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Things never change, Jo

dame_joIn a tidbit sure to warm the cockles of Our Own Vicar of John Wakefield, beloved artist Dame Josephine Barstow will return to the ‘boards’ of the Gran Teatre de Liceu in April 2011.  The legendary septuagenarian singing actress will be heard in the pivotal rôle of “Mummy Lucy” in Richard Jones‘s inscenation of Rustic Chivalry.

Vicar’s delight

britannia“To Kettles Yard in Cambridge for the premiere of a new song cycle by Richard Baker, performed by baritone Christopher Purves and pianist Andrew West. Having started off in Harvey and the Wallbangers, Purves is now a rising British operatic star: he will sing Beckmesser at Welsh National Opera alongside Bryn Terfel in Die Meistersinger this summer and, he told me, will make his La Scala debut in Peter Grimes in a couple of years. One day this man will make a wonderful Wotan.” [The Guardian]

‘Zoo story

Photo: Cory Weaver, San Francisco Opera
No, Ann Murray will not perform the role of the Marquise de Berkenfield at the Met, as announced previously when Felicity Palmer withdrew from the role.  With Jean Rigby and Rebecca de Pont Davies booked up years in advance, the Met will muddle through somehow with Meredith Arwady, who hails from a place implausibly called “Kalamazoo.”