Classical Notes: 06 November 2014

29 Oct 2014


The 2014/15 Metropolitan Opera season opened last month with Verdi’s Macbeth winning storms of applause, and rave reviews in the New York press. When the season’s world-wide screenings launch in HD transmissions at Gateway’s Cinema Nouveau on Saturday, we’ll be able to see Russian diva Anna Netrebko delivering her searing portrayal of the lethal Lady Macbeth, the mad and murderous mate of Željko Lučić’s doomed Macbeth, for the first time at the Met. Adrian Noble’s chilling production of Verdi’s masterful adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy also stars Joseph Calleja as the noble Macduff and René Pape as Banquo. Fabio Luisi conducts.


The next transmission will be the Met’s spirited new production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro on Saturday, 22 November, conducted by James Levine. This is directed by Richard Eyre, who sets the action of this classic domestic comedy in a 19th-century manor house in Seville, but during the gilded age of the late 1920s. Bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov leads the cast in the title role of the clever servant, opposite Marlis Petersen as his bride, Susanna, with Peter Mattei as the philandering Count Almaviva, Amanda Majeski as the long-suffering Countess, and Isabel Leonard as the libidinous pageboy Cherubino.

A revival of Bizet’s Carmen follows on 29 November, also directed by Richard Eyre, with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili singing her signature role of the ill-fated gypsy temptress. Aleksandrs Antonenko plays her desperate lover, the soldier Don José, and Ildar Abdrazakov is the swaggering bullfighter, Escamillo, who comes between them. Pablo Heras-Casado conducts the famous score, which features some of the best known highlights in all opera.


Other titles to be screened in the season include Il Barbiere di Siviglia (20 December), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (10 January 2015), The Merry Widow (21 February), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (07 March), Iolanta and Bluebeard’s Castle (21 March), La Donna del Lago (10 April) and Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci (22 May).


For booking information on The Met: Live in HD season, visit or, or call our Ticketline on 0861-Movies (668 437).


On our local live music front, be sure to catch pianist Andrew Warburton’s all-Brahms doctoral recital at Howard College Theatre on Monday November 17 at 7pm. The programme includes 5 Lieder Op.105,  Four Serious Songs Op. 121 and the  Piano Quintet Op. 34.  Appearing with Warburton will be Vanessa Tait-Jones,  mezzo-soprano; Richard Salmon, baritone; and the KZNPO String Quartet led by Joanna Frankel.


A note too that Friends of Music’s next recital at the Jewish Centre on November 18 at 7.45pm features mezzo soprano Antoinette Olivier and pianist Tinus Botha in music by Wagner, Dvorak, Rachmaninov, Schumann, Liszt, Scriabin  and S le Roux Marais.


Finally note that the 31st celebration of the Kloof Rotary Durban Pops, in association with Adapt IT, takes place on Saturday, 15 November at 6.30pm at the Durban City Hall. The theme for this high profile charity event is a ‘Night at the Movies’ and guests are encouraged to dress formally in black and gold. The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra will perform with Richard Cock on the podium and soloists including Joanna Frankel on violin, Annamarie D’Andrea on electric violin and soprano, Natalie Bath, with the choirs from Durban Girls College and Durban High School also featuring on the evening’s roster. Music from the movies The Mission, Star Wars, Dances with Wolves and the Pirates of the Caribbean are on the music line up for what promises to be a memorable evening of glamour, entertainment and good food – all for a very worthy cause. 


 The cost for a table of ten is R5500 and includes a delicious three course meal, soft drinks, wine and beer. To book your table for the perfect end of year function for staff, clients, family or friends, please contact Ian Forbes on or phone 031-7642936 or 082 4595678.Circle tickets cost between R220 and R240 which includes snacks, beer, wine and cool drinks. These can be bought from Webtickets, so visit to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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