Angela Meade wins seventh Beverly Sills Award
2 February 2012, New York, US
Meade as Elvira in the Met’s 'Ernani'(Photo: Marty Sohl)
Soprano Angela Meade has been named the seventh recipient of the Metropolitan Opera’s Beverly Sills Artist Award.
Launched in 2006, the annual $50,000 Award is open to singers aged 25 to 40 who have performed solo roles at the Met.
Meade made her Met debut in 2008 as Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani, and has subsequently appeared as the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and, most recently, in the title role of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena.
‘I would have loved to have met Ms Sills,’ said Meade, ‘since we share much of the same repertoire, and her interpretations of Norma, Anna Bolena, Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux, Cleopatra and Violetta have been a great inspiration to me.’
Glyndebourne wind turbine unveiled
25 January 2012, East Sussex, UK
Glyndebourne's executive chairman Gus Christie with Sir David Attenborough(Photo: Charlotte Boulton)
A wind turbine on the Glyndebourne Estate in East Sussex has been launched by the veteran broadcaster and environmentalist, Sir David Attenborough.
Although designed to provide the opera house with renewable energy, the 67-metre turbine has also succeeded in generating its fair share of controversy, with detractors claiming that it is a blot on the South Downs’ landscape.
Attenborough, who spoke in support of the project at a public inquiry in 2008, described the finished result as ‘beautiful’, adding: ‘It is a joy to be involved in something which is working with the environment and not against it.’
Barcelona's Liceu announces cost-cutting closure
24 January 2012, Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona's Gran Teatro del Liceu
Financial difficulties have forced Barcelona’s Gran Teatro del Liceu to plan eight weeks of closures, from 20 March to 10 April and 5 June to 8 July.
Cuts in subsidies from the Spanish Culture Ministry and Catalonia’s regional government, combined with a fall in corporate sponsorship and ticket sales, have left the company with a running deficit of €3.7 million ($4.8 million).
A total of 27 performances of seven productions will be affected, and temporary staff layoffs are also expected. Unions representing the company’s 395 workers have already begun negotiations with management.
The Liceu’s director general, Joan Francesc Marco, said: ‘It is sad and regrettable to cut performances but we cannot compromise on artistic integrity.’
Keith Warner quits Royal Danish Opera
24 January 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark
Keith Warner(Photo: Martin Søby)
The British director, Keith Warner, is leaving his post as the artistic director of Royal Danish Opera after just six months at the company’s helm. His decision follows severe budget cuts of more than £11 million, announced at the end of 2011.
‘A combination of factors, made acute by the recent devastating budget cuts, has led me to feel that in the present circumstances I am unable to realise my great dreams for the company,’ said Warner’s official statement.
The same press release also reported that Jakob Hrůša, who had been appointed by Warner as Royal Danish Opera’s next music director, ‘no longer wishes to assume the position’.
NYCO pulls back from the brink
19 January 2012, New York, US
NYCO's George Steel(Photo: René Perez)
New York City Opera (NYCO) has made an important step forward in union negotiations that will allow the company to proceed with rehearsals for its Spring 2012 season.
A lock-out had been called for the first rehearsal of the season by unions, who are resisting plans by NYCO’s artistic director, George Steel, to abolish salaries for members of the orchestra and chorus.
The delicate negotiations, still underway at the time of writing, are reported to be making positive progress.
The company’s current woes follow a long series of setbacks, including a substantial loss of revenue in 2008-09 during the refurbishment of the David H. Koch Theater (formerly the New York State Theater), where the company had been resident since 1966. This arrangement ended last year, when a review of NYCO’s business model concluded that the company should move out of its Lincoln Center home altogether.
The remainder of the company’s current season is due to feature four productions, including Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna starring soprano, Melody Moore.
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