Sunday, June 25, 2017
Alexander Papp, 16 has won Scotland’s national orchestra’s Notes From Scotland, its annual competition for 12-18 year olds. His work, titled Progeny, was inspired by Glen Coe. Alexander is in Year 11 at Bedford School in the Home Counties, studies violin at Junior Guildhall (JGSM) in London and is an Associate Composer with the Britten Sinfonia Academy. In September, he will take up a scholarship at the Purcell School at Bushey, on the outskirts of London. photo: Martin Shields/RNSO
After an unexpectedly tight and high-quality final, the Scottish mezzo-soprano Catriona Morison was declared winner of the competition. Morison, 31, carefully avoided familiar crowd-pleasers in her final selection – with the exception of Dido’s Lament from Purcell’s opera, in which she gave a heartfelt performance. Morison, a Scot, is a member of the ensemble at Wuppertal Opera in Germany. The English soprano Louise Alder won the audience prize.
It in 1957, her first year at U. Texas-Austin - and the first year black students were admitted as undergrads - that Conrad was cast as Dido, opposite a white student, in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. She was harassed not only by white students but also by state legislators, who threatened to withhold funding from the university if she were not replaced.
The death is reported on May 22 of Barbara Smith Conrad, a Texas mezzo who sang at the Met from 1982 to 1989 and won leading roles with Houston, Pittsburgh, City Opera and the Vienna State Opera. She was 79. Barbara was in the first group of Afro-American students to be admitted to the University of Texas in 1956. After singing Dido in Purcell’s opera, she was attacked by whites students on her way home. The university then dropped her from the production. Harry Belafonte stepped in with a pledge to pay her college fees wherever she wanted to study, but Barbara stayed in Texas, determined to defeat prejudice by achieving graduation. At the end of her singing career, she was appointed professor.
Two London events: Oedipa collaborates with the extraordinary female baritone Lucia Lucas (Wuppertaler Bühnen, Deutsche Oper, Chicago Opera Theatre) on an evening of song in transition: from masc to femme, classical to queer and oppression to freedom. Singing Bizet, Britten, Wagner, Purcell and Adams, flirting with Sarah Vaughan and Rocky Horror, Lucia draws on her experience singing classical repertoire across the world to tell her incredible story and celebrate the fluidity and plurality of gender in opera. Tickets here .
We are informed of the death of Nada Puttar-Gold who was a member of Berlin’s City opera in the late 1950s and of the Frankfurt company until 1966. She then returned to her native Croatia, singing at Zagreb Opera until 1979. She commanded more than 60 roles, from Purcell’s Dido to late Richard Strauss.
Great composers of classical music