Young artists bring fresh insights to Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro

Charlotte Badham as Cherubino. Credit Ali Wright Opera Holland Park has been nurturing new talent for a good many years with its Young Artists Scheme. To mark its tenth anniversary year, alumni, Nardus Williams, Julian Van Mellaerts and Elizabeth Karani, are singing leading roles in OHP’s The Marriage of Figaro.  On the night of the 14th June…

Stealing & Re-imagining: ‘Landscapes’ by Doug Thomas

Most composers (and artists and writers too) steal from others. They learn their craft by copying; studying the works of others who’ve gone before them offers important insights into the nuts and bolts of the music (structure, harmony, texture etc) as well as the composer’s personal musical fingerprints.

Opera is back at Holland Park

This OHP production is highly recommended. Ticket returns are available if you sign up for an alert system, but I strongly urge you to try or call box office direct. On the evening I was present, filming was taking place of Marriage of Figaro so here’s hoping that plenty of others have access to this remarkable production.

Lost in music: Daniel Bachman, ‘Axacan’

This is an extraordinary piece of work: a new suite of tracks from an artist previously new to me, which had me pressing my headphones to my ears on repeat plays, hungry for every morsel of sonic detail, and enveloping me in a shifting atmosphere of both delight and dread. Absolute required listening. * Daniel…

World’s Finest Musicians Perform in Raphael Court at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Photograph : Rebecca Reid Just when you think you are getting blasé about streamed events, there comes along a concert that you shouldn’t ignore.  Conductor Oliver Zeffman is young and has grand ideas. During the pandemic, he commissioned opera-film, Eight Songs from Isolation, from eight leading composers to great acclaim. With his latest project Live at the V&A, he…

Flowers Fascinate in a new show at Dulwich Picture Gallery

                                      Karl Blossfeldt 1928. Photogravures Flowers have always fascinated. In an intriguing exhibition entitled Unearthed: Photography’s Roots, The Dulwich Picture Gallery, endeavours to bring us its story of plant photography, from 1840 up to the present day. Taking…

Set free?

A couple of evenings before writing this, I had the privilege of attending the first art song recital with a live audience at London’s Wigmore Hall since it re-opened to socially-distanced audiences in line with the UK’s current ‘roadmap’ for ending lockdown. The concert was an all-Schubert progamme, performed by soprano Carolyn Sampson and pianist…

Worth waiting for: Dubuffet at the Barbican

Freed at last from the Covid lockdown vault, this quirky show may be just the ticket if you’re looking to re-engage with actual, red-in-tooth-and-claw art. He may not be for all tastes, but there’s no denying that the work of Jean Dubuffet (1901-85) still packs quite a punch. Dubuffet it was who famously championed, and…

Brahms Third Symphony – a well-kept secret

Brahms wrote his Symphony no.3 in F major in 1883, at the height of his career. Though it was a great hit with nineteenth-century audiences, very little is known about the sources of this mature work today. We do know that the notoriously secretive composer wrote it in Wiesbaden, a picturesque Rhine resort, and that…