Her latest recording, The Silver Violin, finds the Scottish violinist whupping the unit-shifting asses of Elbow, Emili Sandé, Paloma Faith, The Black Keys, etc - with a selection of Shostakovitch, Mahler and Korngold.
Prom 60 - Le Nozze di Figaro - Royal Albert Hall, 28 August 2012 Handel Furioso / The Emperor of Atlantis - Arcola Tent, 29 August 2012
Glyndebourne's new production of Le nozze di Figaro received some ecstatic reviews when it opened at home base a couple of months ago. In front of a capacity audience, the transfer to a Proms semi-staging didn't fare so well.
A blind rescue cat enjoys playing the piano because the sound helps him connect to the outside world, say staff at an animal charity. Stevie Wonder, as he's been named, compensates for his lack of sight with excellent hearing.
Salzburg's chicest interval retreat, the Karl-Böhm-Saal, has been hosting a wardrobe full of shoes all summer. Thirty-four pairs to be specific, hanging from a ceiling as the centrepiece of an installation by Javier Perez. Imaginary
couples dance in circles around a phonograph which endlessly repeats
the same tune.
It's an apt metaphor for the dress sense of the Salzburg audience, to most of whom fashion is a foreign word.
But there were exceptions. Let's start with the most stylish of all.
Die Soldaten - Felsenreitschule, 26 August 2012 (Salzburg Festival)
Amidst the greying audiences of the Salzburg Festival, a 50
year old punter counts as young. And a 50 year old opera can pass as
contemporary. It is perhaps with the conservative spectators of Salzburg (and co-producers
La Scala) in mind that director Alvis Hermanis has declawed Bernd Alois
Zimmermann’s bleak anti-war masterpiece.
Angela Gheorghiu's visit to South Korea isn't going too well.
First off, two of her planned four shows of La bohème with Vittorio Grigolohad to be cancelled after tickets sold poorly amidst overpricing complaints. The most expensive were 570,000 won, or over £300.
Who is Carmen? A seething volcano of unfettered passions? An
independent woman with the courage to forge her own destiny? A projection of
male nympho fantasies? Or a whey-faced Berlin
housewife with the voice of an angel and two left feet?
But as 2012 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of its librettist, Emanuel Schikaneder, and the Salzburg Festival has also programmed his eminently more successful Die Zauberflöte this year, it's not unreasonable of them to give everyone the chance to double-check its cash-in sequel for hitherto-hidden qualities.
Katharina Wagner has confirmed that the opening night of next year's Bayreuth Festival will be shown live in cinemas. The screening of Der Fliegender Holländer follows this year's successful experiment with Parsifal.
Mittwoch aus Licht - Argyle Works Birmingham, 22 August 2012 (World Premiere)
The last opera in Stockhausen's Licht cycle to remain unperformed, Mittwoch received its belated world premiere on Wednesday. It would have been the composer's 84th birthday. Had he still been around, he would have performed the part he wrote for himself - compere of the notorious Helikopter-Streichquartett. That role was assigned instead to the cheesily effective ("Let's hear it for Stockhausen!") DJ Nihal, who rattled the chin-stroking fraternity by treating the whole thing as a Radio 1 Big Weekend with beards.
Let it never be said that Salzburg overlooks its most profitable son. Hot on the heels of The Mozart Soap comes The Mozart Dirndl.
Debutantes at Salzburg's Festspielball on 1 September will sport specially-designed dirndls incorporating photos of this year's Zauberflöte stars on the apron. Look really, really closely at the photos and you may be able to identify Bernard Richter as Tamino and Markus Werba as Papageno between the voluminous folds.
Get 30% off Dress Circle and Upper Circle tickets for the first three performances of ENO's "new" Richard Jones production of Julietta with the code JOURNEY. (Needless to say, there are plenty left, so you may be better off waiting for discounts on the day).
Here's what the 2002 Paris production looked like on its most recent outing, earlier this year in Geneva.
Soapmeister Wolfgang Lederhaas found inspiration for the soap's rose, cypress and laurel fragrance in the opera's libretto.
Before you stampede Superdrug be warned that Die Zauberseife is not available in the shops. So far just 120 pieces have been presented to Nikolaus Harnoncourt for giving away to singers, musicians and friends in commemoration of this year's Salzburg Festival production. Lederhaas does not rule out selling it commercially in future - but only after consultation with the Maestro.