tue 21/11/2017

18th century

The Magic Flute, Longborough Festival review - sparkling and moving

About The Magic Flute there’s a certain amount of domestic theatre and a great deal of pantomime. It calls for fun, sentiment, movement, a measure of spectacle, and plenty of direct communication with the audience. But like the mechanicals’ play in...

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Buxton Festival review - early Verdi, earlier Mozart and refreshing Britten

“The subject is neither political nor religious; it is fantastical” wrote Verdi to the librettist Piave about his opera Macbeth. “The opera is not about the rise of a modern fascist: nor is it about political tyranny. It is a study in character”...

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OAE, Christie, St John's Smith Square

William Christie chose a suitably light and breezy programme for this warm summer evening’s concert at St. John’s Smith Square. The concert was titled “Bach goes to Paris”, with works chosen to highlight the connections between the German master and...

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Jonathan Miles: St Petersburg review - culture and calamity

Talk about survival: St Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad, now again St Petersburg, all the same city, has it nailed down. It was founded through the mad enthusiasm, intelligence, determination and just off-the-scale energy of Peter the Great in 1703...

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Mitridate, Re di Ponto, Royal Opera review - Crowe and costumes light up pointless revival

Why stage a stiff opera about half-frozen royals by a not-yet-divine Mozartino? The best Mitridate really deserves is one of those intimate concert performances with brilliant young singers at which Ian Page's Classical Opera excels. Yet this is the...

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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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