Archive for the ‘Angelika Kirschlager’ Category

Angelika Kirschlager: three world-ranking mezzos #1

December 15, 2008
With a rare chance to compare three world-ranking mezzos in London in the space of five days, I saw the first, Angelika Kirschlager, in Hansel und Gretel at Covent Garden last Friday.

She – and the opera – were magnificent. In her usual “trouser role”, this time playing a youthful country boy, Kirschlager impressed all night long. Her singing was supple yet powerful, her comic and dramatic acting delightful.

Ms Kirschlager wasn’t the only reason for my visit, though – locally revered baritone Thomas Allen was predictably luminous as the confused Father and Diana Damrau is a compelling soprano whose acting eventually matched Kirschlager’s. The house band under Colin Davis was consistently reliable, occasionally moving.

My pre-show doubts about a fairy tale subject written by a one-hit wonder (Humperdinck) were entirely misplaced. This is an engaging version, directed by the Leiser/Caurier duo who’ve been responsible for some outstanding Covent Garden shows in recent years.

You can catch it on BBC Radio 3 tomorrow, Tuesday 16 December, at 1930.

Gerry Smith

Kirschlager, Didonato and Bartoli: three world-ranking mezzos play London

December 11, 2008
In the space of the next five days, I’m due to see Angelika Kirschlager, Joyce Didonato and Cecilia Bartoli, three world-ranking mezzo-sopranos, singing at three different London gigs:

· Kirschlager in Hansel und Gretel at Covent Garden tomorrow,

· Didonato singing Handel repertoire at the Barbican on Saturday,

· and Bartoli in a Rossini recital, also at the Barbican, next Wednesday.

Music for Grown-Ups Heaven!

Having seen all three before, several times each, my expectations are astronomically high: three of the greatest female voices on the planet – on show in one city at virtually the same time. It’ll be instructive, if invidious, to compare and contrast. Watch Music For Grown-Ups for reviews.

Gerry Smith

Louis Armstrong, The Police, Angelika Kirschlager

December 9, 2008
FREE! Music for grown-ups on the BBC in the next 10 days

Hidden among its vast TV and radio output, the BBC broadcasts some magnificent music for grown-ups. Every week of the year. And it’s all free – well, sort of… .

Wed 10 Dec
1200 & 2200 Robert Schumann, Composer Of The Week
(3/5, continues Thurs-Fri) – BBC Radio 3

Thurs 11 Dec
2300 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC Radio 2

Fri 12 Dec
2100 Roy Orbison, Legends – BBC Four
2200 Roy Sings Orbison – BBC Four

Sun 14 Dec
2400 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC 6 Music

Tues 16 Dec
1930 Hansel und Gretel, featuring Angelika Kirschlager,
live from Covent Garden – BBC Radio 3

Thurs 18 Dec
2100 Louis Armstrong, Omnibus – BBC Four
2210 Louis Armstrong, Show Of The Week – BBC Four
2300 Louis Armstrong, Good Evening Ev’rybody – BBC Four
2300 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC Radio 2

Fri 19 Dec
2130 & 0220 The Swing Thing – BBC Four

Online access: many BBC radio programmes are broadcast live online – please see the channels’ web sites for details. Some BBC radio and TV programmes are also accessible online via iPlayer for a short period after transmission:

And on the commercial networks:

Mon 15 Dec
2405 Spectacle: Elvis Costello with The Police – C4

Gerry Smith