It's new season time: we've got some hot news of our own, plus a big collection of new listings on the site as the new seasons get under way.
Our most exciting news this month is our blue "Listen Now by Naxos" buttons. When you find music in our concert or opera listings, you can click on the blue button and listen to whole recordings of the 1,000 most listed works on our site, courtesy of the Naxos Music Library (if you want to own what you've just heard, you can then click through to buy downloads or CDs). We think this will be great if you are considering going to a concert and would like to listen to the works being played before making a decision. As an example take a look at Dvořák’s upcoming concerts and try out the blue button.
We have been talking to many of the larger UK venues and orchestras over the summer and are now working with far more of them. This means that you can click from hundreds of the events directly to the right booking page for your event. Here are some of the cities where we have new partners:
- Gateshead - The Sage
- Liverpool - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
- Southampton - Southampton - Turner Sims
- Basingstoke - The Anvil
- Nottingham - various venues
- Cardiff - various venues
- Bristol - various venues
- Oxford - various venues
The BBC Proms is now over for another year with Royal Albert Hall concerts achieving an average attendance of 94% capacity. Bachtrack.com reviewed 53 of the concerts and you can find these reviews on:
David reviewed the last night of the Proms and you will see that at the top of the list but we would also love to hear your views on the Last Night of the Proms concert so we’ve set up a poll on Facebook. Do give us your feedback here:
Speaking of Facebook, we're trying out their system which lets you write a comment on one of our reviews and share it directly to your Facebook friends. Try it out on any of our reviews, and let us know what you think.
Highlights of the opera season include the production of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead (based on the Dostoyevsky novel), conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and starring Sir Willard White, and the Berlin première of Luigi Nono’s Al Gran sole carico d’amore, directed by Katie Mitchell and taking place at the industrial Kraftwerk Mitte. On the lighter side, Smetana’s The Bartered Bride will be directed by Balázs Kovalik and should be a glorious romp.
There are four premières to expand the repertoire of Staatsballett Berlin in the 2011 - 12 season. Two works are new to Staatsballett Berlin’s repertoire: Peer Gynt (Spoerli) and Romeo and Juliet (Cranko), and there are two world premières in June: a short work by Marco Goecke and The Open Square, a full length choreography by Itzik Galili.
Plácido Domingo will conduct one performance of Carmen and perform once in the title role of Simon Boccanegra alongside Barbara Frittoli in July next year. Frittoli also plays Desdemona in a première of Verdi’s Otello with Peter Seiffert as Otello and Thomas Hampson as the scheming Iago. Zurich are also putting on Rossini’s Otello (with John Osborn, Cecilia Bartoli and Antonino Siragusa) so it will be fascinating to compare the two takes on the flawed hero. You can also see The Nose, Pfitzner’s Palestrina, 2 lesser known Donizetti short operas, Borodin’s Prince Igor and a host of more standard opera titles.
Zurich ballet will première Mats Ek’s Dornröschen (Sleeping Beauty) created originally for Hamburg in 1996 and a world première of a Heinz Spoerli choreography of Richard Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel paired with a re-working of Gluck’s Don Juan.
You might not expect to see a brand new festival in these straitened times, but you'd be wrong: the inaugural Northumberland Music Festival opens its doors at the end of October in a collection of beautiful stately homes. Do support it, so that we'll see many more in future years.
For vocal lovers the Belfast Festival at Queens is coming up next month with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa headlining and some really good vocal groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble and Gabrieli Consort performing. The glorious Carmina Burana can be heard there too.
In Germany the annual Beethovenfest is just underway with a first rate list of over 50 concerts (encompassing much more than Beethoven), so if you are near Bonn, consider checking the concerts here.
David and Alison Karlin