Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Going for Gold

Photo courtesy of Opera Omnia Productions

Congratulations to soprano Natalya Romaniw (Welsh 2009 CSW entrant) on winning the Guidhall School’s Gold Medal. Taking on fellow students – Ashley Riches, Victor Sicard and Koji Terada in a no-holds barred singathon, Romaniw, rich in Ukranian and Welsh heritage, was given the nod by the judging panel - a dodgy looking lot comprised of Jonathan Vaughan, Sian Edwards, Dame Janet Baker, Edward Gardner and Edward Seckerson – a case of two Ed’s better than one! Boom-boom! #TumbleweedMoment…

Romaniw follows in the footsteps of other Welsh winners, including Bryn Terfel and Gary Griffiths – soon to be making his professional debut as an Associate Artist of WNO in the role of Guglielmo in Così fan tutte later this month. I wonder if a dynamic, wandering pitch hair expert will make the grade next time around?

Monday, 9 May 2011

"Tonight, Simon and Big Hair, I'm going to sing..."

If you want to know who is singing who at BBC CSW 2011 then you're in luck my lovelies. Individual programme details are available to peruse at your hearts content by visiting the competitors individual pages. However, despite my hopes, no-one is taking on Lorenzo Da Ponte's translation of a true classic...

Thursday, 5 May 2011

It's Just Like Reading Geoff Hamilton - David Pountney Blogs

And God created Gardening God

Following in the footsteps of other artistic luminaries such as Katie Price (Paradise –shortlisted for the Tango Prize), Naomi Campbell (Swan longlisted for the Joan Wilder Prize) and Sharon Osbourne (Revenge – nearly listed for the Senokot Prize), David Pountney declined my offer of coaching as he embarks on blogging the eponymous David Pountney’s Blog*.

Whether or not he comes to rue his decision depends on how much he would miss having to fend off accusations of stupidity, and slack use of the comma. As it is, the man with the arguably the best Rabbie’s in opera, has made an interesting foray into the world of blogging. And, to the best of my knowledge**, is the only head of a major opera company who has taken to blogging while in office.

His first instalment – the first of many I hope – is refreshingly honest with his thoughts on WNO’s financial situation, while at the same time brimming with excitement at moving the company forward, and also includes an interesting sideline in horticulture.

*Please note Daily Mail journos – this, of course, is an attempt at humour, not a statement of fact.

**I haven’t got a clue.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

What's on in Cardiff (sort of) in May

May sees WNO's own Benjamin Davis directing a brand new Così fan tutte, and Christopher Alden's critically acclaimed Turandot returning to the stage. With generous casting, both promise to close the season in fine style.

Also gigging at the Armadillo will be 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Rosenblatt Recital Prize Winner, Andrew Kennedy, appearing with BBC NOW. And while ballet isn't my thing, Scottish Ballet’s Alice brings more than just Lewis Carroll colour to the Centre.

St David's Hall gets to see John Pierce (the Welsh entrant for BBC CSW 2011) in a lunchtime concert, while it also plays host to the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Dante Quartet, The Sixteen, BBC NOW and the nodding dog / goldfish / Marty Feldman hybrid of the classical world that his Lang Lang.

Cineworld Cardiff rounds off events with a 3D Simon Rattle & the Berlin Phil co ncert, followed by the Met's Live in HD broadcast of Die Walküre, mit Terfel, Kaufmann, Westbroek und Voigt.

As usual, an UPDATE - Catrin Finch will be performing with Sinfonia Cymru at The Gate.