Sunday, August 20, 2017
The Swiss conductor will be awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s gold medal at the BBC Proms this week. press release: One of classical music’s highest honours, the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal, has been awarded to the Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit. He becomes the 103rd recipient since the medal was founded in 1870 in celebration of the centenary of the birth of Beethoven (London’s Philharmonic Society commissioned Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and enjoyed a close association with the composer). The medal will be presented to Charles Dutoit at the BBC Proms, on Thursday 17 August as part of a concert at the Royal Albert Hall (and live on BBC Radio 3) by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.* Charles Dutoit is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and conducts a programme that includes Saint-Saën’s 3rd Symphony, commissioned by the Philharmonic Society in 1886. Current RPS Gold Medallists include Martha Argerich, Janet Baker, Daniel Barenboim, Alfred Brendel, Placido Domingo, Bernard Haitink, György Kurtag, Antonio Pappano, Thomas Quasthoff, Simon Rattle, András Schiff, John Tomlinson and Mitsuko Uchida. Distinguished conductors previously awarded the RPS Gold Medal include: Thomas Beecham; Bruno Walter; Arturo Toscanini; Felix Weingartner; Adrian Boult; John Barbirolli; Herbert von Karajan; Leonard Bernstein; Georg Solti; Colin Davis; Pierre Boulez; Claudio Abbado; Charles Mackerras and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
A compelling TV interview, nine years old and in English and Russian, reveals the genuine respect and affection between two great singers. Nothing faked for the cameras. An organic encounter, irresistible. ‘You take after Domingo, don’t you?’ Kaufmann is asked. ‘You mean I learn roles on the plane?’ he replies. Enjoy.
More laid back Down Under than he can afford to be back home, Jonas Kaufmann began talking at a press conference about the roles he is learning for future performance. Among them are Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Pelléas in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Samson in the Saint-Saens opera and Paul in Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Die tote Stadt. This is revealing for all sorts of reasons, not least that Kaufmann is concerned to leave an individual footprint on the opera repertoire. Pelléas and Paul are two roles that do not appear among Placido Domingo’s record 147 career roles. Kaufmann would have the opportunity to own them. We are indebted to Limelight’s close reporting of Kaufmann in Australia. photo: Opera Australia
The results of the annual Domingo talent show: 1st Prize Adela Zaharia, soprano – Romania Levy Sekgapane, tenor – South Africa 2nd Prize Kristina Mkhitaryan, soprano – Russia Davide Giusti, tenor – Italy 3rd Prize Maria Mudryak, soprano – Kazakhstan Leon Kim, baritone – South Korea Birgit Nilsson Prize Oksana Sekerina, soprano – Russia Boris Prýgl, bass-baritone – Czech Republic
The 12 finalists have just been selected: Vlada Borovko, soprano, Russia, 29Rupert Enticknap, countertenor, UK, 30Davide Giusti, tenor, Italy, 30Leon Kim, baritone, South Korea, 30Ruslana Koval, soprano, Ukraine, 27Kristina Mkhitaryan, soprano, Russia, 30Maria Mudryak, soprano, Kazakhstan, 23Emmett O’Hanlon, baritone, USA, 27 So Young Park, soprano, South Korea, 31Boris Prýgl, bass-baritone, Czech Republic, 25Oksana Sekerina, soprano, Russia, 30Levy Sekgapane, tenor, South Africa, 26Adela Zaharia, soprano, Romania, 29 Sooyeon Lee, soprano, South Korea, 28 Emmett is based in Chicago, Rupert in Berlin.
Katharina Wagner has let it be known that next year’s new Lohengrin production (succeeding the one with the rats) will feature Robert Alagna as the hero and Anja Harteros as Elsa. The sought-after Harteros replaces Anne Netrebko, the original choice of conductor Christian Thielemann. There is combustive potential in that team. Waltraud Meier returns as Ortrud after an incredibly long absence, Georg Zeppenfeld sings King Heinrich and Tomasz Konieczny is Telramund. The show will be staged by Bayreuth’s first American director, Yuval Sharon. What can possibly go wrong? In other Bayreuth news: Placido Domingo will conduct next summer’s Walküre.
Great opera singers