tue 23/05/2017

English Touring Opera

Patience/Tosca, English Touring Opera

How well do you know your bad Victorian poetry? “When through the purple corridors the screaming scarlet Ibis flew/In terror, and a horrid dew dripped from the moaning Mandragores.” Go on, guess the author. Or how about this? “What time the poet...

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Don Giovanni / Pia de' Tolomei, English Touring Opera

The curtain is up for the overture to English Touring Opera’s new production of Don Giovanni, but no-one is on stage. Instead, we gaze at Anna Fleischle’s set: a creation in two layers. On the top, elegant Klimt panels glint with gold. Below, and...

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Iphigénie en Tauride, English Touring Opera

Gluck's two operas about the daughter of Agamemnon saved from sacrifice only to serve as priestess-butcher herself have found their level on the contemporary operatic stage. Not that the handful of UK productions or their casts in recent years have...

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Pelléas et Mélisande, English Touring Opera

Shorn of several scenes, characters, and a large portion of the orchestra, the question was always whether English Touring Opera’s Pelléas et Mélisande was going to thrive in its new intimacy and intensity or shatter with the pressure. The answer...

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The Wild Man of the West Indies, ETO, Hackney Empire

“Do you think they’ve got enough plot to get us through to the end?” I overheard a lady anxiously asking her husband during the interval. It was a fair question. Donizetti’s The Wild Man of the West Indies was written within a year of L’elisir d’...

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Life on the Moon, English Touring Opera

You may be more familiar with the Italian title, Il mondo della luna, but chances are you won’t have seen this or any of Haydn’s other 16 operas. You haven’t missed much, at least until the last of his works as court composer to the Esterházy family...

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Paul Bunyan, English Touring Opera, Linbury Studio Theatre

Paul Bunyan, best described as a "choral operetta", was Britten’s first foray into the operatic, and much of its value is surely gleaned through the prism of subsequent successes. The composer withdrew it after its poorly received US premiere in...

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The Emperor of Atlantis, English Touring Opera

Victor Ullmann’s 1943 opera The Emperor of Atlantis never made it beyond a dress rehearsal during the composer’s tragically curtailed lifetime. Composed in the Terezín concentration camp, this operatic satire is a work of exquisite bravery – a...

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Xerxes, Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music

“Morning at the airfield: King Xerxes admires the new Spitfire, which he hopes will transform his continental campaign.” If the title – emphatically Xerxes rather than Serse – hadn’t already given the game away, the synopsis for English Touring...

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The Duenna, English Touring Opera, Linbury Studio Theatre

Adrian Thompson, Richard Suart and Damian Thantrey celebrate 'a bumper of liquor'

Christmas has come early to the Royal Opera House this year. Without a single shout of “He’s behind you!” or even an implausibly-uddered dancing cow, pantomime season is well and truly underway in the form of The Duenna – a corset-straining,...

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