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Join Us Sunday, 10 May To Watch and Chat: Die Walkure, Act One. 5 PM (British Summer Time)

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday, 7 May 2020 | 11:30:00 pm


Join us over at Twitch for video "watch party" of act one of Walkure. Meet some new friends, chat with some old ones and most importantly, watch act one of Die Walkure, (English subs). Preshow, mini-documentaries included. Click here to register, watch or view brief highlights of last weeks Tristan,
11:30:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Opera Australia launches free online streaming platform with Joan Sutherland in the starring role

Written By The Wagnerian on Sunday, 3 May 2020 | 4:27:00 pm

Unable to perform live while the country is in COVID-19 lock-down, Opera Australia has created another way to share their performances with opera fans, today launching OA | TV: Opera Australia on Demand, a free online streaming service.

OA | TV will feature exclusive content from its back catalogue that includes the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dame Joan Sutherland performances on video and Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, plus a series of chat show style interviews called In Conversation with Lyndon Terracini and unique ‘behind the scenes’ footage.

Each week OA will add new content to the platform. The launch will feature one of Dame Joan Sutherland’s most celebrated performances, that of Hannah Glawari in the 1988 production of Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow, performed at the Sydney Opera House, directed by Lofti Mansouri and conducted by Richard Bonynge.

Also available on the platform from today, the full length production of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s inaugural 2012 season of La Traviata, that was due to be revived in 2020 before being cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The first instalment of the In Conversation with Lyndon Terracini series with OA’s Concert Master Jun Yi Ma, reveals his fascinating journey from being handpicked for specialist coaching at age five in China, performing for President Reagan at the White House aged 12 years, to landing the role of Concert Master for the Tasmanian Symphony before being enticed to join OA by Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini.

"Opera Australia is renowned for defying international trends of declining audience numbers and is constantly evolving its programming in an endeavour to broaden its audience but the coronavirus was not part of the plan" says Mr Terracini. “Understandably it’s been devastating for everyone at the Company not being able to perform through this crisis, and we know our fans are missing us as much as we’re missing being on stage. We’ve actually been wanting to launch OA | TV for some time, and now we have the right digital platform and the time to develop it, so we can share not only our rich history with our fans, but also it’s an opportunity for them to meet some of our incredibly talented artists as well as some of the key people working behind the scenes, with a series of interviews we’re going to do. “OA has an extensive archive of legendary operatic performances. We’ve got the largest collection of Joan Sutherland videos in the world, and it’s such a great honour to be able to share these gems with her fans,” he said.

OA | TV will launch with four program categories; In Conversation with Lyndon Terracini, Opera in the Sydney

Opera House, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour and The Best of Dame Joan Sutherland, a collection of her most famous arias that transformed her into Australia’s most loved opera singer and a world-wide operatic sensation.

tv.opera.org.au

Note: OA | TV will not be live until midnight Sunday 3 May 2020
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Join Us Sunday, 3 May For A Free One Day "Live" Online Little Bayreuth

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday, 1 May 2020 | 11:54:00 pm

Bayreuth, as you know is cancelled, as are all other performances. The world is in a temporary turmoil. People are locked in or if they go to work are separated from those places where they may meet people to discuss their passions. 

And yet, we believe that it may be possible to use technology to go, a little bit at least, towards capturing the social, - and thus emotional and intellectual -  experience of a visiting a live performance - in some way, perhaps more so.   

With that in mind, we would like to do something online: interactive, social, recorded video performances of Wagner's work.  A mini online Bayreuth if you like. Indeed, we did a little mini-trial a few weeks ago with a small few people to test the technical capabilities of the platform we wish to use - with some success. We then asked on twitter if people would be interested and more importantly take part by joining in and chatting, a108 voted yes.

So, with that in mind, we would like to do a full trial, broadcasting a famous performance of one of Wagner's works - Tristan und Isolde - in full this Sunday. We will be rebroadcasting live from youtube, a performance made available there, by the copyright holders. The reason we will be broadcasting live from youtube is that although we have good technical equipment and band weight to broadcast ourselves should we encounter any technical difficulties,, you should at least still be able to watch and chat. 


We will be using a video/social broadcasting platform called Twitch. Normally considered a platform for gamers to broadcast gameplay, but in truth, it is used for other forms of the arts also - more so during this pandemic.  To watch the broadcast, you simply need to visit the channel at the time given below. However, we are hoping that you will join us in the chat that will run live at the side of the performance - especially during the intervals. We think that this experience can only be raised from simply watching a youtube video by your considered thoughts and insights. To do this, you will need to register an account with Twitch. This is free,  quick, simple, only requires an email address - any will do if you wish to make one just for this - and is unobtrusive. 

There may be teething problems, although hopefully few.  if any. You will need to bring your own ice cream and cushion.

An Online Mini Bayreuth (Test)

Work: Tristian und Isolde (Sadly, at this stage, not a Bayreuth performance)

Time: Join us at 3.00 PM BST on Sunday 3 May (Bring your own cushion)

Place:  Twitch Click this link (might be a good idea to register in advance if you want to chat but will only take a few minutes on the day)


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£400 Of Free Hi-res FLAC Download Albums For Every Reader (Including Booklets) QOBUZ

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday, 30 April 2020 | 9:48:00 pm


We know that things are, to put it mildly, difficult for so many of you at the moment; for both those unable to leave home and those having to go out to work in what can be very dangerous conditions. Especially for those that love Wagner we are planning something, we think is rather special shortly, keep your diaries free Sunday - to begin with. However, in the meantime, we would like every reader to find their way to some free, high-quality albums - classical and otherwise -  made available by the excellent music streaming service and digital store QOBUZ. Worth £400 they include:

Debussy, Szymanowski, Hahn, Ravel
Fanny Robilliard

Carl Nielsen : Concertos (Live)
Alan Gilbert

Beethoven: Symphonies 4 & 7
Philippe Herreweghe

Paul Dukas - Maurice Ravel - Charles Koechlin
Marc Albrecht

Johannes-Passion - Die Sieben Worte
Paul Hillier

Plus, 22 more albums. They will be available till May 15 2020.

To get them, simply signup for a free Qobuz account - no need to subscribe to the streaming service and download them. However, as our review found last year, Qobuz streaming service is also worth investigating and is now only 14.99 a month. But that is entirely up to you. 

To download, simply CLICK THIS LINK
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Das Rheingold: Coronadämmerung

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday, 31 March 2020 | 8:08:00 pm


This is excellent! And should you enjoy it, and you can, please give to https://artistrelieftree.com/. The gods need you!


Jamie Barton, Mezzo Soprano
Ryan McKinny, Bass Baritone
Kathleen Kelly, Piano
8:08:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Bayreuth 2020 Cancelled And Disruption To Next Two Years Program

From the festival:

In view of the effects of the Corona crisis on the operations of the Bayreuth Festival GmbH, the management and the shareholders of the Bayreuth Festival GmbH – the Federal Republic of Germany, the Free State of Bavaria, the City of Bayreuth and the Society of Friends of Bayreuth e.V. – regret that the Bayreuth Festival 2020 will have to be suspended next summer. This means that the following festival years will have to be rescheduled. In the 2021 season, in addition to the planned new production ‘Der fliegende Holländer’, the programme will include the revivals of ‘Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg’, ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’, ‘Lohengrin’ and three concert performances of ‘Die Walküre’. The new production ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ planned for this season will probably not be able to celebrate its premiere until 2022 due to rehearsal planning.

In principle, tickets already purchased for 2020 remain valid for the 2021 Festival. In order to clarify the modalities regarding concrete dates etc., the ticket office will contact all ticket purchasers for the 2020 Festival in the coming weeks.

Bavaria’s Minister of Art Bernd Sibler emphasizes: “As an enthusiastic supporter of the Bayreuth Festival and the expressive music of Richard Wagner, I very much regret that we will not be able to enjoy the performances on the Green Hill this year. For cultural life, the cancellation is a bitter loss. The long festival tradition has a high value in the Bavarian cultural state”.
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The Bayreuth Festival Suspends Ticket Sales. Longborough Awaits Advice

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 | 6:50:00 pm

Perhaps it should come as little surprise but Bayreuth continues to review this year's festival in light of COVID-19. With this in mind, the festival has suspended all online ticket sales - not that there was much to buy anyway - until the end of May. Said Festival Director Katharina Wagner, ‘We are currently in close consultation with our committees and the relevant authorities and will provide you with information on our website as soon as possible. Naturally, the health of our guests, all participants and staff is our top priority.’

Further updates will be found at the festival website here as things develop.

Over at "Britain's Bayreuth", The Longbourogh Opera Festival, ticket sales have not been suspended but the festival notes, "We are carefully considering the COVID-19 guidance of March 16 from the Government. Our first priority is the health and wellbeing of our audience and company members.

Similar to other theatres, we await more specific rulings from HM Government later this week. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this unprecedented time and we will share a further update in the coming days."

Again, updates can be found by clicking here

We would also like to remind everyone that many small companies, orchestra's, quartets, choirs less known artist, etc, will be suffering especial financial hardships at this time - not all may survive as artistic groups. If you can support them in any way, we are sure it would be appreciated. 

Finally, we would also take this opportunity to ask all readers to stay safe and follow health advice.   
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How To Get The Best Sound Quality Out Of Spotify: For Wagner Or Anyone

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday, 7 March 2020 | 10:11:00 pm

We are aware that a lot of our readers use Spotify (many other - even better - classical music services are available, but that is for another day). However, given how "vague" (perhaps occulted or esoteric would be better words?) Spotify is about how to get the best sound quality from its service, we thought we would put together a short, handy guide to greatly improve the sound quality you can get from Spotify. Do these three things and you should get even more enjoyment from the most popular of music services.

1 - On PC/MAC/Linux, download the Spotify "App"/Client/program (delete to your preference). Apart from brief samples never listen to Spotify in a web browser. If, as is likely, you pay for Spotify, no matter your browser, music will be streamed at around half the top quality (bitrate) that it will be in its app). It's horrible! Don't do it!

2 - Of course, once you have downloaded the app you will need to go into settings (3 dots, top lefthand corner of the client and then, "edit" and then settings. Here change the "Music Quality" to "Very High" (may read "extreme" depending on Spotify's mood). Note: if you are streaming on a mobile device this will use more of your bandwidth. And while you are in "settings"  stay there. You will need to be here for the other recommendation.

3 - In settings, unclick/switch off "Normalise Volume". Seriously, just switch this off. Try a track with it on and then off. If you hear no difference, then fine, but we will be surprised if you don't.

And here are some playlist for you to test out your new settings:
10:11:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More