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The Independant - Features

December 15   -  

Tristan and Isolde: Should an opera production be changed if audiences dislike it?

When the director Christof Loy’s production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde first opened at the Royal Opera House in 2009, some of the audience were in for a shock. /

December 15   -  

Handmade vinyl albums: Yours for £2,500

We know that vinyl is back, but now the demand for retro is leading to some extraordinary prices. As LP sales return to a level not seen for almost 20 years, a small west London vinyl-only record label is busy producing handmade limited-edition ...

December 6   -  

Matching up to Beethoven: How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?

Between the ages of 27 and 33, Beethoven wrote nine of his 10 sonatas for piano and violin. /

December 4   -  

Alice in Wonderland uncaged: ZooNation are giving Lewis Carroll the hip-hop treatment

The Royal Ballet's skylit studios at the Royal Opera House always host intense work-outs by dedicated dancers. This time, though, the walls are shaking. The ZooNation Dance Company are rehearsing its new, Lewis Carroll-inspired family show, ...

November 23   -  

Pumeza Matshikiza on soprano megastardom, her township education and why the ANC is a stuck record

In the world of opera, a young star's path to fame usually moves through incremental steps: well-received recordings, high-profile recitals, new stage roles at some prestigious house. The soprano Pumeza Matshikiza – one of an ...

November 18   -  

Blaise Bellville: reinventing classical concerts

"When I was a kid, I wanted to be famous." So begins Blaise Bellville, founder of the music platform Boiler Room, former editor of indie magazine Platform, the brains behind All Age Concerts and now the business partner of one of the ...

November 6   -  

Mozart’s Idomeneo: Martin Kusej is greeted by 'a Mexican wave of booing'

When Kasper Holten became director of the Royal Opera three years ago, he declared that he wanted to take audiences “out of their comfort zone”. Mission accomplished, Kasper. At the latest Covent Garden production of Mozart’s ...

November 4   -  

Philip Glass: From Glassworks to Glassfest

If any composer has changed our world, it is Philip Glass. You know his music even if you don’t think you do: those purling textures, repetitive patterns and slowly evolving harmonies became hallmarks of the “minimalist” style. ...

October 21   -  

Spira Mirabilis: the orchestra without a conductor

In a sports centre in Formigine, a quiet Italian town near Bologna, I am listening to an orchestral rehearsal unlike any I've heard before. Around 40 musicians sit together in a closed circle; in the centre is… nobody. This orchestra, ...

October 11   -  

Tim Steiner's Mission Ruse and the real power of music

The tourists witnessing this cultural skirmish in Ruse's city square are beginning to wonder if they're on Candid Camera. "Ooh!" A classically-trained singer, Ana-Mariq Spataris, concludes her solo operatic squeak by ...
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