richard angus death of august 2013 opera singer

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Furore over 'sexist' opera critics

21 May 2014 13:06:58 BBC News - UK

Stars of the opera world react angrily to a series of reviews criticising the weight of Glyndebourne singer Tara Erraught.

Vice All News Time21 May 2014 13:06:58


Singers point finger at critics in Glyndebourne Opera Festival sexism row

21 May 2014 10:23:08 UK headlines

Critics attacked for describing Tara Erraught, who plays Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, as 'dumpy'

Vice All News Time21 May 2014 10:23:08

Opera singer, 38, died after doctors failed to spot a tumour the size of a GRAPEFRUIT growing behind her heart

31 January 2014 03:42:36 News | Mail Online

Cecilia Smiga, from Ascot, in Berkshire, was only diagnosed with a tumour five days before she died on April 9, 2013.

Vice All News Time31 January 2014 03:42:36

Maria Callas' 90th Birthday: Google Doodle commemorates the late opera singer's birth

02 December 2013 06:26:27 mirror - News

The illustration shows a likeness of the American-born opera singer performing to a packed auditorium

Vice All News Time02 December 2013 06:26:27

Pictures of the day: 30 August 2013

30 August 2013 13:11:40 UK headlines

Elephant polo, TV graveyard and a shark in the Thames.        

Vice All News Time30 August 2013 13:11:40

Pictures of the day: 29 August 2013

29 August 2013 12:49:43 UK headlines

Alligator acupuncture, whale watching and a stubborn turtle        

Vice All News Time29 August 2013 12:49:43

Pictures of the day: 28 August 2013

28 August 2013 13:29:56 UK headlines

A baby snow leopard, lotus gathering and Putin in a negligee        

Vice All News Time28 August 2013 13:29:56

Pictures of the day: 27 August 2013

27 August 2013 13:39:06 UK headlines

A baby rhino at Chester Zoo, gravy wrestling and One Direction.        

Vice All News Time27 August 2013 13:39:06

Pictures of the day: 23 August 2013

23 August 2013 14:10:23 UK headlines

A pram-ranger, UV snails and ugly faces.        

Vice All News Time23 August 2013 14:10:23

Pictures of the day: 22 August 2013

22 August 2013 13:12:22 UK headlines

A greedy penguin, a Chinese caveman and Star Wars volleyball.        

Vice All News Time22 August 2013 13:12:22

Pictures of the day: 21 August 2013

21 August 2013 13:54:26 UK headlines

A baby wallaby, a toilet seat collector and the world's biggest headphones.        

Vice All News Time21 August 2013 13:54:26

Opera singer Richard Angas dies

21 August 2013 12:21:30 BBC News - UK

Richard Angas, who was a principal bass with English National Opera for 15 years, dies at the age of 71 after collapsing during a rehearsal.

Vice All News Time21 August 2013 12:21:30

Pictures of the day: 20 August 2013

20 August 2013 13:33:44 UK headlines

A puffin gets nothin', a seal chases a penguin and Boris kisses a croc.        

Vice All News Time20 August 2013 13:33:44

Pictures of the day: 19 August 2013

19 August 2013 12:25:46 UK headlines

Today: A daring damselfly, record breaking hair and fighting knights.        

Vice All News Time19 August 2013 12:25:46

Pictures of the day: 16 August 2013

16 August 2013 12:46:38 UK headlines

Today: galaxies, pandas and fracking.        

Vice All News Time16 August 2013 12:46:38

Pictures of the day: 12 August 2013

12 August 2013 13:55:02 UK headlines

A hot panda, a record breaking birdman and beards made from bees.        

Vice All News Time12 August 2013 13:55:02

Ashes 2013: Angus Fraser - My Ashes VIDEO EXCLUSIVE

11 August 2013 04:10:40 Sport | Mail Online

MailOnline Sport brings you My Ashes: exclusive video interviews with current and ex-cricket pros, plus a host of celebrities. Former England bowler Angus Fraser is today's guest.

Vice Sport Time11 August 2013 04:10:40

Pictures of the day: 9 August 2013

09 August 2013 13:11:19 UK headlines

Today: dancing lemurs, yoga bears and flares.        

Vice All News Time09 August 2013 13:11:19

Pictures of the day: 8 August 2013

08 August 2013 12:55:03 UK headlines

Today: whales, wild fires and Eid celebrations.        

Vice All News Time08 August 2013 12:55:03

Pictures of the day: 7 August 2013

07 August 2013 13:44:33 UK headlines

Today: Downton Abbey, puffins and Swan Lake.        

Vice All News Time07 August 2013 13:44:33

Pictures of the day: 6 August 2013

06 August 2013 13:28:04 UK headlines

Today: baby giraffes, dolphins and underwear records.        

Vice All News Time06 August 2013 13:28:04

VIDEO: Jade Goody: The opera

31 July 2013 16:36:59 BBC News - UK

And The Crowd Wept is an opera based on the life and death of former Big Brother housemate Jade Goody. It opens later this week in London.

Vice All News Time31 July 2013 16:36:59

The Ashes 2013: Lord's bans Billy The Trumpeter and opera singer from the second Test

16 July 2013 07:45:01 Sport

Lord's will not be relaxing its policy on instruments or live music for the showpiece second Ashes Test starting on Thursday        

Vice Sport Time16 July 2013 07:45:01

Opera singer died after head-on collision with another musician

12 July 2013 12:33:54 UK headlines

An opera singer who performed with the Royal Opera and at Glyndebourne died after a head-on collision with another car which drifted across the road, an inquest heard.        

Vice All News Time12 July 2013 12:33:54

Serena Williams soap opera hangs over action on court 18

25 June 2013 21:09:29 Sport news, comment and results |

Grigor Dimitrov dispatches Simone Bolelli in match overshadowed by spat between his girlfriend Maria Sharapova and defending champion Novak Djokovic and Laura Robson having safely steamrollered their way into the second round, all eyes turned to court 18 for the showdown of the day. Well, maybe not all. Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Simone Bolelli of Italy, ranked 28th and 87th in the world respectively, had not, perhaps, offered the most hotly anticipated sporting contest of this year's tournament, and there were a few stubborn souls on Tuesday afternoon who insisted instead on following the number four seed David Ferrer in centre court, or keeping an eye on Richard Gasquet on court No 2. But if his is hardly the best known face at this year's Wimbledon, Dimitrov has already found himself at the centre of one of its biggest stories. Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have never been each other's warmest admirer, but matters did not improve when the Russian began stepping out with Williams's rumoured ex, a certain dishy Bulgarian. The defending champion, in a magazine interview, called "a top five player" "boring" for banging on about how happy she was in her relationship – "and if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it". Sharapova – for there was little doubt at whom the comments were directed – hit back, referring to her rival's rumoured link with her married coach Patrick Mouratoglou. Bookmakers were soon offering odds on which relationship would founder first (you can make an exceedingly small amount of money, since you ask, if you opt for the Russian). And inevitably, Williams couldn't quite leave matters alone when speaking to reporters after her first round win. Following her apology and muttered hope of moving on, were she and Sharapova friends again? "Um… We're playing on opposite days, so we don't really see each other." Gotcha. There was, needless to say, no sign of Sharapova courtside on court 18. As to whether her boyfriend has a black, black heart, meanwhile, the jury must remain in deliberations. He's clearly got something – dispatching the Italian with ease 6-1, 6-4, 6-3. Elsewhere, for all the talk of the return of the teenager to the top of the women's game, it was instead a day of quiet triumph for the veteran, when Kimiko Date-Krumm from Japan, a mere stripling at 42 years and 269 days old, comfortably defeated the German Carina Witthoeft, who at 18 is one of the youngest women playing at this year's tournament, and considerably less than half her age. In fact, Date-Krumm's best tournament result, a semi-final place, was achieved in 1996, when the German was 16 months old; she retired shortly afterwards but returned to the game after a 12-year break, and is currently ranked 84 in the world. Only Martina Navratilova, who played her last grand slam singles tournament at 47, and the American Betty Pratt, have been older contestants at Wimbledon. In her decade-plus career break, Date-Krumm said on Tuesday, "I enjoyed my life. I married a German guy. I never [thought], I miss tennis, I miss the tour." But while working as a TV pundit, "I thought tennis is [such a] beautiful sport. Then [little by little I started] changing my mind." So how did she keep up with the youngsters? "I have a lot of passion. I like a challenge, because [it is] not easy for my age." There was also, she said – reaching in her handbag for the teapot she carries everywhere – the amount of tea she drank ("I like Chinese tea. Sometimes Japanese tea. I drink a lot"), and an unspecified contraption referred to gnomically as a "medical machine", whose nature, for the time being, must remain lost in translation. For the defeated Briton Heather Watson , a mere 22 years the Japanese woman's junior but already noting pointedly that her successful opponent, the 18-year-old American Madison Keys, was younger than her, there was perhaps a lesson if she chose to note it. Wimbledon 2013 Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Tennis Wimbledon Esther Addley © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time25 June 2013 21:09:29

Stand-in for the stars – the art of the dubbing singer

25 June 2013 14:10:41 Film |

Soprano Marni Nixon speaks about her not-so-secret roles in some of Hollywood's best-known musicals Long before another Nixon got mixed up with a secret recording in Washington, Marni Nixon was one of the best-loved voices nobody knew. While stars like Deborah Kerr , Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Wood received the applause and record royalties for their work in musicals such as The King and I , My Fair Lady and West Side Story , it was Nixon's soprano who sang their songs uncredited, often after signing a contract never to disclose the ruse. Years ago, the secret got out and Nixon became kind of a byword for behind-the-scenes vocal stand-ins, of the type that is used less today. But they still are used, says Nixon, 83. "They just have a cleverer way to do it." Nixon was speaking by phone from New York before she recently travelled to Maryland to discuss her clandestine work, before the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performed the orchestral track to West Side Story live as the classic movie played. Nixon says that when she began working in Hollywood as a child actor in 1937, it was common for singers to dub stars' voices, just as stunt men would come in to do their physical stuff. It's just that the vocal stand-ins, who played a much bigger role in creating a character, were never credited and were largely kept secret. "It was just a part of the working singer's job in Hollywood to do anything that was necessary and a lot of dubbing was going on," she says. To subsidise a classical career that had her eventually singing for Stravinsky and Schoenberg, "you just worked any way you can". After inserting her soprano to help Marilyn Monroe reach the high notes in Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend and lending her voice for stars such as Janet Leigh and Margaret O'Brien, she got a call to do all of Kerr's singing in the musical The King and I when the star's regular vocal stand-in died unexpectedly. Despite having only a month to prepare, Nixon worked closely with Kerr to present the perfect screen illusion. "There was no book, nobody could tell you how to do to this dubbing," Nixon says. "She wanted to also look like she was really singing and wanted to be using the same muscles and the same stretches you do in expressions." Nixon would try to stretch her neck the same way as Kerr and alter the shape of her mouth to emulate that of the actress. "Just an intuitive kind of response, I guess," she says. "I think I learned more about acting from observing her in that way. To imagine what was going on in her mind that would create that kind of sound and the flow of the emotionality that was going through her when she was singing." The collaborative process between marquee actress and the "ghost voice" behind the curtain was similar in another high-profile project, when she provided all the singing for Hepburn in My Fair Lady. But when Nixon was hired to sing for Wood in West Side Story, Wood thought Nixon was brought in to fill in the occasional high notes. "She didn't know how much of her work would be done by somebody else," Nixon says. "She didn't know that it would all be thrown out and that it would be all my voice at that point." Nor did Wood think it had to be, she says. "In the case of Audrey Hepburn, she was very smart and could say, 'I know this is not good enough, I want to keep trying myself,' but she had to accept that it wasn't quite what it should be. But I don't think that Natalie Wood's ego could take that. Frankly, I think they used to create that kind of attitude too much – allowing them to have the illusion when they knew all along that she wasn't good enough." As it turned out, Nixon was all over West Side Story. When Rita Moreno's vocal stand-in, Betty Wand, was out sick one day, Nixon was asked to change her voice enough to sing her part of the Tonight harmonies – to distinguish from her voice also subbing for Wood. "There were two different timbres of the voices that were there," Nixon says. "It was hard to do that way, but it was fun, too." Beyond that, Nixon dubbed some of Wood's lines as well. "There was some dialogue at the very end where it was so emotional, but everyone was so tired of filming at that point they would get into giggling fits," she says. "So when [Wood] went to record some of these emotional lines, it didn't come off, so I had to come and redub some of that, too." The West Side Story soundtrack was a festival of overdubs, with the marquee stars doing scarcely any of the singing. Jimmy Bryant sang for Richard Beymer (Tony) and Tucker Smith for Russ Tamblyn (Riff). "It was a very difficult score because it's almost written like an opera, very complicated," Nixon says. She never received credit for any of her work on the film, although she did get royalties for the soundtrack. "It was kind of unheard of at that point," she says. "But I stuck to my guns." Credit also goes to composer Leonard Bernstein, who gave up a quarter-percentage of his royalties so Nixon could be compensated for what turned out to be the best-selling album of the 1960s, and the one with the longest run at No 1 on the Billboard album charts – 54 weeks. Nixon appeared as one of the singing nuns in The Sound of Music and can be heard as the grandmother in the animated Mulan. She also went on to have concert success, toured for years with Liberace, and hosted Boomerang, a popular children's television show in Seattle. (A son, Andrew Gold, who died in 2011, was a recording star in his own right, with the hit single Lonely Boy and the theme to TV's Golden Girls, Thank You for Being a Friend). When West Side Story was presented at the Music Centre at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland, and at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore recently, its orchestral track was performed live by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. "The conductor has a difficult job to really keep up with the movie exactly," Nixon says. "There's no room for interpretation." Performing to the finished film changes the way an orchestra plays, BSO Music Director Marin Alsop says. "It must definitely be much more precise," she says. "When they recorded the score, they didn't anticipate that people would ever try to sync it to a live accompaniment, so the pulse is constantly changing – just like live music." Alsop can't imagine how Nixon managed to fill in for Wood's voice, accents and all, and without the actress's knowledge. Nixon says she thinks those who do overdubs deserve onscreen credit like anybody else who helps create a product. And sometimes stars, who can't be expected to be great singers as well as actors, frankly need the help. Recent musicals such as Les Miserables that emphasise that the singing is actually done by the cast have "gone overboard", she says. "I must say that as far as Les Mis, certain people that they did hire were questionable vocally. I would hav

Vice All News Time25 June 2013 14:10:41

Opera singers 'need a bit of beef', Dame Kiri te Kanawa says

11 June 2013 08:21:52 UK headlines

Young opera singers of today are becoming "more beautiful than their voice", Dame Kiri te Kanawa has warned, as she laments the drastic pressure to lose weight leaving them weak.        

Vice All News Time11 June 2013 08:21:52

VIDEO: Opera singer proposes on stage

25 May 2013 14:05:01 BBC News - UK

An opera singer gets down on bended knee in front of 700 audience members to ask his girlfriend to marry him.

Vice All News Time25 May 2013 14:05:01

Teenager stole £15,000 in jewels from opera singer boss

07 May 2013 18:09:12 UK headlines

An opera singer turned pub owner had nearly £15,000 in jewels and money stolen from her home by a teenage member of staff.        

Vice All News Time07 May 2013 18:09:12

On stage and on screen: making our opera The Answer to Everything

23 April 2013 22:04:51 Film |

At Streetwise Opera we make shows with people who have experienced homelessness. Could combining live performance and film bring us a bigger audience? Over the last few years, cinemas have been filled with something a little more lyrical than Tom Cruise jumping out of a helicopter in his latest blockbuster. These days you're as likely to encounter The Magic Flute as Mission Impossible at your local Odeon, since live opera relays from the likes of New York's Metropolitan Opera and Glyndebourne, with multiple camera set-ups capturing the action at close quarters, make you feel as if you're in the actual theatre – in the best seats in the house. But purists maintain that nothing can really compare with the raw passion and immediacy of experiencing opera live, and we at Streetwise Opera began to wonder if there was a way of combining the best of live opera and film in a single production. In the 13 years we've been creating opera with people who have experienced homelessness, we've performed in variety of venues including Westminster Abbey, the Sage Gateshead and the Almeida theatre. Our operas have been purely live operatic events, and, because of the complex lives of some of our performers, touring was challenging and the productions could only have a very short run, despite increasing demand for tickets. We began to look to film as a medium in which the operas, and our cast's achievements, could be seen by a wider audience. Film has been used in operas for many years, but mostly as either animated scenery or, in more ambitious productions, live characters on stage interacting with counterparts on film. Earlier this month we saw the premiere of Michel van der Aa's production for English National Opera, Sunken Garden , which integrates 3D film with live performance. But Streetwise Opera had a different challenge – we needed to combine the film and live sections of a new production for live performances, and then be able to tour the film elements on their own. We experimented with format, and commissions followed in 2008 – My Secret Heart, an installation by composer Mira Calix and filmmakers Flat-e based on Allegri's 17th-century choral work Miserere Mei, and, in 2010, Fables – A Film Opera, a set of short films by four filmmakers and four composers. Our films played all over the world – from the Sydney Biennale to the Edinburgh International film festival, Latitude festival and the Milk Studios in New York, and to date, these productions have been seen by 300,000 people. With a special grant from Paul Hamlyn Foundation's Breakthrough Fund I was able to further explore the marriage of film and live performance. I went to film festivals seeking out quirky productions – such as A Machine to See With at Sundance and the brilliant film-cum-gig-cum-wedding ceremony Branchage Proposes Marriage , and sought the advice of experts, who convinced me we should avoid splitting the focus on stage between live performance and film but instead celebrate the qualities of each medium separately. I found an associate artistic director (Emma Bernard) and a film producer (Jess Gormley) and we started work on what will be the first live opera performed in a cinema. Our starting point was to find a structure where the filmed and live elements could fit together seamlessly and yet be autonomous. We came up with the idea of using a conference to frame the action – it seemed perfect since it's an event where there are both live "performances" – speakers at lecterns, and sections on screen – PowerPoint presentations. This gave us a framework that allowed us to bring both the film and the live performance elements together, but also keep them distinct, and our complete 70-minute opera contains sections of live performance and sections of film (about 35 mins of each in total) sandwiched together We created a property development company, Locateco, whose conference this is; their answer to everything (and our opera's title) is an indestructible brick that will, they claim, solve the housing crisis. The live opera and the film sections tell slightly different stories but the sentiment is the same – it's all about a flashy, corporate bunch of suits learning to show their human side. So we had our basic structure. Now we needed to select the songs for both elements. We decided on a combination of existing arias – from Lascia ch'io pianga from Handel's Rinaldo to a section of Britten's Peter Grimes, to new commissions by five composers – a cross-section of the best British talent: Anna Meredith, Orlando Gough, Emily Hall, Duncan Ward and Gavin Bryars. We asked that each contribution be no more than eight minutes and scored for a small group of instrumentalists, although the instruments themselves were for the composers to choose. Bryars' piece is for our filmed finale on a beach, written for a large chorus of 100 voices. Gough wrote a lament for the Peter Grimes character after he has been ejected from the conference (also in the filmed section); Meredith's piece is a corporate exercise routine, The 10 Principles of Good Business, which will be performed live by our delegates – and audience. Finally, Ward has written the Fire Safety Officer's song – a love song between the fire safety officer and the recorded female voice that tells everyone to leave the building. The conference delegates are both the filmed singers, and the live performers and audience. If you come to the BFI this week you will be given a conference programme, a lanyard and invited to hire a tie to smarten yourself up. In the auditorium you'll encounter a live Twitter feed, suited delegates "networking" on stage, and a compere. A conference anthem (a chorus from Gounod's Faust set to new words) begins and ends the evening. And what of our performers? Making the film was an amazing experience, having it to hold in their hands and show it to friends and family, but nothing beats performing live, and the immediate feedback and affirmation performers get from an audience (so crucial for so many of them who have for much of their lives only been told they're worthless). Performing live on stage in a venue such as the BFI can be a life-changing experience. It will help show them no matter what life throws at you, you can still achieve so much. • The Answer to Everything is at the BFI Southbank , 23-24 April. Opera Classical music BFI © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Condit

Vice All News Time23 April 2013 22:04:51