The BBC’s Proms kick off today, with the First Night of the Proms from the Royal Albert Hall delivering what they describe as ‘a surge of natural energy in sea-inspired works by Britten and Vaughan Williams’. In this week’s magazine, Kate Chisholm speaks to the director of the event, Roger Wright, about the challenges of what sounds like ‘a dream job’, but is in fact ‘more like 26-dimensional chess’.
Is the next generation being messed up by our celebrity-obsessed culture? That’s the question Sofia Coppola raises with her latest film, The Bling Ring, a film that Deborah Ross thinks ‘might be worth watching just to see Paris’s shoe room’. There’s plenty of visual panache, but that’s not all that this film offers. It does have a point – and one it makes very well ‘without hammering it home’. Here’s the trailer:
A programme ‘dedicated to those who love nothing better than to tramp for miles with no other objective in mind than of putting one foot in front of the other’ – as Kate Chisholm describes it – might not sound particularly interesting. But Clare Balding’s Ramblings on Radio 4 has been a surprise hit. In this week’s programme she meets Tara Bariana who, having moved from India to Walsall as a child, decided to walk from West Midlands to the Punjab, to discover ‘what lay between’ the two places. Below is the full radio programme, so you can hear for yourself what he found; and here’s what Kate made of it.
This week, Michael Tanner reviews Wagner’s Siegfried, currently touring with Opera North. Of all the Ring dramas, this one is ‘the hardest to pull off’, he writes. But with this production, Opera North manage to ‘surpass any account of [Siegfried] I have ever hard’, adding:
‘I almost dread the thought of next year’s Götterdämmerung, if it maintains this standard.’