Sing the praises of a Jewish Christmas

By Paul Lester, December 18, 2014

Santa Baby. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire). Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Some of the best-known Christmas songs were written by Jews. White Christmas - the biggest-selling single of all time- was penned by a Jew, Irving Berlin, with sales estimated at over 50 million.


Opera: Tristan und Isolde

By Stephen Pollard, December 11, 2014

I first heard Tristan und Isolde 29 years ago, with Reginald Goodall conducting at the ENO. Those performances set a high bar – they were so all-encompassing that I was unable to listen to music for weeks afterwards and, to this day, I can recall the impact.


Jews who really got them going

By John Nathan, November 27, 2014

There is embedded in our culture an oft-repeated story about pop music and it goes something like this: a brilliant talent, usually from a working-class background is discovered by a wealthy agent who exploits the hitherto unknown hopeful to the hilt.


Band Aid: Feeding the world or just their own egos?

By Barry Frankfurt, November 27, 2014

If proof were needed that no good deed goes unpunished, it is evidenced in the response from some quarters to Band Aid 30 and the latest release of the charity hit, Do they know it's Christmas? Smug, self-righteous and patronising are just a few of the criticisms levelled at Sir Bob Geldof and his troupe of all-singing do-gooders.


Interview: Bette Midler

By Ruth Huntman, November 20, 2014

Setting up an audience with the showbusiness behemoth that is Bette Midler is an unnerving experience… for all the right reasons. Let me explain.

When interviewing the famous - especially those of Midler's calibre - there's often a life-draining ritual that must be negotiated before the golden ticket is granted.


She was the voice of the Jewish blues

By John Nathan, November 20, 2014

Next week, the British Greek-Cypriot folk singer Martha D Lewis releases a CD whose inspiration is one of the great, overlooked solo artists of the last century.


Opera review: Idomeneo

By Stephen Pollard, November 13, 2014

Martin Kusej's cult-cum-dictatorship interpretation of Idomeneo was roundly booed on its opening night. But although much of it is rather silly - Arbace wanders around, inexplicably, with an accordion - much of it is rather good. It's thought-provoking to have the chorus singing not in admiration of Idomeneo but compelled by force to do so.


My musical tribute to the kinder

By John Nathan, November 6, 2014

Some works of art were just meant to be. Five decades ago, way before Carl Davis became known for music compositions that became lodged in the public consciousness - among them the theme to the ultimate documentary series, The World at War and the score for the unforgettable movie, The French Lieutenant's Woman - he decided that Vienna was not for him.


Fiddler on the Roof ticket offer

November 3, 2014

We’ve joined the fiddler to shout from the rooftops: opera superstar Bryn Terfel is coming to Grange Park to play Tevye, the homespun philosopher-cum-milkman in Fiddler
on the Roof next
June and July.


My Fiddler on the Roof was born on Cable Street

By John Nathan, October 30, 2014

It was Bryn Terfel's suggestion. The opera superstar could have insisted his first full scale opera at Grange Park featured a classic role: Puccini's Scarpia perhaps, or Wagner's Wotan, Mozart's Don Giovanni or Verdi's Falstaff. But Bock and Harnick's Tevye?