abdelkarim featured 380 h
  • Son qual nave…

    My rants about opera, music, sometimes even life in general...
abdelkarim featured 380 h

Sham debates and drainpipe jeans

Abdelkarim Zemhoute is a German-Moroccan comedian. The clip is from a German TV show called “Die Anstalt.” (“Die Anstalt” is ambiguous in German, it can mean “Institution” – like a broadcasting station – or it means “mental hospital.”)

I like what he does. (I supect he might be better and more bitter yet if he is not on national TV, too.) In an effort to explain “what Germans find funny” to a friend, I decided to make a transcript and a translation.

wigmore times

I hated it – Wigmore Hall and The Times

I am more than just mildly annoyed. Annoyed not because someone “hated it.” I’m annoyed because instead of a review, The Times decided to publish a pretentious hate-piece designed to insult musicians and audience alike. It worked. I am referring to the review of “Music for a While” at Wigmore Hall, published by the Times. Here … Continue reading

when i am

Involuntarily inappropriate libretto lines/lyrics, anyone?

Now don’t get me wrong – I do feel very deeply about the following songs and arias, but still, they can be overheard in a completely inappropriate way. #1 Of course, Purcell’s “When I am laid … am laid ….” in earth. from “Dido and Aeneas.” I was so relieved when Stephen Fry and Tim Lihoreau mentioned the … Continue reading

iveri featured

The curtain closed, the plot unended

A few days have passed since events around Tamar Iveri, a Georgian opera singer, have escalated. I followed the matter with interest; in parts because I like a good show as much as anyone, but mainly because of the dynamics it revealed. It made people speak out who usually keep silent. At first glance, the event has … Continue reading


These are a few of my favourite … books.

There were a few books in my life that I found life-changing, that gave me the feeling of having found a love I never knew I had been looking for, that I couldn’t un-read, that made me change my view of the world forever. For now, I’ll only span the bracket until about 16 years of age, otherwise … Continue reading

chimamanda ngozi adichie featured

No talking about the weather

I have to say, up to this day, Chimamanda Adichie was completely unknown to me. (In my defence, I don’t get round to read nearly as much as I’d wish to of late.) Chimamanda Adichie is in fact a novelist of high acclaim. What she said in a speech, moved me, so I thought I’d share. … Continue reading

hair game going strong featured

My hairy issues with Classical marketing

This is the kind of blog note I am not sure whether to post at all; maybe I would like to avoid my own bigotry to be showing too much. However, I think the question is worth giving a thought to, and I would be curious about your opinion, which tips the balance. So alright … Continue reading

Kaufmann 18

“Er muss halt auch amal a bissl brav sein, ja?” – Jonas Kaufmann at “Wir sind Kaiser”

This interview is from a feature shown on Austrian TV in December 2013. A friend of mine asked me for a transcript, and a translation, so I tried my very best. Enjoy! The original programme is still available in the mediathek of ORF as well: [x] … And here it is on YouTube: Emperor Robert … Continue reading


My issues with gay movies, or why mezzos are better than the rest

I found this quote the other day, and I would like to pick up on it: As someone who identifies as gay, I remember growing up and going to the bookstore and going to the gay and lesbian section and thinking to myself, “This is it. This is what we have. This one shelf. That’s … Continue reading

bostridge ansbach featured

Every nighte and alle – Ian Bostridge in Ansbach

The programme was something that just couldn’t be missed. Bostridge, Bach, and Britten? I couldn’t withstand this combination which caused me to organize a little trip to Ansbach.  (For most outside Germany, distances here seem ridiculous, but still, even a little trip is quite a fuss at times.) The Location St. Johannis is a church … Continue reading


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