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The Independant - Features

Yesterday   -  

Ambrogio Maestri: The charismatic Italian baritone on food and Falstaff

Ambrogio Maestri is one of the most in- demand opera singers in the world, but if it all ended tomorrow he could probably forge a new career as a television chef. /

June 24   -  

Gabriel Prokofiev on the BBC's Ten Pieces, Nonclassical, and a new Carnival of the Animals

Gabriel Prokofiev is pondering, over a Turkish lunch near his Bethnal Green studio in London, an unexpected development in his career as composer: the BBC has just picked a movement from his Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra for its new Ten ...

June 22   -  

Beating stage fright: Pianist Sara Solovich on tackling her phobia by arranging a solo concert

For most of my adult life, virtually no one – not even my closest friends – knew that I played the piano. And that was how I wanted it. Playing the piano had once defined me, but so, too, had my stage fright. I was the kind of ...

May 24   -  

'I was raped as a child, and only now can I tell my story': How James Rhodes fought the law courts in a battle to be heard

When paedophiles say to their victims, as they all do in one form or another, “If you ever speak about this, unimaginably bad things will happen to you”, what they are doing is perhaps on one level even worse than the physical act of ...

May 18   -  

Johnny Flynn on composing for 'As You Like It', Shakespeare's genius, and the charm of the nyckelharpa

It's night-time and there are strangely beautiful noises emanating from the back rooms of Shakespeare's Globe in London. Through a stage door, down a winding passage far beyond the pomp and glamour of the main stage, in a round ...

May 13   -  

Soprano Danielle de Niese: 'I'm not the first singer to go back to work after having a baby'

Over lunch at Glyndebourne's staff canteen, the soprano Danielle de Niese, who is heavily pregnant, is telling star-studded anecdotes. Recently, en route to a charity gala with her tell-tale bump disguised beneath the drapes of a Vivienne ...

April 25   -  

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: The 1812 Overture cannon

* Local roads were closed, ambulances were on standby. Microphones, suspended between trees, were ready to capture the blast of a Napoleonic cannon borrowed from a military academy. The fifth blast was deemed to be a "take"; the tape ...

April 21   -  

Karol Szymanowski's 'Król Roger': A forgotten classic set to rule again

Back in 2000, Simon Rattle, then music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, brought out a recording of a rarely performed masterpiece: the opera Król Roger (King Roger) by the Polish composer Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937). ...

April 11   -  

El Sistema 40th anniversary: Conductor Gustavo Dudamel says Venezuela project is "the most important thing apart from my family"

Loud explosions after dark tend to make residents of Caracas nervous, but not if they come from behind the house of Frank Di Polo, who apparently can't resist a firework display whenever he has the excuse. He is at it again tonight, sending ...

April 7   -  

Carmen with a twist: From toreador to city boy

When does an expertise become a straitjacket? It is not only actors playing a long-running role in a soap or a detective series who can find themselves "stuck" with a character: pity the opera singer who happens to be good at Carmen. ...
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