Pauls Putnins, who would of course have been understudying Wotan in the Longborough Die Walküre at the moment, is in lockdown in Riga, Latvia, in order to look after his parents. He and Nick Fowler, Mastersingers Stage Manager, had a Zoom conversation on Thursday 28th May, which Nick recorded, and is available here:
An extract from the concert for Latvian National Radio, of Pauls singing Wotan’s Abendlich strahlt from Das Rheingold, is available here:
A personal tribute from our Artistic Director Malcolm Rivers to former ENO principal baritone and esteemed voice coach and teacher Neil Howlett, who died on 21st May 2020, aged 85, after a long illness.
Neil Howlett From the time I first met Neil during rehearsals and performances for the world premiere of Gordon Crosse’s “The Grace of Todd” in the Jubilee Hall at Aldeburgh, and thereafter at Sadlers Wells, I knew that he was a force to be reckoned with. He was singing Lance Corporal Shard, and Robert Tear and I were mere privates . He relished the authority the role gave him and immediately impressed himself on the opera world with an amazingly rich and beautiful baritone and natural stage presence – to be with him always; most notably as far as I am concerned during the tenures we both enjoyed at ENO from the early 70s until late 80s when we both left the company – he to Academia and me to Musical Theatre. During that time his repertoire was astonishing. His Verdi singing was the most accomplished I had heard from a British baritone since Glossop and in particular his Iago, Gerard and Scarpia were unique in the beauty of tone and legato that he brought to such dramatic roles. In addition the contemporary repertoire was also where his talent was awesome. Later in his career when he added Wagner roles to his repertoire he was equally impressive. At Mastersingers he was our first Wotan and relished coming to this role whilst coaching at our musical institutions. So much was passed on from him to the younger artists in our system by the majesty of his singing and his willingness to guide and encourage “from the wings” with boundless energy and generosity. He undertook lectures and Masterclasses for us in London, Aldeburgh and The Rodd at Presteigne that were beneficial to many who went on to international careers. Particularly informative was his lecture on the five different types of tenor voice (not including character tenor) required to sing Wagner. He was distinguished, unique and a wonderful colleague and friend to us all in the world of opera . I doubt we shall hear his like again and we are all deeply indebted to him. Malcolm
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The second event of Project Valhalla: The English Ring brings one of the UK’s most celebrated and lauded sopranos Dame Felicity Palmer to give a public workshop on the Norns’ scene from the Prologue to The Twilight of the Gods, sung in Andrew Porter’s celebrated translation.
With Christie Cook, Harriet Williams and Mariya Krywaniuk
Head of Music Kelvin Lim
April 13, 2019, 2pm to 5pm
St. Cyprian’s, Glentworth St. London NW1 6AX Nearest tube: Baker Street; buses 139 & 189
Tickets £12 via Mike Morgan: mikegmorgan65@gmail 01494 514252
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This year´s Carole Rees Award was presented to Pauls Putnins by Longborough’s Music Director Anthony Negus at the Rehearsal Orchestra event on October 20th 2019, to further his studies in the Wagnerian repertoire.
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This year´s Peter West award was presented to Rhonda Browne by Longborough’s Music Director Anthony Negus at the Rehearsal Orchestra event on October 20, 2019.
The award is given in honour of the memory of photographer, devoted Wagnerian and long-standing supporter of Mastersingers Peter West, by his daughter Karen to allow a developing Wagner artist to pay for coaching and mentoring.
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