News, Commentary on Classical Music, Jazz, Theater, Dance & More


Christian Thielemann Appointed Music Director of Bayreuth Via Parking Spot

Christian Thielemann Music Director of Bayreuth - Announced Via Parking Spot >>

Talk about a less than stellar way to annouce big news. It's been revealed via a publically viewed parking spot that Christian Thielemann has been appointed music director of the Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Germany.

RESULTS: The International Opera Awards 2014 Are Announced, Posthumous Prize for Gerard Mortier

RESULTS: The International Opera Awards 2014 Are Announced, Posthumous Prize for Gerard Mortier >>

The venerable Opera magazine has announced the winners of its still-rather-new annual awards, the "Operas" (think Oscars but with more singing and a smaller budget). Since Opera has been the bible for international opera reviews for many decades, it's a nice idea and one that makes sense. It would be nice to be able to post Opera reviews for all of the winners, or sound clips from recent productions from them all, and maybe that's something the organizers can look at next year.

DEADLINE: Wagner Society of Santa Fe Wants Your 'Ring' Sequel >>

Wagnerites, take heed. In celebration of both National Opera Week as well as the composer's ongoing 200th, the Wagner Society of Santa Fe is seeking sequels to Der Ring des Nibelungen--specifically, what happens to Alberich. Yes, all would-be librettists are invited to imagine the treacherous dwarf's fate after the Ring's fiery en

Mnozil Brass Unleashing Boundary-Pushing Fun, in the U.S., on 20th Anniversary Tour >>

When you weren't looking, Mnozil Brass quietly entered the U.S. And now, they're about to spring their blistering virtuosity and kamikaze-like humor on unsuspecting audiences in such places as Indiana, Penn. and Grand Ledge, Mich.

French Director Patrice Chéreau, Revered for Wagner's 'Ring,' Dead at 68 >>

French opera, theater and film director Patrice Chéreau has died of lung cancer, aged 68. One of the most revered, one might even say iconic directors of his era, Chéreau may have finally been defeated by Napoleon--as in his doomed, but repeated efforts to make a movie about the dictator starring Al Pacino--but that experience clearly never put him off working with outsize characters, as opera remained a passion.

Classicalite's Five Best: Richard Wagner Recordings

Classicalite's Five Best: Richard Wagner Recordings >>

Wagner's epic operas are rather long for you to plough through all the available recordings looking for favorites, so don't worry, we've done it for you.

Yoav Talmi is the Old/New Music Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra >>

A third shot at a job, and it's about time to get it right. Not that Israeli conductor Yoav Talmi got it wrong the last two times, but the band he's just taken on again as now three-time music director, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, has never quite broken into the elite league.

The Column: Teresa Berganza’s Tongue-Lashing for Opera Directors, and Why She’s Less than Half-Right >>

Teresa Berganza, one of the truly great mezzo-sopranos of the 20th century and now in her late 70s, has given a controversial interview to 'Le Figaro.' In it she castigates today's opera directors, at least the ones who "respect neither the time nor the music." She's not the first, she won't be the last, but she's over-simplifying and distorting every bit as much as she accuses the objects of her ire of doing.


Wagner @ Bayreuth: What to Make of Frank Castorf's 'Ring'...Overall? >>

Richard Wagner made hand grenades for the 1849 Dresden uprising, so maybe he would have cheered the tumultuous end of his 200th birthday 'Ring Cycle' in Bayreuth, a production that has raised questions over his heirs running the festival.

Wagner @ Bayreuth: Frank Castorf's 'Götterdämmerung' Booed Out of Bayreuth

Wagner @ Bayreuth: Frank Castorf's 'Götterdämmerung' Booed Out of Bayreuth >>

The gods did not go up in flames, but the audience erupted in a fury of booing on Wednesday night as an unorthodox new staging of Richard Wagner's 'Ring Cycle' for his 200th birthday at his opera house in Bayreuth came to a near-riotous conclusion.

Door Still Open for Concussed Andris Nelsons to Conduct 'Lohengin' at Bayreuth >>

( does that mean said door is closed now?)

Wagner @ Bayreuth: Frank Castorf's 'Siegfried' as Bad as Expected

Wagner @ Bayreuth: Frank Castorf's 'Siegfried' as Bad as Expected >>

It was bound to happen in a staging of Richard Wagner's 'Ring' cycle someday, but few would have expected that in Wagner's own opera house, in his bicentenary year his hero Siegfried would kill the fierce dragon Fafner with a machine gun instead of a magic sword.

Wagner @ Bayreuth: Frank Castorf's 'Rheingold' and 'Walküre' Better Than Expected

Wagner @ Bayreuth: Frank Castorf's 'Rheingold' and 'Walküre' Better Than Expected >>

An oil-themed staging of Richard Wagner's famous 'Ring Cycle' for his bicentenary year in the opera house he built in Bayreuth showed signs on Saturday of defying predictions it would be a disaster that might even bring down the house.

Enrico Nawarth

Richard Wagner's New 'Ring Cycle' at Bayreuth [PHOTOS] >>

Abendzeitung, a liberal evening tabloid in Munich, has published the first photos of the latest production of Richard Wagner's 'Der Ring des Nibelungen' at Bayreuth. And in our honest English opinion, they're pretty darn erstaunlich.

UPDATE: Boston Symphony Orchestra's Mark Volpe, Andris Nelsons Issue Statements Regarding Verdi at Tanglewood, Concussion at Bayreuth >>

Andris Nelsons, the BSO's brand new Latvian conductor, was concussed by a door in Bayreuth earlier this week. Right now, he is in a German hospital--forbidden to fly to the Berkshires.

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