tue 28/03/2017

Opera Reviews

The First Commandment, Classical Opera, St John’s Smith Square

Peter Quantrill

Isn’t it funny? You wait ages for an opera by an eleven-year-old and then two turn up at once. The world’s feature journalists descended on Vienna at Christmas for a new take on Cinderella by Alma Deutscher. What they heard, for what it’s worth, was a precocious, glittery pastiche of Classical manners. Last night was the real deal.

Read more...

Partenope, English National Opera

david Nice

It's time again for surrealist charades at the nothing-doing mansion. Christopher Alden's Handel is back at ENO, making inconsequentiality seem wondrous.

Read more...

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Royal Opera

david Nice

Recent British-based productions have taken Wagner's paean to creativity, the reconciliation of tradition and the individual talent, at face value.

Read more...

The Winter's Tale, English National Opera

david Nice

After a Royal Opera performance of Birtwistle's The Minotaur, a friend spotted Hans Werner Henze in the foyer and had the temerity to ask that annoying question "What did you think?" "Very competent and extremely well performed," came the reply.

Read more...

Hansel and Gretel, Opera North

graham Rickson

Opera North’s updated version of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel takes place in what looks like a down-at-heel Leeds housing estate, the titular siblings shown filming the story using simple domestic props and back projections. Quite how the impoverished pair have acquired a high-end video camera isn’t made clear; presumably the assorted boxes of Christmas decorations scattered around Giles Cadel’s spare set fell off the back of the same lorry.

Read more...

Juan Diego Flórez, Vincenzo Scalera, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Richard Bratby

“Who says Mozart is not like Rossini?” remarked Juan Diego Flórez, about a quarter of an hour into his debut recital at Symphony Hall.

Read more...

Le Vin herbé, Welsh National Opera

stephen Walsh

Wagner’s Tristan left a huge mark on fin de siècle art, on the symbolist poets, even on their pseudonyms; Debussy himself toyed with a four-act opera on the subject.

Read more...

Kaufmann, Mattila, LSO, Pappano, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

Jonas Kaufmann’s legion of admirers could rest content. A well-received Lieder evening last week demonstrated that the world’s hottest tenor property had returned, both to London for a three-concert residency at the Barbican, and indeed to singing after burst blood vessels had forced several months of rest and cancelled concerts.

Read more...

Adriana Lecouvreur, Royal Opera

Gavin Dixon

Adriana Lecouvreur deserves to be better known. The opera has a toe-hold in the repertoire, with occasional appearances, usually as a showcase for the soprano in the title role.

Read more...

Rigoletto, English National Opera

alexandra Coghlan

This was supposed to be a triumphant return – one final encore for the production so good that audiences just couldn’t let it go. Instead, this 13th revival of Jonathan Miller’s Mafia Rigoletto seems like an apology. The designs are handsome as ever, the concept as neat, but the details of both direction and music are so scrappy and scattered that the show feels more like a basement clear-out than a loving restoration.  

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Blu-ray/DVD: Two Rode Together

Two Rode Together (1961) depicts the humanising of Guthrie McCabe (James Stewart), a corrupt, mercenary...

Harlots review - 'fun quasi-feminist costume romp'

We like to think of Georgian England as a wellspring of elegance: the Chippendale chair and the Wedgewood teapot, the landscaped vista and the...

theartsdesk Q&A: Writer David Storey, pt 1

David Storey, who has died at the age of 83, was the...

theartsdesk Q&A: Writer David Storey, pt 2

In Radcliffe, an early novel by David Storey, one character murders another with a telling blow from a hammer. The author was later...

Line of Duty, Series 4 review – 'the tension rocketed t...

Now promoted to the exhilarating landscapes of BBC One as a...

Car Seat Headrest, Electric Ballroom

Seattle-based rockers Car Seat Headrest finally burst their cult bubble with their 13th album, last year’s Teens of Denial,...

CD: Wire - Silver/Lead

Although Wire have regularly fired out albums, ever since their inimitable strain of angular...

The best TV to watch this week

We are living in a golden age of television, with far too much to choose from. Let theartsdesk help you make your choice of what to watch, whether...

Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories review - 'in pictures y...

“My mother has always been a bit of a mystery to me not only as an artist but also as a mum,” declares Nick Willing by way of introduction to his...

Sunday Book: Christian Madsbjerg - Sensemaking

Two pernicious practices dominate Christian Madsbjerg's Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm: algorithm...