Arts Global

22 September 2014

Update from Tenor Mark Milhofer

Well, this is a new one for me. I am currently flying along at 30 something thousand feet on my way to Daegu in South Korea where I shall be making my debut as Nadir in Bizet's Les Pêcheurs de Perles (concert performance on Thursday 25th Sept for those of you in the area or with access to a private jet!) Obviously I shall be sending this once I've landed but it seems a good use of the time between the in-flight movies. I have been invited to sing by the Daegu International Opera Festival in what was originally just a stand-and-deliver show but which has become more complicated with the request to sing from memory, the hiring of a stage director and the swapping of Evening Tails for costumes......but I'm assured it's still just a concert!
Returning to London next Friday I'll have the weekend to change suitcases before heading to Graz for another new role (in another new theatre). This time I will be the Comte de Rosillon in Léhar's Die Lustige Witwe - a wonderful operetta where I get one of the best tunes in the show. The only thing I'm worried about is the dialogue - it's been a long time since I studied for German O Level - but I'm assured I don't have a lot of lines.... There are quite a lot of shows and they're very spread out. Two in November (premiere on the 8th), two in December (including New Year's Eve) a few in January and February and the final show late March. By then I will have returned to Bern for another run of last year's Cenerentola, with its whacky costumes and flying pink carriage. The performances are in February and March but book now to avoid disappointment as last time it was completely sold out!
If you'd prefer to hear me sing in England then you have one chance only: a concert performance of Rameau's amazing Platee at St John's, Smith Square in London on November 20th with the Early Opera Group conducted by Christian Curnyn. Again, book soon as it's selling fast. Other concerts include returning to Naples on October 18 and 19 to open the Symphonic Season with Stravinsky's Pulcinella (if that sounds familiar it's because I was there last year for the same concert but everything was cancelled due to strike action - fingers crossed for this time round). I'm also going back to Zagreb for Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette on February 12th and have, surprise surprise, more Carmina Buranas, this time in Italy - in Parma on March 27th, Piacenza on the 28th and Modena on the 31st. I've already sung it four times this year (it seems to be all I'm wanted for) in Munich, St Etienne, Zagreb and Monte Carlo (this last one was very cool being outdoors in the courtyard of the Royal Palace, followed by Martinis at the Hotel de Paris). I had to squeeze these in between performances of a pair of "interesting" productions - Holliger's Schneewittchen in Basel and a return to Cavalieri's La Rappresentazione (etc) in Berlin. Both shows were directed by Achim Freyer. Look out for the CD that we made in the studio of the latter, probably out next Spring.
But the highlight of the year so far has to have been a concert performance of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Concertgebow in Amsterdam last month. We had so much fun improvising the staging, and it is such an amazing acoustic to sing in. I do hope I get to go back there soon. As a result I've attached another photo from last year's staged Reisopera production for your delectation!
My website is now up-to-date with all my dates and a couple of new photos. I still occasionally Tweet when I'm on the road (@MarkMilhofer - please do follow me. My Tweets are different to my Facebook posts) And there is a new DVD of a production of Salome from Bologna available to buy (I haven't seen it and as I kill myself after about 5 minutes I'm not sure I'll be buying it any time soon!!!) and I keep finding CDs and DVDs of live recordings of my shows, mostly from official broadcasts rather than pirate recordings, on a site called including a Peter Grimes from Turin with Neil Schicoff singing the title role which I never knew existed!
Not sure whether to go to sleep or pretend it's time to wake up and start the day! Either way, tomorrow's going to be tough!


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