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COVER PHOTO © Zoltan Alexander ZOLTAN+MEDIA / Disco Ball by Alec Soth / portrait of Jakub Józef Orliński / Photo © by Honorata Karapuda

NEWS

/NEWS

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Photo © Musacchio & Ianniello

BARBARA

HANNIGAN

CONDUCTS

BACH HAYDN

VIVIER BERG 

BARBICAN

LONDON

Who says women can’t be conductors? Well, men.

 

Much acclaimed soprano Barbara Hannigan with unparalleled dramatic sensibility rolled up her sleeves, and picked up the baton.

 

She was barely 10, when she decided to be a musician but conducting wasn’t even considered. She spent years focusing on contemporary classical music, working with composers, and exploring the works of the 20th century.

 

Since, Hannigan became one of the most celebrated musicians in the world. Her concerts are constantly a sold out, and her performances are breathtaking, whether she wears high heels, evening gowns, gym sportswear or a punk outfit on stage. In any circumstances, she is comfortable in her skin and she is an enormously powerful woman.

 

 

 

“Being a soprano is, of course, a women-only field. With conducting I was expanding into a field dominated by men. I didn’t even know what sexism meant at the beginning but as time went by, I realised that “female” was now attached to the “conductor” label where it had never been attached to the singer label.” Barbara Hannigan

 

Hannigan gave two concerts in March at the Barbican with LSO, the London Symphony Orchestra, reflecting her outstanding artistry as a curator, as well as a conductor, bringing together pieces spanning for four centuries from Bach and Haydn to 20th century with Claude Vivier and a violin concerto by Alben Berg. The latter was performed by violinist, virtuoso Veronika Eberle, and Vivier’s “Loney Child”  by Greek soprano Aphrodite Patoulidou.

 

For the second concert in March, Hannigan returned to conduct in Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony.

 

Two exquisite evenings, two incredible concerts. If you missed any of them, you may watch the concerts on Marquee TV as they were recorded for future broadcast.

/ Zoltan Alexander

Video © Warner Classics & Erato

6 MINUTES

33 SECONDS

OF

EMPATHY

VIVALDI

STABAT MATER

JAKUB JÓZEF ORLIŃSKI

A short movie was sent to us of Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater, performed by countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński who also played the lead role in the film, directed by Sebastian Pańczyk.

 

The common denominator of the music and story presented in the film is empathy,” Pańczyk explains. “The story is an attempt to reinterpret the symbolic Stabat Mater figure and contemplate empathy in this atypical form and experimental feature narrative.

 

The lead character, after experiencing a tragedy, falls into lethargy. The story talks about the path of empathy and forgiveness. The video has a very illustrative structure, there are no dialogues or text. It is all about energy than the performance.

 

"Already, during my studies, my teacher Anna Radziejewska gave me fragments of Vivaldi's Stabat Mater to sing. Then I had the opportunity to play them with various orchestras, with the piano alone. I performed them many times over the course of 10 years," recalls Orliński. "With each performance, a new idea arises, a new thought that results from our lives and what is happening in the world. I filter the music through them, then the interpretation is created."

 

From the 11th to the 16th century, Stabat Mater was sung during the holy mass. It was also developed by Renaissance composers such as Josquin dés Prés, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Baroque composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti, and later by Joseph Haydn and Antoni Dvořák.

 

In addition to Orliński’s performance, the film features Capella Cracoviensis, Michalina Olszańska, Marek Dyjak, Jacek Beler and Kinga Jasik. 

© Released by Warner Classics & Erato 2022

/ Zoltan Alexander

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Photo / Video © Xander Pratt

XANDER

PRATT

CASABLANCA

In collaboration with the Moroccan agency In One Entertainment, artist, singer Xander Pratt recently launched his new single Casablanca, and his fashion collection, Majestic Kingdom.

 

After exhibiting his work in his native country Ghana, he settled in Morocco in 2020, collaborated with 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Marrakesh, and later moved to Casablanca. 

 

Pratt was inspired by the whirlwind of the city, its heritage, energy and colours to offer a sound that takes us throughout a journey, through our moments of celebration. He drew his inspiration from his fascination with time, architecture, alternative cultures, modernity, psychology, and magic, and transformed his ideas into reality.

 

For his video Casablanca his choice naturally fell on the church Sacré-Cœur since it symbolises the secular tolerance of Morocco. We dive into the city by special effects, and in the foreground, the famous Cadillac appears which, many times, transported the late Mohammed V during his official tours.

/ Zoltan Alexander

GABRIELLE

ALPIN

RICHARD QUINN

LONDON

English singer-songwriter, the fabulous Gabrielle Aplin was invited by designer Richard Quinn to lend her voice to Quinn's stunning Fall Winter 2023/2024 show during London Fashion Week.

 

In a full-length jet-beaded dress, she played her songs along side some Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading, and Kate Bush songs with the English Chamber Orchestra and the Bach Choir.

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Photo / Video © Gabrielle Alpin

/ The Instigator

Video © Moses Sumney

MOSES

SUMNEY

CUT ME

THE PERFECT CUT

Saville Row star Moses Sumney proves you don’t need splashy colours to make an impact, in his case, in fact, it’s the very lack of colour that is so striking. “Wearing all black has taught me discipline,” says the North Carolina-based Ghanaian American art-pop musician.

 

Everything Sumney does is glamorous and theatrical. “It’s thinking about what’s going to move,” he says. “I appreciate that it, as a wearer, forces me to be a bit more disciplined and knowledgeable, but also, for the viewer, it creates a distinction.”

 

Sumney gravitates toward draped looks and cuts that emphasize texture, fabric, and silhouette. Last year, he walked for Riccardo Tisci’s Fall 2022 collection, and attended the prestigious CFDA Awards with designer Willy Chavarria, suited in a piece that augmented head-to-toe black with subtle elements of religious iconography echoing Sumney’s background as the son of two Christian pastors.

 

Now I know really what it means for something to be silk,” he says jokingly.

 

CUT ME

 

The musician opens up old wounds on a single from his latest LP. 

Moses Sumney has long been fixated on the detachment that comes with personal or political isolation. To that end, Sumney has called his upcoming album “Græ” a “conceptual patchwork about grayness,” exploring statelessness, the shades of meaning in between, the feeling of being displaced from absolutes.

 

The fourth single from the album, called “Cut Me,” lingers in the masochism of constantly learning things the hard way. The weight of the message is made nearly imperceptible by Sumney’s graceful touch. His surgical falsetto makes precise incisions in the air. He sings of hurt as both motivating and life-affirming, of a need for some kind of friction to create a spark in his soul.

“Well, if there’s no pain, is there any progress?”

/ The Instigator

GLYNDEBOURNE

NO ORDINARY OPERA

FESTIVAL 2023

GLYNDEBOURNE

Fashions and attitudes may have changed since 30’s, but the opportunity to look gorgeous never goes out of style. Founder John Christie and his wife Audrey Mildmay opened the first Glyndebourne Festival in 1934, and encouraged the wearing of formal dress to show respect to the singers and musicians.

 

Today the world-renowned auditorium and standards of excellence are testament to Christie’s original ethos: 'Not just the best we can do but the best that can be done anywhere'.

 

Early years of the Glyndebourne Festival revolved almost entirely around Mozart’s extensive repertoire of operatic works before gradually expanding to include works by other composers such as Benjamin Britten, Giuseppe Verdi, Gioachino Rossini and many others.

 

Originally the theatre seated only 300. It was enlarged and improved many times in subsequent years to hold larger audiences. By 1977, it held 850 people. By the 1990s it was clear that Glyndebourne needed an even larger auditorium so in 1994 a new opera house was built to seat 1,200, opening with a performance of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. With the digital age and innovations, Glyndebourne has now online streamings to reach the latest generation and new audiences.

 

As per today, Glyndebourne reaches around 150,000 people a year with over 120 live opera performances. 

 

Glyndebourne Festival 19 May – 27 August 2023

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Photo / Video © Glyndebourne Festival

/ The Instigator

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Photo © Andrea Ruffin

LISTEN

Video © "Bibo No Aozora" · Ryuichi Sakamoto (1996) 

KAB America Inc. (Released 2011)

SAKAMOTO

ARS LONGA

VITA BREVIS

TOKYO

Leaving this space empty would have been just as respectful and appropriate. A genius does not need adjectives.

 

For those, who are maybe not so familiar with his work, Oscar-winning Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who created the original scores for Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor," “The Sheltering Sky,” “Little Buddha,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu's "The Revenant," and collaborated with musicians including David Bowie, David Sylvian, and David Byrne, has died at the age of 71.

 

He was also known as a member of the electronic, techno-pop band Yellow Magic Orchestra with Yukihiro Takahashi and Haruomi Hosono. They became trailblazers of the electronic music genre. The statement from his record label Commmons notes: “Sakamoto-san continued to create music in his home studio whenever his health would allow it. He lived with music until the very end."

 

"The Last Emperor" swept the Oscars in 1988, winning in every category including Best Original Score, for which Sakamoto was nominated alongside collaborators David Byrne and Cong Su. "The Revenant" starring Leonardo DiCaprio also led the pack at the 2016 Academy Awards, nominated in twelve categories and winning three.

 

"Art is not a static part of culture, but flexible, changing, and interpretative. True creativity is making something entirely new. Something revolutionary and something destructive," His favourite sayings was "Ars longa, vita brevis / Art is long, life is short."

 

His music was incredible, experimental, and revolutionary. The tapestry was so cool, some didn't understand who did what, but this was the plan. To blend the sounds of nature and the complexity of nature with no way to understand what is what. The complexity of that tapestry in concert is not accidental. Sakamoto composed scores for more than 40 films in total. He was an actor, singer, producer, writer and antinuclear activist.

 

"I honestly don't know how many years I have left," the musician said recently. "It could be 20 years, 10, or a relapse reduces it to just one. I'm not taking anything for granted. But I know that I want to make more music. Music that I won't be ashamed to leave behind — meaningful work."

 

What a beautiful man, what a beautiful person.

Sensei, thank you.

/ Zoltan Alexander

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SOON

WE WILL SOON

BE REPORTING ON

GRACE JONES

YOUNG FATHERS

LONDON

Following her enormous success last year at London’s Meltdown at Southbank Centre, Grace Jones is making headline again.

 

Currently she is touring across 4 countries and has 14 upcoming concerts including Hampton Court Palace in June, Childerley in Cambridge, and the Bluedot Festival in July, at Cheshire’s Jodrell Bank Observatory with Roisin Murphy and alternative, indie band and Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers. It’s pure sugar!

/ Stay connected

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SOON

WE WILL SOON

BE REPORTING ON

MICK JAGGER

INTERVIEW

LONDON

When it comes to The Rolling Stones, it is really hard to overstate their significance and influence on the music history. Following their celebration of 60 years of game-changing rock and roll in 2022, the Rolling Stones have announced a summer concert for 2023.

 

The INSTIGATOR will be there for an exclusive interview with lead singer Mick Jagger.

 

/ Stay connected

 

LATEST

/LATEST REVIEW

JAKUB

JÓZEF

ORLIŃSKI

HANDEL 

RINALDO

V&A

LONDON

Undoubtably, the most successful and most visited exhibition in 2022, was Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear that inspired a rare performance of Handel’s Rinaldo, a flamboyant drama of love and a lot of fearless furies. 

The concert was held by Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński and conductor Olivier Zeffman at the Raphael Court in the V&A, London.

Nor the concert, nor the exhibition need an introduction, however, if you have not had the chance to visit the exhibition or attend the concert,  here is a perfect chance to read about them and revisit the images.

 

Fashioning Rinaldo is a joint event, so fashion lovers and music enthusiasts can now be on the same page.

 

 

Continued...

/ Zoltan Alexander

ALL REVIEWS

/ALL MUSIC REVIEWS

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