October 21, 2012 |
After a wait of several minutes, the doors of a no-frills construction elevator open precisely at noon. We enter the metal-framed box that scales the outside rear of the Royal Opera House ( Kungliga Operan ) of Stockholm, transporting us from the street to our rooftop destination, the Electrolux Cube. At the end of the elevator ride, Ludvig Jureskog, tall, blond, and immaculately attired in a black suit, greets us and the other luncheon guests with flutes of champagne.
April 1, 2011
Robert Tear, 72, a versatile Welsh tenor who appeared on more than 250 recordings, died Tuesday at a London hospice. He had cancer. During his career, Mr. Tear appeared at opera houses around the world. His recordings range from Monteverdi to Messiaen and include operas, Bach cantatas, recitals, Schubert's song cycle "Die Winterreise" with Philip Ledger, and Victorian ballads with Benjamin Luxon and Andre Previn. He made his professional debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1970 in the role of Peter Quint in Benjamin Britten's Turn of the Screw . His final singing performance was in 2009 as the Emperor in Turandot at the Royal Opera.
December 15, 2012
Lisa Della Casa, 93, who swept up crowds at opera houses of the last century with an elegant and radiant style that established her as one of the finest sopranos of her generation, died Monday in the northern Swiss town of Muensterlingen. After more than 400 performances at the Vienna State Opera, where her interpretations of many great roles, particularly those from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss, won her wide acclaim and appreciation, Ms. Della Casa left the opera world in 1974, apparently weary of the music business.
February 24, 2012
The South African-born opera singer Elizabeth Connell, 65, who won global acclaim in roles by Wagner, Strauss, Beethoven and others, has died. Ms. Connell's management company, Helmut Fischer Artists International, said Monday that the singer died of cancer Feb. 18 in London. Born in Port Elizabeth in 1946, Ms. Connell moved to London in 1970 and made her debut at Ireland's Wexford Festival in 1972. She had a long association with both Opera Australia and the English National Opera, and performed at the world's major opera houses, including Germany's Bayreuth festival, La Scala in Milan, and New York's Metropolitan Opera, where she performed 12 times between 1985 and 1991.
November 6, 1992 |
When Denyce Graves sang Carmen to Placido Domingo's Don Jose last season in Los Angeles, the mezzo-soprano surprised the famous tenor by jumping on his back. During another scene, when she was supposed to be eating an orange, she decided to feed it to Domingo - who playfully ate it even though he had an aria to sing at the time. The flirtatiousness appealed to Domingo. He has sung the role so many hundred times, she says, that there is always the chance he could get bored.
September 8, 2008 |
Dr. Eli D. Pronchick, 88, formerly of King of Prussia, a retired optometrist, opera enthusiast, and decorated World War II veteran, died of heart failure Aug. 27 at the home of his daughter Daria McDonough in Ormond Beach, Fla. Dr. Pronchick grew up with eight siblings in Olney and graduated from Central High School, where he was on the fencing and tennis teams. He attended Villanova University and graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He later served on the school's faculty for 20 years.
July 2, 2007 |
Beverly Sills, 78, one of the greatest and most distinctive opera singers to emerge in the United States in the 20th century, died Monday night of cancer, her manager said. Ms. Sills' inoperable lung cancer was made public just last month. She died about 9 o'clock, said her manager, Edgar Vincent. Although Ms. Sills retired from performing 27 years ago, she never ceased to be a crucial figure: Shortly before retirement, she became the administrative head of the New York City Opera, the company that had nurtured her, and saved it from financial ruin.
February 9, 1994 |
Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice, which opened Monday at the Metropolitan Opera, has been called "a concerto for tenor and opera"; the composer's final, innovative opera could also be described as a concerto for tenor and baritone and dancer. Only three principals are required in this adaptation of Thomas Mann's great novella - and all three demand the virtuosity to manage quicksilver segues from dramatic intensity to soaring lyricism. Mann's story has only two principals, who never meet - the eminent author Gustav von Aschenbach and Tadzio, the Polish youth who becomes his obsessive and fatal pursuit.
July 3, 2007 |
Beverly Sills, 78, one of the greatest and most distinctive opera singers to emerge in the United States in the 20th century, died yesterday of cancer, her manager said. Ms. Sills' inoperable lung cancer was made public just last month. She died about 9 o'clock last night, said her manager, Edgar Vincent. Although Ms. Sills retired from performing 27 years ago, she never ceased to be a crucial figure: Shortly before retirement, she became the administrative head of the New York City Opera, the company that had nurtured her, and saved it from financial ruin.
January 10, 1998 |
Composer Sir Michael Tippett, one of the leading figures of British 20th-century music, has died at 93. He died peacefully at his west London home Thursday after suffering from pneumonia for two months, Meirion Bowen, Sir Michael's manager and biographer, said yesterday. His works included opera, choral and orchestral music, and chamber and piano music, and his compositional style fused strong rhythms, madrigal-like counterpoint, elements of jazz and spirituals, and imaginative sounds, such as the wind machine that ends his Fourth Symphony.