Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014

Mozart to Masekela, summer festivals for all tastes

Singers (L-R) Monika Bohinec as Magdalena, Anna Gabler as Eva, Roberto Sacca as Walther von Stolzing and Peter Sonn as David perform on stage during a dress rehearsal of Richard Wagner's opera 'Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg' in Salzburg in this July 29, 2013 Source: Reuters Singers (L-R) Monika Bohinec as Magdalena, Anna Gabler as Eva, Roberto Sacca as Walther von Stolzing and Peter Sonn as David perform on stage during a dress rehearsal of Richard Wagner's opera 'Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg' in Salzburg in this July 29, 2013 Source: Reuters
Reuters | Posted: June 20, 2014 12:29 pm

From picnicking at Glyndebourne to tippling a Riesling in the Rheingau region of Germany, summer is a great time to relax and hear an opera or a favourite jazz performer at festivals anywhere from the Swiss alps to Johannesburg. Here is a selection highlighted by Reuters journalists.

Glyndebourne
Glyndbourne, Lewes, England, May 17-Aug 24
It’s famous for its traditional English-style hamper picnics on the beautifully manicured lawns and at tables on the exterior balconies of the opera house. But it is the music-making that goes on inside that really counts. Productions this year include Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier”, Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”, Handel’s “Rinaldo” and Verdi’s “La Traviata”. But what sets the Glyndebourne regulars’ hearts aflutter are the productions of Mozart for which the house is justly famous, and the two this year are “Don Giovanni” and “La Finta Giardiniera” that had its premiere in 1775 just before Mozart’s 19th birthday. Tickets 50 -215 pounds ($85-$360). (glyndbourne.com)
Michael Roddy
Rheingau Music Festival
Various venues, Rheingau region of Germany, June 28-Sept 13
This in some respects is a wine-region tour with a music festival attached, with so much going on it boggles the mind. Suffice to say that a festival that can encompass everything from an opening concert tribute to Shakespeare’s birthday with sopranos Miah Persson and Golda Schulz to jazz great Bobby McFerrin “and friends” to a kiddie concert featuring Bert and Ernie, the Muppet characters from “Sesame Street”, is eclectic, to say the least. Other names on tap include pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and violinist Julia Fischer, while the festival’s composer and artist in residence is Jorg Widmann, a top-notch clarinetist and cutting-edge composer all in one. A rolling feast of fun, an hour’s drive from Frankfurt and with ticket prices in the 15-to-80 euro ($20-$110) range. And don’t forget to sample the Riesling. (rheingau-musik-festival.de/)

Ilona Wissenbach/Michael Roddy
Istanbul Jazz Festival
Istanbul, Turkey, July 1-16
Fans of the TV series “House” can catch its star, Hugh Laurie, on the piano at Istanbul’s annual jazz festival. The actor is a versatile musician who has settled on the keyboard with his blues-inspired Copper Bottom Band. Rising stars such as Cecile McLorin Salvant, the 25-year-old Grammy nominee whose vocals have been compared to Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, and Brooklyn-based, rock-influenced bandleader and composer Darcy James Argue also perform at the festival staged by Turkey’s most venerable cultural institution, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV). Benin singer Angelique Kidjo, South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela continued…

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