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Breaking: Another London opera house issues sex warning

Following the Covent Garden fuss over blood and sex in Lucia di Lammermoor, it appears that Sadler’s Wells has also caught a cold. Here’s what ticket-buyers are being told: Thank you for booking for Natalia Osipova at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. We are writing to you to let you know about some developments with the production. As […]

Anna Netrebko Decides Not To Sing Norma After All, Leaving London And New York In The Lurch

New productions of Bellini’s Norma built around Netrebko were planned as season opening galas at Covent Garden this fall (her debut in the role) and the Met in the fall of 2017. However, she has announced, “I have come to the unfortunate conclusion my voice has evolved in a different direction.”

Covent Garden remembers a horn player

Tonight’s performance of Tannhauser was dedicated to the memory of Chris Davies, sub principal horn, who died of bowel cancer in February. Chris, who was 53, also played in the Brighton Philharmonic. Members of the ROH orchestra wore yellow daffodils to commemorate a proud Welshman.

Netrebko tells the Met she won’t sing Norma there, either

After cancelling her role debut at Covent Garden this September, the diva has told the Met to forget about Norma in 2017-18. ‘I have come to the unfortunate conclusion my voice has evolved in a different direction,’ she repeated. Next month, she sings Elsa in Lohengrin in Dresden. That’s the way she’s heading.

Brit conductor lands German post

A new Generalmusikdirektor has been announced in Wuppertal. It’s Julia Jones, 54, sometime principal conductor at Basle Opera and Lisbon. She’s a prophet without honour in her own country, having conducted only once at Covent Garden...

“Reflect London” conceals Covent Garden construction with a dazzling mirror display

The eastern wall of the Market Building will be covered in 32,000 square feet of mirrors beginning this month as the site upgrades to include a SUSHISAMBA restaurant among other renovations. The installation was created by the design...Show More Summary

Edgy first responses to Covent Garden’s bloody Lucia

Loud applause for the singers was followed by boos for Katie Mitchell and her production team after the opening of Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden last night. One spectator told Slipped Disc that the boos were not above and beyond the normal for a challenging production. The quickest reviews, just in, may indicate a […]

Boss At London’s Royal Opera Says His Final Production Will Take Direct Aim At His Critics

3 weeks agoArts : Modern Art Notes

Kasper Bech Holten’s tenure as artistic director, which ends in March of next year, has seen more controversy over stagings than is usual at Covent Garden. So, he says, “what could be more fitting for my last show in London than to do a comedy about how hard it is sometimes for audiences and artists […]

Antonio Pappano To Be Longest-Serving Music Director In Covent Garden’s History

3 weeks agoArts : Modern Art Notes

“Talking this morning about his decision to stay on [until 2020] … Pappano said simply ‘I don’t want to go to any other opera house’.”

Covent Garden adjusts its director search

When the Royal Opera advertised for its next director, the post was stated in the Guardian to be a permanent one. Not so. Our chap in the wings says the Grauniad got it wrong. I am afraid The Guardian have incorrectly filled in the job ad template, the post of Director of Opera is a […]

Breaking: Netrebko to sing her first Norma

Anna Netrebko will appear for the first time as Bellini’s Norma to open Covent Garden’s 2016-17 season. The new production, directed by the Catalan theatre group La Fura dels Baus, will feature the Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja making his role debut as Pollione, and the Italian mezzo Sonia Ganassi as Adalgisa.  

Maestro stays: Covent Garden breathes again

It has just been announced that Sr Antonio Pappano has renewed his contract until 2020. That allays fears of instability triggered by the resignation of Royal Opera artistic director Kasper Holten. There will be seven new productions...Show More Summary

Why does Royal Opera give its boss an open-ended contract?

Most European opera houses put their artistic directors on fixed-term contracts of three or five years, renewable by mutual agreement. The Covent Garden advertisement for Kasper Holten’s successor as Director of opera at the ROH stipulates that the job is permanent. Job security may be good for the nerves, but it means higher severance settlements […]

‘Gypsy,’ Dench Win Big at 40th Annual Oliviers

Honoring the best of London theater, the Laurence Olivier Awards celebrated its 40th anniversary April 3 at the iconic Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Hosted by two-time Olivier winner Michael Ball, the ceremony was broadcasted live...Show More Summary

Hidden in plain sight - a brief survey of LGBT relationships in opera

Simon Keenlyside & Jonas Kaufmann in Verdi's Don Carlo at Covent Garden in 2009Photo by Caroline Ashmore/ROH The first explicitly lesbian or gay character in opera seems to be the Countess Geschwitz in Berg's Lulu, but what about the...Show More Summary

Tune Into the 40th Annual Olivier Awards!

London theater is gearing up for its biggest celebration of the year! This Sunday, April 3 at 10 p.m. BST, the 40th annual Laurence Olivier Awards will be held at Covent Garden’s iconic Royal Opera House, hosted by two-time Olivier winner Michael Ball. Show More Summary

Violist sues Royal Opera House for loss of hearing

Chris Goldscheider, a viola player in the Covent Garden orchestra, claims his hearing was ‘irreversibly damaged’ by brass instruments that played behind him during performances of Wagner’s Die Walküre. Chris, who played in the Liverpool Phil and the BBC Symphony before joining the ROH in 2002, argues in court documents that the sound peaked at […]

She May Just Be The World’s Foremost Stage Designer

She works on everything from West End plays and musicals to opera at the Met and Covent Garden to rock stars’ arena tours to the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics. Says one director, “[She] doesn’t design plays. Or, at least, she doesn’t design the locations in which they’re set. Instead, she designs the ideas, […]

‘Be Ready For Blood’: Diana Damrau On Covent Garden’s Upcoming ‘Lucia’

“I think audiences are going to leave feeling quite shaken. They will see what people in desperate circumstances are able to do and that is actually the basis of this drama. Everybody is desperate and it gets very dark and very sad and horrible. So, I am sorry, be ready for blood.”

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