Ibsen cast a cruel eye on the characters of his most relentlessly symbolic play – wild ducks wounded or domesticated by fate or character. They speak or behave unsympathetically, for the most part, yet the actors must make us care for them. Simon Stone and Chris Ryan sidestep the problem by not only updating the action but writing their own script on the subject, reinventing some of the motivations while keeping the essence. True to some of Ibsen’s main points it may not be, but this is...
Is there an ideal way to programme Metamorphosen? Richard Strauss’s elegiac masterpiece requires 23 solo strings. That’s more than most chamber orchestras can muster, but with a full size symphony orchestra the piece leaves most of the players with nothing to do. In this Usher Hall concert the Royal Scottish National Orchestra chose to let Metamorphosen stand in glorious isolation before the interval. Those players that could opted to stand – not an option for the lower strings – in a...
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