thu 27/04/2017

18th century

The Lottery of Love, review - 'the fragile charm of artifice'

The social permutations of love are beguilingly explored in the 90-minute stage traffic of Marivaux’s The Lottery of Love, with Paul Miller’s production at the Orange Tree Theatre making the most of the venue’s unencumbered in-the-round space to...

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Alceste, Early Opera Company, Curnyn, Wigmore Hall

A wife dies to save her husband; a hero goes to hell and back to retrieve her from the underworld. Nothing of this dark myth, other than a rollicking row across the Styx from a bass singing Charon, ferryman of the dead, remains in Handel's...

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Ormisda, St George's Hanover Square

The annual London Handel Festival is dutifully working its way through every one of Handel’s operas in a cycle that will eventually take us from Alcina to Xerxes before, presumably, starting all over again. But each year, alongside these headliners...

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Harlots review - 'fun quasi-feminist costume romp'

We like to think of Georgian England as a wellspring of elegance: the Chippendale chair and the Wedgwood teapot, the landscaped vista and the neoclassical townhouse. But, as subversively embodied in the mock heroic couplet, the seemly Age of Reason...

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

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...

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Partenope, English National Opera

It's time again for surrealist charades at the nothing-doing mansion. Christopher Alden's Handel is back at ENO, making inconsequentiality seem wondrous. Christian Curnyn's conducting sets the tone, with orchestral playing as light as air, and a new...

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thertsdesk in Oslo: Mozart beneath a Munch sun

Leif Ove Andsnes directing two great Mozart piano concertos from the keyboard may be the chief attraction when the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra comes to London's Cadogan Hall on Friday to celebrate its 40th birthday. It was certainly the bait which...

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Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, RNCM, Manchester

Manchester Camerata give relatively few old-fashioned concerts these days – I mean the sort that are done in purpose-built concert halls, with a conductor, soloist and conventional orchestra strength – because they’re busy crossing boundaries and...

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Roots, BBC Four

Those of us who saw the first, 1977 TV adaptation of Alex Haley's Roots in our teens still remember the shock and horror at its handling of a subject about which we knew little, American slavery. We know a lot more now, but the visceral reaction to...

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Sunday Book: Jake Arnott - The Fatal Tree

Novelist Jake Arnott has an eye for seedy glamour. The Fatal Tree takes the 1720s underworld - the setting of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, one of the most successful of all time - and adds more sex and a slick story, to make this rivetingly vivid...

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Adriana Lecouvreur, Royal Opera

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. Its composer, Francesco Cilea, is known for little else, but the opera...

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Summerfield, Jackson, Riches, Classical Opera, Page, Wigmore Hall

Young Amadeus is growing up in real time with MOZART 250, Classical Opera's ambitious 26-year project following its hero's creative life from childhood to the grave. 2015's start, marking two and a half centuries since the boy wonder's first visit...

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