Browsing: La Scena Online

Meet Bradley Christensen, baritone (New-Zealand), new singer for Corona Serenades How has Covid-19 affected you?  Professionally, this has been a frustrating time. I’ve had numerous engagements cancelled, which for any artist, has had a big financial impact. Add to this the unknowing of when concert-life opens up again has doubled my concern. However, in saying that, it has been interesting to see the discussions that are happening surrounding the distribution of artistic creations, not just during this pandemic, but going forward. The conversations on a variety of topics can only be good for this art form. I have been keeping…

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August 9 Met Live Streams:  Mozart’s Don Giovanni Starring Hibla Gerzmava, Malin Byström, Serena Malfi, Paul Appleby, Simon Keenlyside, and Adam Plachetka, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From October 22, 2016. More information here. August 8 Met Live Streams: Handel’s Agrippina Starring Brenda Rae, Joyce DiDonato, Kate Lindsey, Iestyn Davies, Duncan Rock, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Harry Bicket. From February 29, 2020. More information here. August 7 Met Live Streams: Wagner’s Parsifal  Starring Waltraud Meier, Siegfried Jerusalem, Bernd Weikl, and Kurt Moll, conducted by James Levine. From March 28, 1992. More information here. Orchestre Métropolitain: Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 5 and 6 Da-da-da-dum: these are the…

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In the latter years of the Soviet Union, a composer could be cast out by the system and still sustained by it. Alfred Schnittke, when his symphonies were removed from performance, was given commissions to write music for the film industry by the Composers Union chief Tikhon Krennikov, the very apparatchik who had ordered the ban on his symphonies. Nikolai Kapustin, who wrote disapproved jazz scores, was for much of his career the resident pianist of the main symphony orchestra of Moscow Radio, an ensemble which occasionally agreed to perform his non-socialist works, only to refuse at the last moment. This two-faced…

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When Christopher Rouse died ten months ago, aged 70, it seemed to spell the end of a line of American composers who placed the symphony at the heart of their art. And not just Americans. Apart from Kalevi Aho and Leif Segerstam in Finland, David Matthews and Philip Sawyers in the UK and one or two Russians and Germans,  composers seem to have given up on the symphony in the 21st symphony. The assumption is that audiences have lost interest. Is that really the case? In these Covid times, we have no way of judging except on record. Rouse, an…

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Meet Jennifer Carter, soprano for Corona Serenades How has Covid-19 affected you?  In addition to the loss of performances (as for all singers everywhere), Covid-19 has meant taking all my voice teaching online.  There are pluses and minuses, but lot more students took the summer off than usual, because online is not the same as in person. Unfortunately the science looks like it’s going to be a while yet before we can safely sing in person, so I will be staying online for some time. I also have a pre-schooler and a school age child.  While their dad and I…

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Meet Bruno Roy, baritone for Corona Serenades How has Covid-19 affected you? Like many of my colleagues around the world it meant hitting pause on a few exciting projects and travel plans. It meant a lot of time at home, taking a break from the busy fall that I had and focusing on other avenues than classical singing. Since my partner and I moved to Vancouver Island, I often bemoan the fact we live far away from our friends and colleagues in Montreal, Toronto and Frankfurt. Although we are in the midst of a public health crisis it was definitely…

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The only connection between these two composers is their victimisation and the last syllable of their names. Both were silenced for political reasons; neither has found due recognition. Samuil Feinberg (1890-1962), raised in cosmopolitan Odessa, was invalided out of the first world war and settled for a teaching post at the Moscow Conservatoire. His solo career as a pianist was curtailed by Stalinism and he lived out a life of near-total obscurity, known only for being the first pianist in the USSR to give a public recital of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. The three works on this album are dated 1912 to…

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André Mathieu: Concerto de Québec and works for two pianos Alain Lefèvre et Hélène Mercier, pianos. Warner Classics 9029548866 Total time: 65:24 ★★★★★ For his second album on Warner Classics, Alain Lefèvre returns to repertoire he knows well, but this time with an accomplice, Hélène Mercier, in works for two pianos by André Mathieu. We can strongly recommend this album, which includes a new transcription of the famous Concerto de Québec as well as works written when the prodigy was as young as five. The program begins with the Rhapsodie romantique, which bears witness to the composer’s virtuosity (octaves, chromaticism,…

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Meet Philip Kalmanovitch, baritone singer for Corona Serenades (Canada) How has COVID-19 affected you? COVID-19 has affected me in a big way. I was set to travel to Sweden for a big audition literally the weekend the travel ban went into effect. I lost a handful of gigs, and missed out on three competition opportunities. I also lost my side job at a restaurant for obvious reasons. The silver lining was I decided to head home to stay with my parents for the majority of quarantine, so I was able to spend some quality time with them for the first…

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It is a grim fact of musical life that, when a composer dies, his music goes into limbo for at least ten years. In that time, music directors and programmers shove the complete oeuvre into a drawer and wait, they say, for the reputation to settle. For a few lucky composers, a decade passes and there is a revival. For the others, just silence. The French composer Henri Dutilleux died in May 2013 at the age of 97. All his life Dutilleux struggled to make himself heard against the all-controlling modernism of Pierre Boulez on one hand and the ornithological…

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