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  • LIFESTYLE

    A classical holiday feast for all

    Life, Michael Proudfoot, Published on 02/01/2018

    » Arturo Toscanini and Wilhelm Furtwängler were two of the greatest conductors of classical music of the last century. Their approaches to performance were quite different. Toscanini believed in faithful adherence to the score, reproducing scrupulously the original tempi, the composer's written markings, the time signatures and so on. Furtwängler, on the other hand, was more spontaneous, responding to the particular circumstances of a concert: the concert hall's acoustics, the orchestra, the responses of the audience, while always, at the same time, keeping the overall architecture of the piece in mind. No two Furtwängler performances of the same work were alike.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Thai musicians charm Bavarian audiences

    Life, Michael Proudfoot, Published on 16/08/2016

    » Opera Siam and the Siam Sinfonietta are in Bayreuth, Germany, home each year to the famous Wagner Festival, for the European premiere of Somtow Sucharitkul's opera The Silent Prince, which forms part of the Bayreuth Annual Young Artists Festival. Before the opera opens members of the ensemble have performed concerts in Bayreuth and some small Bavarian towns nearby.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Wagner, Thai-style

    Life, Michael Proudfoot, Published on 25/08/2016

    » It was bold of Somtow Sucharitkul to take Opera Siam to Bayreuth in Germany, the spiritual home of Wagnerians, to perform the first opera of a cycle of operas that challenges Richard Wagner's monumental Ring cycle, performed every year in Bayreuth, as the world's longest opera cycle. Sucharitkul's The Silent Prince is the first of the 10 operas of his Dasjati cycle telling the "Ten Lives Of The Buddha", familiar stories in Buddhist culture. Somtow has already composed five of the operas, and hopes to have all 10 finished by 2020, ready for a complete cycle in a sort of Bangkok Bayreuth Festival.

  • LIFESTYLE

    From Star Wars to The Burmese March

    Life, Michael Proudfoot, Published on 07/01/2016

    » Where is the closest place in Thailand to Vienna? The answer may have been last Monday, back in 2015, at the packed Thailand Cultural Centre, where the Siam Sinfonietta presented their fourth annual New Year's Concert to an enthusiastic audience.

  • LIFESTYLE

    An evening of carols

    Life, Michael Proudfoot, Published on 22/12/2015

    » For most British people, the Christmas season is inextricably linked with the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, broadcast live from King's College, Cambridge, every Christmas Eve on both TV and radio. While the King's College Chapel Choir is the best known of the Oxford and Cambridge College Choirs, it is generally unknown that virtually all of the nearly 70 colleges have their own choir.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The Snow Dragon opera a deeply moving triumph

    Life, Michael Proudfoot, Published on 26/03/2015

    » Somtow Sucharitkul's latest opera, The Snow Dragon, received its world premiere in the US earlier this month to unanimous critical acclaim.

  • LIFESTYLE

    History, operatically 

    Life, Michael Proudfoot, Published on 24/02/2015

    » Somtow Sucharitkul realised what his next opera production should be when he was speaking with one of his students.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Mozart with a Thai twist

    Life, Michael Proudfoot, Published on 06/01/2015

    » Christmas Day at the Thailand Cultural Centre saw the opening night of Opera Siam's wonderful new production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, conducted by the young Thai impresario Trisdee Na Patalung and directed by Somtow Sucharitkul (there were two further performances, one sponsored by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority).

  • LIFESTYLE

    Somtow's new opera a resounding triumph

    Life, Michael Proudfoot, Published on 19/08/2014

    » The world premiere of Somtow Sucharitkul's Dan No Ura staged at the Thailand Cultural Centre on Aug 11 was the Thai composer's greatest operatic triumph to date. The opera deals with the Japanese sea battle of 1185, the final conflict in a war which effectively ended the power of the Taira samurai clan, close relatives of the imperial family of the time. They were defeated by the Genji, led by Minamoto no Yoshitsune, whose half-brother became the first Shogun, and power was effectively transferred to the Shoguns.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Siam Sinfonietta wins German hearts

    Life, Michael Proudfoot, Published on 08/08/2013

    » The Siam Sinfonietta, Bangkok's orchestra of musicians aged from 11 to 25 years old, won an international youth music festival in Vienna last year and another in Los Angeles earlier this year. They returned last weekend from a hugely successful German tour having won once again _ this time, the hearts of their German audiences. In each of their concerts, at historic venues in Berlin, Munich and Dresden, they received standing ovations and seemingly never-ending applause.

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