Just a quick break from my all-encompassing Blissfulness to link to some Australians doing Good Stuff back in the mother country.
1. Stuart Skelton in an appallingly appealing Kat'a Kabanova. It's at the ENO. Stuart is Boris, opposite the Kat'a of (cue sighing) Patricia Racette. The production is by David Alden, brother of Christopher, of Tosca fame. And here's the bit that will set Grimey hearts even further aflutter — Mark Wigglesworth conducts. Stuart, Patricia, Wigglesworth, Janacek. Has your head exploded yet? Information, trailer, images and so on at the ENO website. Too many reviews to link to, so have a Google News link instead. And The Guardian has a fantastic interview with the very articulate and fascinating Stuart.
2. Emma Matthews' Covent Garden début. What is it with Australians and Janacek? At long last Emma has made her London splash, in the title role of The Cunning Little Vixen. Charles Mackerras, King of Janacek, conducts. There were dramas on opening night, with Emma Bell (who was to have sung the Fox) admitted to hospital the previous day for an emergency appendectomy, but all seems to have turned out pretty nicely in the end for our Emma. MusicOMH has a nice interview, and again, Google is better than I am at aggregating reviews.
3. This one is further in the future. Opera Holland Park's Charity Gala in honour of Richard Bonynge's 80th Birthday. There will be celebrations here in Australia, too, of course, but meanwhile the line-up for this gala is fairly bursting with fabulous Antipodeans — Yvonne Kenny, Conal Coad, Aldo Di Toro, Julian Gavin and, um, Cheryl Barker are all on the list. OHP has a good track record with Australian singers. It was in their Fedora that I first heard Aldo (singing opposite Yvonne) and of course I'm off there myself in August to see Cheryl and Julian in Francesca da Rimini, whose cast also includes Australian baritone Jeffrey Black and New Zealand's Own Anna Leese. Now is probably also a good time to point out that Opera Holland Park's very entertaining blog has been revived.