3 items from 2012
Striking Russian opera singer and wife of Mstislav Rostropovich, she was made an 'unperson' during the Soviet era
The soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, who has died aged 86, coloured her performances of opera, and especially of Russian song, so beautifully that full comprehension was not essential for enjoyment. Of course, once you did understand the words, you realised how much meaning she brought to them.
Possessed of a striking physical presence with lustrous dark hair, she was such a natural actor that she became the star of her generation at the Bolshoi opera company in Moscow, forging artistic relationships with the stage director Boris Pokrovsky and the conductor Alexander Melik-Pashaev. And – appropriately for a performer who sang with all the skill of an instrumentalist – for more than half a century she was married to Mstislav Rostropovich, not just a great cellist, but also a considerable conductor and pianist.
Their marriage – her third »
- Tully Potter
Egyptian filmmaker Atef Hatata is set to direct a romance/political drama set against the backdrop of the real-life production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida at the 3,500-year-old Pharaonic Temple in Luxor (Egypt) in 1987, titled The Exile, which Cairo-based Zad Communication is producing, in its first international co-production, teaming with Paris-based Mact Productions on the project. The reportedly $2.2 million project will "explore suppression and political corruption under the rule of deposed President Hosni Mubarak through the tale of a female French ceramics expert who goes to Egypt to study the work of a traditional master craftsman." As if »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Sky Arts is keen on springing surprises of the "odd but interesting" kind. The latest example is the engagement of Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe and Mad Men's Jon Hamm to star in A Young Doctor's Notebook, an adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's Village of Muryovo set in 1917 which will broadcast next year under the Playhouse Presents banner. Made as a four-part comedy drama by Rev producer Big Talk Productions, it is bound to be worth sampling. Much the same thing can be said of the current, third and best run of original plays on the channel, which have featured pairings such as Sir Tom Jones and Brenda Blethyn discovering a lost love.
The results aren't always brilliant – but the key is that Sky »
- Maggie Brown
3 items from 2012