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Geoffrey Alan Blyth (27 July 1929, London – 14 August 2007, Lavenham) was an English music critic, author, and musicologist who was particularly known for his writings within the field of opera. He graduated from the Rugby School before attending the University of Oxford where he studied with Jack Westrup. During the early 1960s he began writing music criticism for The Times and later in The Listener , The Guardian , and Gramophone . He was an associate editor for the magazine Opera between 1967 and 1983, and worked as a staff critic for The Daily Telegraph between 1977 and 1989. A prolific writer, Blyth edited discographic reviews of opera and song, several entries in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians , and wrote the books Wagner's Ring: an Introduction (London, 1980) and Remembering Britten (London, 1981) among other publications.
London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Lavenham is a village, civil parish and electoral ward in Suffolk, England. It is noted for its Guildhall, Little Hall, 15th-century church, half-timbered medieval cottages and circular walks. In the medieval period it was among the twenty wealthiest settlements in England. Today, it is a popular day-trip destination for people from across the country along with another historic wool town in the area, Long Melford.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
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Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945).
Sir John Barbirolli, CH, néGiovanni Battista Barbirolli, was a British conductor and cellist. He is remembered above all as conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, which he helped save from dissolution in 1943 and conducted for the rest of his life. Earlier in his career he was Arturo Toscanini's successor as music director of the New York Philharmonic, serving from 1936 to 1943. He was also chief conductor of the Houston Symphony from 1961 to 1967, and was a guest conductor of many other orchestras, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic, with all of which he made recordings.
Sir Colin Rex Davis was an English conductor, known for his association with the London Symphony Orchestra, having first conducted it in 1959. His repertoire was broad, but among the composers with whom he was particularly associated were Mozart, Berlioz, Elgar, Sibelius, Stravinsky and Tippett.
English National Opera (ENO) is an opera company based in London, resident at the London Coliseum in St Martin's Lane. It is one of the two principal opera companies in London, along with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. ENO's productions are sung in English.
Rudolf Kempe was a German conductor.
Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most frequently staged are Manon (1884) and Werther (1892). He also composed oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, songs and other music.
Rinaldo is an opera by George Frideric Handel, composed in 1711, and was the first Italian language opera written specifically for the London stage. The libretto was prepared by Giacomo Rossi from a scenario provided by Aaron Hill, and the work was first performed at the Queen's Theatre in London's Haymarket on 24 February 1711. The story of love, war and redemption, set at the time of the First Crusade, is loosely based on Torquato Tasso's epic poem Gerusalemme liberata, and its staging involved many original and vivid effects. It was a great success with the public, despite negative reactions from literary critics hostile to the contemporary trend towards Italian entertainment in English theatres.
Anna Elisabeth Söderström was a Swedish soprano who performed both opera and song, and was known as a leading interpreter of the works of Janáček, Rachmaninov and Sibelius. She was particularly well known for her recordings of the lead soprano roles in the three Janáček operas Jenůfa, Káťa Kabanová, and The Makropoulos Affair, all of which received Gramophone Awards. The Gramophone critic John Warrack described her portrayal of Káťa Kabanová as "establishing by an infinity of subtle touches and discreet, sensitive singing the picture of Káta as the richest and most human character in the drama."
William Heddle Nash was an English lyric tenor who appeared in opera and oratorio in the middle decades of the twentieth century. He also made numerous recordings that are still available on CD reissues.
The Oxford Companion to Music defines music criticism as 'the intellectual activity of formulating judgements on the value and degree of excellence of individual works of music, or whole groups or genres'. In this sense, it is a branch of musical aesthetics. With the concurrent expansion of interest in music and information media over the past century, the term has come to acquire the conventional meaning of journalistic reporting on musical performances.
Sir Edward Thomas ("Ted") Downes, CBE was an English conductor, specialising in opera.
Stanford Robinson OBE was an English conductor and composer, known for his work with the BBC. He remained a member of the BBC's staff until his retirement in 1966, founding or building up the organisation's choral groups, both amateur and professional.
César Vezzani was a French/Corsican operatic tenor who became a leading exponent of French grand opera through several decades.
Michael Edgar Oliver was a BBC broadcaster, writer and journalist on classical music.
Sir Jack Westrup was an English musicologist, writer, teacher and occasional conductor and composer.
Arthur David Jacobs was an English musicologist, music critic, teacher, librettist and translator. Among his many books, two of the best known are his Penguin Dictionary of Music, which was reprinted in several editions between 1958 and 1996, and his biography of Arthur Sullivan, which was praised by critics in Britain and America. As an academic, Jacobs taught at the Royal Academy of Music, at Huddersfield Polytechnic, and at universities in the US, Canada, and Australia.
Ragnar Sigurd Ulfung is a Norwegian operatic tenor. Described in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians as "a brilliant actor with an incisive voice", he was particularly known for his portrayals of Herod (Salome) and Mime. He is also an opera director. Amongst the productions he has directed was a complete Ring cycle for the Seattle Opera.
This is a discography of audio and video recordings of Carmen, a French-language opera by Georges Bizet. The opera premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 3 March 1875. Carmen is one of the most frequently recorded operas, dating back to a near-complete German acoustical recording in 1908.
Ryland Davies is a Welsh operatic tenor.
Alexander Basil Young was an English tenor who had an active career performing in concerts and operas from the late 1940s through the early 1970s. He was particularly admired for his performances in the operas of Handel, Mozart, and Rossini and of choral works of the 18th century.