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WildKat PR is thrilled to be working with boutique auction house, Beares Auctions on an exciting new campaign.

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Beares Auctions is a boutique auction house specialising in the sale of fine instruments and bows, supported by internationally respected expertise. Beares Auctions complements the unrivalled traditions of  excellence and integrity for which the Queen’s Award winning J & A Beare is known throughout the world. Their auctions offer a limited number of high quality instruments and bows in varying price ranges, but will exclude the large numbers of trade and student instruments found in most other auctions. These instruments are offered at realistic market prices, traditionally associated with auctions. Both buyers and sellers will benefit from the services of the renowned J&A Beare workshop.

The auction house is initiating a really exciting new project that we are looking forward to sharing with you very soon!

Keep up to date with Beares Auctions’ news on their website, Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

(Written on February 12, 2016 )

This week, the classical music news has been dominated by articles concerning arts funding. Here is a summary of the latest developments and who has been talking about the changes which could have such a great impact on the creative industries.

Earlier in the week….

The BBC reported George Osborne’s announcement, “Culture is one of the best investments we can make.”

The Department for Culture Media and Sport’s (DCMS) overall budget is to be cut by 5% – far less than some feared; the administration budget will be cut by 20% and entrance to national museums will remain free.

Arts Professional declared that Arts Council England’s grant is expected to rise by between 1-2% over the next five years.

The settlement will enable the Arts Council to invest in it’s 684 national museums, galleries, theatres, dance, opera and ballet companies at the same level until at least 2018.

Classical Music Magazine reports that the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín, has announced the reinstatement of funding for arts and sports in Northern Ireland.

Today…..

Classical Music Magazine is concerned that the BBC’s funding will be cut again.

The BBC is the biggest employer of professional musicians and spends approximately £125m per year on music including musicians, composers, orchestras and collective management organisations. Isabelle Gutierrez writes that the licence fee remains the most effective way of maintaining funding. Many jobs in the creative industries are put at risk with each funding round, which does not increase the licence fee in line with inflation. The latest funding deal, agreed in July 2015, reduces BBC funding by making it responsible for the costs of free TV licences to the over-75s, cutting £750m a year from income by 2020.

On a positive note….

Arts professional discussed the UK Cities Culture Report 2015, which demonstrates that cities view culture as key to high quality of life; it also boosts tourism.

The report notes that cities are increasingly committed to using culture as a catalyst for regeneration, either because culture is “an engine for skill enhancement” or because it can “create a ‘sense of place’ which will encourage companies to relocate and enable a city to attract talent”. They are also recognising the value of culture in promoting “tolerance, equality and diversity”. As we head towards devolution, cities are collaborating with their cultural sectors in order to source funding.

Sign the #LetItBe campaign to protect the wonderful music services provided by the BBC!

(Written on November 27, 2015 )

In early Italian Opera, from the 1600’s until about 1800, many operatic roles were written for castrati. Recently more men have been trained as countertenors to sing these roles, however it is often women who take on these ‘breeches roles’ in the place of castrati.

From the end of the eighteenth century, when composition for castrati had declined, male operatic roles continued to be written for high voices. Thus, it was intended that a woman should dress up as a man to play these characters. It is important to note, that the quality of the voices and music has always come before realism in opera.

Italian castrato Francesco Bernardi Senasino (1686- 1758) Senesino was closely associated with Handel & sung 17 of his lead roles an

Italian castrato Francesco Bernardi Senesino (1686- 1758). Senesino was closely associated with Handel and sung 17 of his lead roles.

Travesti in Italian means disguised and Travesty applies to roles sung by the opposite sex. This term can therefore also apply to ‘skirt roles’, whereby a man sings a female role.

A long list of lead figures in operas are known as ‘breeches roles’ (‘travesti’ or ‘hosenrolle’) .

Here are some of the most well known Travesty roles in opera.

Octavian Der Rosenkavalier, Richard Strauss

Octavian, young lover of the Feldmarschallin Marie Thérèse, is written as a soprano/mezzo-soprano breeches part. Typical of a breeches role, Octavian must disguise as a woman to hide his identity and involvement with Marie Thérèse.

Christa Ludwig as Octavian

Christa Ludwig as Octavian

Romeo I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Donizetti

When assessing the singers for I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Bellini wasn’t particularly impressed with the tenor. However he admired the talents of mezzo-soprano Giuditta Grisi, so he decided to cast Grisi as Romeo in a breeches role.                                                                   

Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca as Romeo & Julliet, ROH 2009

Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca as Romeo & Julliet, ROH 2009

Cherubino, Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart

Cherubino is an adolescent boy and the counts page. As many breeches roles, Cherubino is played by a mezzo-soprano. Similarly to Der Rosenkavalier’s Octavian, Cherubino must disguise himself as a girl. He is a womaniser and woos both Susanna (engaged to Figaro) and Countess Almaviva (married to Count Almaviva).

Other breeches roles in Mozart’s operas, include Sesto and Annino in La clemenza di Tito,  Idamante in Idomeneo and Amintas in Il re pastore.

Joyce DiDonato as Cherubino at the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Joyce DiDonato as Cherubino at the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Composers chose for male characters to be played by women, due to the sound characteristics of their voices and their physique. Female figures are particularly suited to being cast as young boys, as these roles require narrow physiques and light, clear voices. Although today, it is of course perfectly acceptable for women to perform on stage, in the nineteenth century, woman who went on stage were dishonored and had a lower status. Thus, there were cases of women dressing up, pretending to be a castrati men in order to avoid this. Today’s interest and media focus on gender fluidity suggests that there is great scope for opera to flourish, as modern audiences continue to be fascinated by gender roles.

(Written on November 12, 2015 )

Classic FM Online

Eric Whitacre to work with Pentatonix?

The choral composer met the ‘Daft Punk’ singers in London, discussing the possibility of working together

Huffington Post

Tom Hodge On The Nature Of Collaboration

Composer and Pianist Tom Hodge examines the nature of musical collaborations, and specifically, the challenges of writing new music with another person

The Telegraph 

Mt Annan McDonald’s employs classical musical to deter loitering youths at night

With the dulcet tones of Pavarotti and his fellow tenors filling the airwaves, the carpark at Mt Annan McDonald’s has been much quieter in the past few weeks. The McDonald’s store started playing classical musical late at night recently to deter young people from loitering at the store

The Arts Desk

The journey to hell in Theresienstadt

The violinist Daniel Hope introduces Refuge in Music, his new film on the musicians of Terezín

BBC News 

How Martin guitars became an ‘American Stradivarius’

Vintage Martin guitars – the finest of which sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars – are sought after by musicians around the world for their distinctive tone and timeless design

Deadline Detroit

The Diva and the Ducks: Visiting Opera Singer Chooses Urban Farm For Detroit Lodging

Soprano Nicole Cabell is definitely NOT a diva. In fact, she’s explaining why opera shouldn’t be exclusively perceived as an elitist art form

Forbes

The World’s Highest-Paid Musicians 2013

Madonna pulled in $125 million over the past year, making her the highest-paid musician in the world. The bulk of her millions came from the tail end of her MDNA Tour, which grossed $305 million. She augments her income with heady merchandise sales at concerts, as well as her Material Girl clothing line and Truth or Dare fragrance

New Music Box

Audience Cultivation in American New Music

Historically, new music has sought to confront general audiences with unexpected sounds and forms.  The present, however, sees the milieu of new music splintered into factions, each with its own loyal but marginal audience

Classic FM Online

Classic FM Online

 

(Written on November 22, 2013 )