tue 21/11/2017

Bryn Terfel

Prom 2: Boris Godunov, Royal Opera, Pappano

The Royal Opera’s Boris Godunov production made the short trip from Covent Garden to South Ken for the company’s appearance at the 2016 Proms. The opera (here in its original 1869 version) is a good choice for concert presentation: as Antonio...

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Boris Godunov, Royal Opera

Russian bells and spinning tops dominate Richard Jones's predictably unpredictable take on Musorgsky's saga of a conscience-stricken Tsar. Latter-day purism tends to insist on the composer's seven-scene 1869 original – possibly for economic more...

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Tosca, Wales Millennium Centre

There’s a good deal to be said for semi-staged opera. It concentrates the mind in a particular way; it brings the orchestra more fully into the action; it moves the singers closer to the audience; and above all it reduces – even removes – the power...

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Prom 11: Fiddler on the Roof, Grange Park Opera

Stop miking Bryn Terfel. Stop over-miking musicals; the show voices in a hybrid cast don’t need much. Too much ruined English National Opera’s recent Sweeney Todd, and in this Proms adaptation of Grange Park Opera’s summer crowd-pleaser it sent the...

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Fiddler on the Roof, Grange Park Opera

Many matches are made in Fiddler on the Roof but the matchmaking prize goes to Grange Park Opera for getting Bryn Terfel to take on the role of Tevye. Having only recently played Sweeney Todd, and indeed throughout a varied...

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Die Walküre Act 3, WNO, Koenigs, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

There’s a lot to be said for concert performances of Wagner. Not only are you spared the post-prandial lucubrations of aspirant directors – the moonmen and the fighter pilots, the jackboots and the biogas installations. But it’s possible to...

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Sweeney Todd, London Coliseum

Still they keep coming, 35 years on from the London premiere of Sondheim's "musical thriller": Sweeneys above pubs, in pie shops, concert halls and theatres of all sizes, on the big screen, Sweeneys with symphony orchestras, two pianos or a handful...

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Der fliegende Holländer, Royal Opera

Like the Dutchman himself, Tim Albery’s Der fliegende Holländer makes its inevitable return to the Royal Opera House. Unlike the Dutchman, however, this production has broken free of its cycle of repetition. Perhaps expectations have changed,...

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L'Elisir d'Amore, Royal Opera

“Watch out for the dog!” instructs Covent Garden’s programme for its latest revival of L’elisir d’amore. These creatures do have a way of stealing shows, but the canine who dashed across the flat Italian cornfield after Dr Dulcamara’s decrepit lorry...

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Prom 15: Die Walküre, Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim

Things may be falling apart, a storm now rages but new broods of humans and demigoddesses have been fathered by chief god Wotan, who has undergone a Doctor Who like transformation from Iain Paterson into Bryn Terfel. Four new top singers appear on...

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Der Fliegende Holländer, Zurich Opera, Royal Festival Hall

Much more regularly than the seven years it takes the Flying Dutchman's demon ship to reach dry land, the Zurich Opera steamer moors at the Southbank Centre. None of its more recent concert performances up to now has branded itself on the memory as...

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First Night of the 2012 Proms

Two weeks to go to the Olympics, of course, but the Proms Olympics – 84 concerts in 60 days – have already taken off, with Britain placed first, second, third and fourth. For last night’s First Night concert was one where everything except Canadian...

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