Monday 1 January 2024

A time to look back

Wagner: Die Walküre - Keel Watson (Wotan) - Regents Opera 2023 (Photo: Steve Gregson
The late Keel Watson as Wotan in Wagner's Die Walküre with Regents Opera in 2023 (Photo: Steve Gregson

New Year is always a time to look back and remember. 2023 saw us publishing 627 articles, from our review of the Dunedin Consort's 2022 New Year's Eve concert at Wigmore Hall to our note about Adam Whitmore and Phoenix Consort's crowdfunding for their debut disc of music by Alex Campkin. A total of 70 opera reviews, over 80 concert reviews, and over 40 interviews. 

You can explore further in our recently updated archives of live reviews, record reviews, and interviews.

Overseas events that we covered included Le piano symphonique festival in Lucerne, Britten's Peter Grimes in Paris, Handel's Saul at the Komische Oper Berlin, Christoph Loy's production of Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Carmen at Oper im Steinbruch in Austria, the launch of the Dresden Music Festival's historically informed Ring cycle with Das Rheingold, and the Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival

Also in Bayreuth at the Bayreuth Festival, our correspondent Tony caught Valentin Schwarz’ Ring cycle for a second time around, Klaus Florian Vogt as Tannhäuser, Jay Scheib's Augmented Reality production of Parsifal and Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production of Der fliegende Holländer. Tony was also highly impressed by the Ring Cycle presented by Sofia Opera in Bulgaria.

Still in Ring mode our correspondent Florence saw English National Opera's new production of Wagner's Das Rheingold, and Regents Opera's continuation of its Ring with Die Walküre featuring the late Keel Watson as Wotan.

In the UK, we were in Manchester to talk to the Manchester Camerata and conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy,  and the Stoller Hall, hear the orchestra in Mozart and catch up with the RNCM. And in Leeds we caught Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, Puccini's Tosca and La Rondine, and the Masque of Might at Opera North, and caught up with composer Jasdeep Singh Degun.

Interviews in 2023 included Cameron Menzies of Northern Ireland Opera, film composer Debbie Wiseman, composer Bushra El-Turk, conductor Francesco Cilluffo, and an 80th birthday interview with Stephen Montague. We chatted to two LGBT singers, Reginald Mobley and Elgan Llyr Thomas, had a bit of a Canadian theme with interviews with composer Margaret Maria, baritone Etienne Dupuis, and conductor Alexander Shelley.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year

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