Music

Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor

By Stephen Pollard, April 15, 2016

It's quite some feat by Katie Mitchell, the director of this risible Lucia di Lammermoor, to reduce the audience to almost uncontrollable laughter as Lucia and Alisa try to kill the bound, blindfolded Arturo. It's certainly funnier than the average sitcom. But I somehow doubt that was Mitchell's intention.

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100 years on, 'my father Yehudi is still a visionary'

By Jessica Duchen, April 14, 2016

Yehudi Menuhin, whose centenary falls on April 22, was certainly a great violinist. Crucially, though, he was much more besides: as a humanitarian visionary he set in motion initiatives that transformed the world's musical landscape with ideas often well ahead of their time.

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Opera review: Boris Godunov

By Stephen Pollard, March 17, 2016

First, the positives: it's a rare pleasure to see the original version of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, and all the better to have its seven scenes played in one, 130-minute sweep, with no interval. Antonio Pappano's command of the music is impressive, and the chorus as dominant a character as it should be but rarely is.

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Recipe: Duck stir-fry with plum sauce

By Annabel Karmel, February 18, 2016

Give your stir-fry a sweet and sour edge with a dash of plum sauce, soy sauce and ginger. The oriental flavours are a perfect match for duck breast. Serve with rice or stir-fried vegetables.

Makes: 3-4 portions

Preparation: 8 minutes

Cook: 12 minutes

ingredients

2 x 150 g skinless duck breasts, cut into strips

4 tbsp plum sauce

2 tbsp sunflower oil

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This is music to their ears

By Lena Nemirovsky-Wiskind, January 7, 2016

Our Jerusalem Conservatory Hassadna, of which I am executive director, is guided by the belief that any child, regardless of socio-economic level, ethnicity or religious affiliation, should be provided with the opportunity to experience music instruction of the highest calibre.

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No one can Beat Amram, the jazz genius

By David Herman, January 4, 2016

David Amram has had an extraordinary life. He knew Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Pete Seeger, he played with jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk and worked with Leonard Bernstein and Elia Kazan among many, many others.

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Opera: Eugene Onegin

By Stephen Pollard, December 23, 2015

Let's pass over the unforgivably drab scenery and costumes, and concentrate on the - wonderful - plusses of this first revival of Kasper Holten's production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Holten's central conceit - having the story performed as a flashback, with alter egos of both Tatyana and Onegin watching on - has been badly received generally.

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How we all got under his skin

By Michael Freedland, December 19, 2015

Everyone - of a certain age - knows that Frankie became the Chairman of the Board. What they probably don't know was that the board was that of his local synagogue in Palm Springs. Of course, it was just an honorary job, but the Temple wanted to show their appreciation in some way. For without Frank Sinatra they might still be in what the estate agents like to call temporary accommodation.

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'My operatic world beyond Carmen'

By Yehuda Shapiro, November 12, 2015

It's not every day you meet a notorious femme fatale. The Israeli mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham is in London for her debut at English National Opera, appearing in a new production of Verdi's The Force of Destiny, but the world knows her best as Bizet's Carmen. As it happens, it was in the UK that she first took on the untameable gypsy - at Glyndebourne in 2004.

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Opera's House of Diamonds

By Yehuda Shapiro, October 8, 2015

'Every respectable house in the world has an opera studio," says Michael Ajzenstadt, and the company of which he is artistic administrator is no exception.

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