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Grateful Dead tribute band member shot dead near Philly

Daniel DeGennaro, who played with Bob Weir in Grateful Dead tribute band Kingfish, has been shot dead in his Bucks County home. Police are treating it as homicide. First reports here and here. … [Read more...]

Just in: Disaster looms at Denmark’s national opera and ballet

The Royal Danish Theatre has announced budget cuts of 100 million kroner ($16.5 million) and 100 job losses. The chorus alone could lose 16 singers. The Theatre has had a turbulent year, with a cover-up of drugs abuse in the ballet and the loss of artistic director Kaspar Holten to Covent Garden. Nevertheless, the end year cuts have come out of the blue. Here's a cri-de-coeur from staff conductor Jesper Nordin. Do send him messages of encouragement. We don't like the Danes to be … [Read more...]

Cinderella, for your pleasure, upon this New Year’s Night

La Monnaie have just posted the complete video of Massenet's Cendrillon, which has provoked heated discussion on this site and elsewhere in the past week. Judge for yourselves - try for instance, the opening of Act 3. The entire opera lasts two and a half hours. … [Read more...]

Even odder goings-on (2a): So they’re not married after all

Our social correspondent has received an urgent message from the responsible authorities at forumopera.com. Apparently the site owner and chief editor Camille De Rijck is not - as posted on his Facebook page - married to Hélène Mante, nor she to him. Or so they say. Ms Mante has taken down her Facebook page and Mr De Rijck, while maintaining his married status has deleted Ms Mante's name as the object of his fidelity. All very odd. What is not contested is that Mr De Rijck is owner and … [Read more...]

Ever tried cyber music? It’s such fun – free classical download #6

SOMMCD0115Seiber (1)

Matyas Seiber (1905-60) was a Hungarian exile who came to grief in South Africa when a steering wheel came off in his hands in Kruger National Park and he smashed into a tree. Although he wrote a James Joyce opera in 12-note rows, he also loved jazz and all things Magyar. This upcoming release from Somm - and there are five separate tracks to download here, here, here, here and here - also has the fubkiest cover of the season so far. I just wish they'd spelled the composer's name phonetically … [Read more...]

For unto maestro a child is born…

Our social correspondent reports: On behalf of Andris Nelsons and Kristine Opolais, we are thrilled to bring you the news that Adriana Anna Nelsons was born on 28th December at 13:50 in Riga, weighing 3.8 kilograms. All three of the Nelsons Family are doing well and Andris is a very proud Father. Many greetings from the Nelsons Family to you.  Readers will recalls that Andris has taken a month's paternity leave from conducting, perhaps the first maestro to do so. … [Read more...]

The Dutch, cutting arts, are spending 1 billion tax Euros a year on fireworks

An economist in Holland has worked out the true cost of the country's love of pyrotechnic displays on New Year's Eve, most of which are paid for by the taxpayer, directly or indirectly. According to Benn Bernmann every 1 Euro spent by a consumer, another 16 Euro has to be spent by the Dutch government to rectify damages, injuries and waste caused by the fireworks. Approximately 960 million is the cost of emergency medical help for fireworks injuries and damage to property. Damage to the … [Read more...]

Odd goings-on (2): Review site owner is also artists agent (update)

A few days ago, I took issue with a review on the Forum site in which a lone foreign singer was singled out for criticism of her French diction. The post provoked views from all sides, including someone who identified herself as deputy editor of the site. It appears she is married to the site owner. His name is Camille De Rijck. That's what it said on their Facebook pages (see update below). I would not know this had Mr De Rijck not telephoned one of the respondents to Slipped Disc, … [Read more...]

Odd goings-on (1): Classical agency to buy share in record label? (update)

I'm hearing of negotiations between IMG Artists, the ever-turbulent talent agency, and LSO Live, the busy media outlet of the London Symphony Orchestra, for some kind of merger. IMG has a Russian investor, Alexander Shustorovich, who is eager to expand on all fronts. A deal with a record label would make some kind of sense as a way to launch new artists and keep the older ones in work. UPDATE: LSO LIve have contacted me to say that a merger or buyout is not on the cards, but they are happy to … [Read more...]

Sneaky peek at a new Beethoven cycle – free classical download #5

This is the fizzing fourth movement of Beethoven's second symphony from the forthcoming cycle on Orchid Classics by the Copenhagen Philharmonic - it's been a big year for the Danes - and conductor Lan Shui. Download here. I think the marketing plan is to offer the boxed set with a free sweater. … [Read more...]

Stabbed opera director ‘happy to be alive’

Claudio del Monaco, who underwent emergency surgery on Wednesday after being attacked with a breadknife, has been telling visitors to his hospital bed in Treviso of his lucky escape. Claudio, 64, received four stab wounds to the chest. His wife Daniela, 35, was found wandering in a daze on a nearby beach. She is being held in a psychiatric unit. 'If I hadn't escaped, I would have been slaughtered,' Claudio told his cousin. According to Corriere del Veneto, the couple were in difficult … [Read more...]

The remarkable singing wives of knife victim Claudio del Monaco

The opera director, who is fighting for his life after being stabbed in an apparent domestic incident in Italy, is the son of a successful tenor, the brother of an important director and the husband of two opera singers, who may not be remembered best for their singing. The first, Dragana Jogovic, is renowned for a youtube concert performance of Carmen for which she had not been breath-tested. Judge for yourselves. It is reported that this epic performance may have cost Claudio his job … [Read more...]

Breaking: Opera director in critical condition after domestic stabbing incident (update)

Italian media are reporting that Claudio del Monaco, son of the great tenor Mario del Monaco, is in critical condition in a Treviso hospital after what appears to be a domestic attack. Claudio, who is 64, was on holiday near Venice with his German wife, opera singer Daniela, 35, when he was stabbed four times in the chest, reportedly with a bread knife. He underwent surgery and remains in critical condition. The couple are based in Belgrade, where Claudio is a former head of opera at the … [Read more...]

Vinyl – another maestro reverts to LP

Not long after Val came crowding the Dude on the rush back to black vinyl, up popped Paavo Järvi to say that he's had a whole Beethoven cycle pressed on vinyl to demonstrate the refined qualities of his super orchestra and his preference for LPs. Here's the link: http://www.diversevinyl.com/news.php?id=cff23f1796dca8edba945651617ab8a3 Paavo Jarvi/ Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen - Beethoven Symphonies 1-9 £200.00 More Info Add to Basket Limited to Only 999 Numbered Copies! This … [Read more...]

Top ten music stories of 2011 on Slipped Disc

Unlike the general run of journa-lists, the annual tally on Slipped Disc is not a subjective crawl through the cuttings file but a verified chart of the stories that were most read on this site since January 2011. Many are hard news items that were broken here or post by artists that we published first.  Interestingly most of the stories continue to be read every day, months after publication, giving them an unforseen online afterlife. Enough of the preamble. Here's the chart in ascending … [Read more...]

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