sun 25/06/2017

18th century

Der Rosenkavalier, Welsh National Opera review - hard to imagine a stronger cast

Der Rosenkavalier, you might think, is one of those operas that belong in a specific place and time and no other. “In Vienna,” says Strauss's score, “in the first years of Maria Theresia’s reign” (i.e. the 1740s). But this, of course, is a...

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Poldark, Series 3, BBC One review - tempestuous passions and pantomime villains ride again

Is it always the same bit of Cornish clifftop they gallop along in Poldark? Anyway here it was again, raising the curtain on the third series. As the camera flew in over a gaggle of squawking seagulls spiralling above the foaming surf crashing on...

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theartsdesk in Göttingen: Handel for all

"Love is in the air," croons or rather bellows presenter Juri Tetzlaff, getting his audience of adults and children to bellow back the wordless refrain, arms swaying above their heads. Mezzo Sophie Rennert, dragged up as noble Lotario, and soprano...

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Canaletto & the Art of Venice, The Queen's Gallery - preview

Even today, the perception of Venice as a city only half-rooted in mundane reality owes a great deal to Canaletto (1697-1768), an artist who made his name producing paintings for English tourists visiting Italy in the 18th century. Recognisable...

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Bach Brandenburg Concertos, OAE, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Enlightenment is a wonderful idea, and the members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment who played Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall last night brought the wisdom of today’s period instrument movement to bear...

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Chineke! Orchestra, Brighton Festival / Saleem Ashkar, Wigmore Hall

Anyone who missed the opening Southbank concerts of the Chinike! Orchestra, figurehead of a foundation which aims to give much-needed help to young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians, could and now can (on YouTube) catch snippets of...

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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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