In a much-cited letter to Francesco Maria Piave, his librettist for Macbeth, Verdi wrote, ‘This tragedy is one of the greatest creations of the human spirit. If we can’t do something great with it, let us at least try to do something out of the ordinary.’ As it happens, they did do something laudable with the Scottish Play. Verdi’s tenth opera, his first based on Shakespeare, was without ... (read more)
William Yeoman is Literary Editor and Senior Arts Writer at The West Australian newspaper. As a music critic, he is a regular contributor to Gramophone and Limelight magazines.
Airings of Handel's Judas Maccabaeus are now so rare it is easy to forget that it was, in the composer's day and along with Messiah and perhaps Samson, among his most frequently performed oratorios. Nobody present at this electrifying account by a stellar quartet of soloists, the St George's Cathedral Consort, and The Musicians' Table orchestra under the direction of Joseph Nolan would have been l ... (read more)