+ The marriage between text and music in contemporary opera is more important than ever, says William Littler, citing Fellow Travelers (Cincinnati Opera) and Les Feluettes (Opéra de Montréal) as recent examples.
“Perhaps today, more than at any other time in the recent past, librettists are coming into their own as something approaching full partners with composers in the creation of successful opera.
And tied to this development is the heightened importance in an age of film and television of casting singers who can give visual credibility to their roles. Tenor Aaron Blake and baritone Joseph Lattanzi both looked and sounded like the central characters they were portraying, and Kevin Newbury directed their colleagues with a similar attention to verisimilitude.”
+ “Canadians don’t toot their own horn enough,” says Tommy Banks in advance of his appearance at Ottawa’s Music and Beyond Festival on July 5 with Jens Lindemann. Read our review of their performance at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival here.
+ The Canadian Music Competition – Canimex (CMC) announced Eric Guo (Piano, 14 years old, Scarborough, ON) as the winner of the Grand Prize, 11 to 14 years old. The Gala Concert on July 5 will feature winners of the National Final and the First Prize – Canimex winner of the Stepping Stone, clarinetist David Dias Da Silva with the Orchestre symphonique de Drummondville led by Julien Proulx. (English/French)
+ The United States military might have its $437 million budget for military bands cut by the House of Representatives.
+ Inspired by the UK’s recent decision to leave the European Union, The Guardian is embarking on a musical tour of some of the greatest cities in Europe, starting with London.
+ Read Norman Lebrecht’s latest review of violin concertos by Glazunov and Khachaturian played by Philippe Quint with the Bochum Symphoniker.
“Aram Khachaturian’s 1940 concerto, championed by Oistrakh, contains an absolutely irresistible central movement and a certain amount of film-score dross in the outer sections. It has to be played, and heard, with eyes shut tight and total conviction. The soloist Philippe Quint – Russian despite his name – delivers the most coherent account I have encountered since Oistrakh’s. And he’s pretty hot in the Glazunov, too – passionate, at times, to the point of recklessness.”