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The Independant - Features

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. ...

March 31   -  

How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies sits opposite me at a long table in one of the London Coliseum's odder side rooms: a heavily wallpapered, windowless space in which one might imagine local ghosts wandering by to eavesdrop. She is about to join the roster of ...

March 28   -  

9/11 opera Between Worlds envisages what happened inside the towers

We all remember where we were on 9/11. /

February 24   -  

As 'The Indian Queen' opens, can Peter Sellars save the ENO?

These are grim times at English National Opera. Earlier this month the company, which occupies the London Coliseum, the capital's largest theatre, was placed in "special measures" by Arts Council England: it has two years to shape ...

February 19   -  

The age-old art of musical page turning is under threat from the accursed iPad

Sam Haywood, a leading British concert pianist, was in dazzling command of a particularly challenging piece when the chair to his left "got too close to the edge of the stage," he recalls. The unnamed woman, who had been sitting on it ...
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