Los Angeles Opera has appointed Stuart Canin as the company's new Concertmaster. He will work alongside the company's new Principal Conductor, Kent Nagano.

Canin served as Concertmaster for the San Francisco Opera Orchestra from 1969-71 and for the S.F. Symphony from 1970-80. In addition, he served in the same capacity at the Casals Festival, and Mostly Mozart Summer Festival Orchestra. From 1995-98 he was Guest Conductor of the Tokyo-based New Japan Philharmonic.

As a violinist, Canin continues to perform in recital and as a soloist. He has also taught violin and recently gave master classes in the instrument at the Conservatory of Music in Shanghai, China.

In 1987, Canin had the singular honor of giving the first performance on the Jascha Heifetz Guarnerius violin after the death of the great violinist.

The reviews are in of this past summer's leading international opera performances.

PARIS: Most local critics knocked Graham Vick's production of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes. The "effort to move Britten's masterpiece towards Berg's Lulu was misguided: Britten is about repression, not expression," said one reviewer. He also disapproved of Ben Heppner's portrayal of Grimes: "despite some powerful moments of bronze-toned power and a welcome straightforward approach to the phrasing of the monologues, Heppner needed a more sympathetic director to bring the role to life."

LONDON: English National Opera unveiled a new work, From Morning to Midnight, based on a German play by Georg Kaiser and composed by David Sawer. "The libretto seems to cry out for music of mordant wit and fierce energy, with the satiric bite of a young Shostakovich or Prokofiev...Instead, Sawer's approach was more leisured and at times Romantic or rather, post-Romantic," said one critic. "I can't imagine this one traveling very far."

The Royal Opera put up a "servicably traditional" production of Otello, starring Jose Cura, whose vocal interpretation was highly praised. This was followed by Francesca Zambello's new staging of Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades, starring Vladimir Galouzine, Karita Martila, Nikolai Putilin and Josephine Barstow, none of whom was rated highly by the reviewers.

News for September 2001