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The Independant - Features

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 ...

September 24   -  

Riccardo Muti's resignation: Does Italy have an opera problem?

When the conductor Riccardo Muti walked away from Rome's Teatro dell'Opera the other day, citing a lack of "serenity", one could scarcely blame him. Beset by financial cutbacks, strikes, deficits, alleged corruption, booing ...

September 7   -  

Katie Derham: Prom queen on a musical mission

Do you remember the film Pleasantville? Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon as brother and sister transported back to a perfect 1950s American town where everyone lives in black and white, polite, safe and utterly dull? As they bring ...

August 28   -  

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

You just can't keep a bad woman down. In the case of Salomé, an archetype of subversive sexuality since the first century AD, she never seems to stop unveiling, and re-veiling, herself. /

August 26   -  

Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

The refined world of classical music and the murky depths of addiction are not typically mentioned together. But now a new documentary brings together addicts to face their biggest fears and play, not only together as an orchestra, but on stage ...
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