and loss. Two days later at the Wigmore Hall I enjoyed a wonderful performance, reviewed here, by countertenor Philippe Jaroussky with Julien Chauvin’s Le Concert de la Loge, of cantatas by Telemann and J.S. Bach.

The new Queen of the City of Birmingham Royal Symphony

Here is one of the next new great conductors. That’s a bold statement, but even the L.A. Times agrees: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s appointment “is the biggest news in the conducting world.” But Ms. Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla will be getting a lot of weight on her shoulders.

Falstaff at Manitoba Opera

Manitoba Opera chose to open its 44th season by going for the belly laughs — literally — as it notably presented its inaugural production of Verdi’s Falstaff.

Rusalka, AZ Opera

On November 20, 2016, Arizona Opera completed its run of Antonín Dvořák’s fairy Tale opera, Rusalka. Loosely based on Hand Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, Joshua Borths staged it with common objects such as dining room chairs that could be found in the home of a child watching the story unfold.

First new Ring Cycle in 40 Years, Leipzig

Consistently overshadowed by the neighboring Bayreuth, the far less stuffy Oper Leipzig (Wagner’s birthplace) programmed after forty years their first complete Ring Cycle.

San Jose’s Beta-Carotene Rich Barber

You didn’t have to know the Bugs Bunny oeuvre to appreciate Opera San Jose’s enchanting Il barbiere di Sivigila, but it sure enhanced your experience if you did.

Manon Lescaut at Covent Garden

If there was ever any doubt that Puccini’s Manon is on a road to nowhere, then the closing image of Jonathan Kent’s 2014 production of Manon Lescaut (revived here for the first time, by Paul Higgins) leaves no uncertainty. A crumbling freeway flyover juts jaggedly into a black nothingness. As Manon collapses into her desert surrounding, so the terrain itself sinks into abyss.

Simplicius Simplicissimus

I wonder if Karl Amadeus Hartmann saw something of himself in the young Simplicius Simplicissimus, the eponymous protagonist of his three-scene chamber opera of 1936. Simplicius is in a sort of ‘Holy Fool’ who manages to survive the violence and civil strife of the Thirty Years War (1618-48), largely through dumb chance, and whose truthful pronouncements fall upon the ears of the deluded and oppressive.

Lucia di Lammermoor at Lyric Opera of Chicago

For its second opera of the 2016-17 season Lyric Opera of Chicago has staged Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in a production seen at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Grand Théâtre de Genève.

Akhnaten Offers L A Operagoers Both Ear and Eye Candy

Akhnaten is the third in composer Philip Glass’s trilogy of operas about people who have made important contributions to society: Albert Einstein in science, Mahatma Gandhi in politics, and Akhnaten in religion. Glass’s three operas are: Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha, and Akhnaten.

Shakespeare in the Late Baroque – Bampton Classical Opera

Shakespeare re-imagined for the very Late Baroque, with Bampton Classical Opera at St John's Smith Square. "Shakespeare, Shakespeare, Shakespeare....the God of Our Idolatory". So wrote David Garrick in his Ode to Shakespeare (1759) through which the...

Kiss Me, Kate: Welsh National Opera at the Birmingham Hippodrome

In 1964, 400 years after the birth of the Bard, the writer Anthony Burgess saw Cole Porter’s musical comedy Kiss Me, Kate, a romping variation on The Taming of the Shrew Shakespeare’s comedy, Burgess said, had a ‘good playhouse reek about it’, adding ‘the Bard might be regarded as closer to Cole Porter and Broadway razzmatazz’ than to the scholars who were ‘picking him raw’.

The Anatomy of Melancholy

Semper Dowland, semper dolens (Always Dowland, always doleful) was the title chosen by John Dowland’s for one of his consort pieces and the motto that he took for himself. Twice rejected for the position of musician at the court of Queen Elizabeth, he is reputed to have been a difficult, embittered man. Melancholy songs were the fashion of the day, but Dowland clearly knew dark days of depression first hand.

Aida in San Francisco

An exquisite pit, a Busby Berkeley stage, ingenue performers. Populist opera in San Francisco — in November eleven performances of Aida (alternating with ten of Madama Butterfly).

Oreste at Wilton’s Music Hall

Handel’s pasticcio, Oreste, with its mythological core and Roman source libretto, is a Classical beast: it pits barbarous human cruelty versus man’s potential for grace and gentility. Director Gerard Jones’ production at Wilton’s Music Hall, for the Royal Opera house, dispenses with ethical dilemmas - and questions of love and loyalty - and gives us a comic-strip bloodbath which is less a blend of mythological dysfunctionality and moral consolation, and more a mal-functional cross-breed of Tarantino, Hammer House of Horror and the Rocky Horror Show.

BEMF Chamber Opera Series Presents Splendors of Versailles

The GRAMMY Award-winning BEMF Chamber Opera Series returns with an all-new production inspired by the splendor and music of the palace of Versailles. King Louis XIV transformed his father’s pastoral hunting lodge at Versailles into a lavish palace that served as the seat of government and culture in France.

Heresy, Electronic Opera in Dublin About Giordano Bruno

Travellers to Rome may have noticed that in the middle of the vegetable market, the Campo Dei Fiori, there is a statue in memory of the Dominican friar, philosopher, scientist and poet, Giordano Bruno, who was tried as a heretic in 1593 and burned at t...

A New Das Rheingold at Lyric Opera of Chicago

With the premiere of Das Rheingold on opening night of the 2016-17 season Lyric Opera of Chicago has initiated a new Ring Cycle to be staged over multiple seasons. Both cast and vision for this production of the first of the four Ring operas make a s...

Wexford Festival Opera 2016

This year’s Wexford Festival was all about the women. Deluded, dangerous, depressed, deranged, they stood centre-stage and commanded the emotional territory.

Opera Las Vegas Spook-tacular Halloween Concert

On Saturday evening October 29, 2016, Opera Las Vegas held a concert in a most elegant private home. After a glass of wine and some delicious hors d’oeuvres, members of the audience, most of whom were in costume, retreated to a salon that held some seventy chairs. With a grand piano in front and an “off stage” area to the side, the salon was as close to a concert hall as could be found in a private home.

A magnetic performance by Christiane Karg

The always stimulating Iván Fischer consistently validates himself as an innovative conductor with his fresh approaches. Last May, his soul-crushing performance of Mozart’s Requiem with his Budapest Festival Orchestra at the Concertgebouw left me a sobbing mess at the end, so hearing him lead the Berliner Philharmoniker in Mozart was a must.

Christian Gerhaher sings Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in Berlin

As Bernard Haitink’s bout with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has finally been resolved, we in Amsterdam still have to wait for his return to his former homebase till this coming February. So I was thrilled to hear him in Berlin conduct Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Berliner Philharmoniker. It turned out to be historical evening. Not just because of attendance by the Swedish King and Queen, but also because baritone Christian Gerhaher performed the by Mahler preferred alto role, in an extraordinarily deep “Der Abschied”. Haitink did not disappoint in this spectacular affair.

Rising Action

Olivier Messiaen's From The Canyons To The Stars… takes Audiences from the depths of the earth to celestial heights.

It Was A Very Good Year

As Lincoln Center and The New York Philharmonic celebrate Frank Sinatra's centennial, on December 3, we revisit 1943, when "The Voice" was on the ascendant and performed with this orchestra.

Portrait of a Conducting Debut

Jane Glover has followed her passion for music and learning all the way to her first New York Philharmonic performances, leading Messiah this month.

Siren of the Seas

Diana Damrau stars as the beautiful heroine of Bizet's sumptuous Les Pêcheurs de Perles—returning to the Met for the first time in 100 years, in an inventive new production by Penny Woolcock.

Sassoon war diaries published online

Twenty-three journals belonging to the war poet Siegfried Sassoon, many written in the trenches, are being published online for the first time.

VIDEO: British dancer returns from Russia

A dancer from Hull who became the first British dancer to be employed by the Mariinsky Ballet in Russia returns to the UK to perform with the company at Covent Garden.

Gabriel Prokofiev debuts concerto

Gabriel Prokofiev's new violin concerto, based on the opening year of WW1, is making its world premiere at the BBC Proms.