Wigmore Hall's 2013- 2014 concert season opens on 7 September with a rare bari-summit. Bryn Terfel and Simon Keenlyside join forces in what is likely to be the recital of the Wigmore season.
Other highlights include a five-concert survey of Bach’s keyboard works by András Schiff. Yo-Yo Ma comes to Wigmore Hall on 29 April 2014 to give his first recital there for more than 20 years. Matthias Goerne returns to Wigmore Hall after a three-year absence on 25 September for the first of two recitals in 2013/14, opening with songs by Schubert and moving on to music by Mahler and Shostakovich in January with Leif Ove Andsnes.
Der fliegende Holländer - Oper Zürich - Royal Festival Hall, 15 December 2012
As they've done a few times before, Zurich Opera interrupted their home schedule to bring a concert version of a current show to the Royal Festival Hall - orchestra, singers and all.
This time round, it was their new production of Der fliegende Holländer. Both London houses have tackled it recently. Neither managed, with all the costumes, curtains and furnishing items at their disposal, anything nearly as thrilling as Zurich gave us with a bare stage - and a few top-class singers.
Die Walküre - Royal Opera House, 26 September 2012
Is unintentional humour the most authentic element of any
modern Ring production? After all, 19th century Bayreuth audiences split their corsets
guffawing at the sadly literal ‘special effects’ sanctioned by Wagner himself. Brünnhilde’s entrance in Wednesday’s
Die Walküre continued the tradition.
As Gustavo Dudamel returned to the stage to take yet another round of applause, he was accompanied by a statuesque figure in a horned helmet and eyepatch with a dead sheep slung around his neck.
Their mambo days now apparently behind them, the no-longer-youth orchestra encored with Abendlich strahlt der Sonne Auge from Das Rheingold - the sheepskin-draped figure revealed as Bryn Terfel.
I can report that he's loud enough to drown out what looked like 140 musicians. And he knows all the words. All good news of course for those of us lucky enough to have tickets for autumn's Ring cycles at Covent Garden.