White Skirt Wednesday: Many Happy Returns

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[“Darling, you’ve got to do something about these split ends!” – Callum Thorpe (Antinoo) and Magdalena Kožená (Penelope) in Monteverdi’s “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria”, Paris/TCE 2017. – Photo Credit: Vincent Pontet]

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Radio Alert: Lulu… mein Engel!

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[Just making sure this week stays sufficiently gay, while looking fabulous in white shirts and practicing the ‘judging you!’ eyebrow rise of Geschwitz. – Brenda Rae (Lulu) and Sarah Connolly (Countess Geschwitz) in Berg’s “Lulu”, London/ENO 2016. Photo Credit: Catherine Ashmore/ENO]

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Elbphilharmonie Opening

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Last night, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg finally opened.

“Finally”, because it was supposed to be done six years ago, and because the costs have meanwhile outgrown even its very steep and stylish roof. But it’s done, and you should absolutely watch the on-demand available ARTE stream of the opening concert because the acoustics (engineered by Yasuhisa Toyota) are out of this world.

Also, the concert program is out of this world: yes, for the opening act before the concert, you get Beethoven and Mendelssohn and Brahms, with a fantastic NDR Orchestra – newly renamed NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester – under its principal conductor Thomas Hengelbrock. But the main concert afterwards has lots of very old and very new, off-the-beaten-path music and it is glorious.

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