Patricia Bardon: “I love all music. I like jazz in the background when I’m making dinner, or whatever. I love Nina Simone. I love Adele and Amy Winehouse.” Photograph: Frances Marshall

In the world of classical music, the performance of a Mahler symphony is like . . . well, imagine a live gig that has Bruce Springsteen, Prince and(...)

Tara Erraught: the Irish mezzo soprano of the moment gives recitals at Wexford Festival Opera, the NCH and in Galway. Photograph: Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images

The new concert season kicks off in earnest on Friday, with one of the most explosive works ever written. Stravinsky’s still awe-inspiring Rite of (...)

The RTÉ CO and conductor John Wilson in rehearsals for Carmen, with Irish mezzo Patricia Bardon (far right). Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne
Carmen (in concert)

****   John Wilson masterfully induces more than the willing suspension of disbelief. For his special projects, the RTÉ Concert Orche(...)

When Patricia Bardon sings Carmen at the National Concert Hall this Saturday, it will be her Dublin debut in a part she has performed as far away as Los Angeles. And that’s just one of the roles in a vast repertoire of which an English opera critic wrote: “I have never seen her give anything less than a world-class performance.”

As a young singer growing up in Dublin, Patricia Bardon used to dream of becoming another Aretha Franklin, or even a Tina Turner. Tragically, it was n(...)

How do you assess the success of a musical career? By the fees commanded? The number of engagements? The prestige of the venues?

It’s an oft-heard contention: given the small size of the country, we punch above our weight when it comes to producing musicians. People usually poin(...)

With the death of John Ruddock on May 17th, a matchless contribution to classical music in Ireland comes to a close. In 1967, with his late wife Do(...)