mon 19/02/2018

ENO

Lulu, English National Opera

After a day of sheer pain, would it be endless night or cathartic relief at ENO? Both, must be the answer, and much more, all at once. Iconoclastic Frank Wedekind's "earth-spirit" Lulu, exploited as a street-child but now able to turn the tables for...

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Martyn Brabbins: a safe pair of hands at ENO

No-one can easily replace Mark Wigglesworth as Music Director of English National Opera: ask any of the musicians working there and you'll find they're all heartbroken. That said, they could not have chosen a nicer man or a better all-round musician...

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Don Giovanni, English National Opera

Pace-perfect musical articulation and meaningful surprises in the direction: both were to be expected after the conductor-generated sludge and the production overkill of the new Royal Opera Così fan tutte. Mark Wigglesworth has form in Mozart at ENO...

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Proms at...Roundhouse: London Sinfonietta, Gourlay

Some enchanted afternoon in Camden Town… the Proms returned to the Roundhouse after four decades with a dreamlike fusion of sound, space and light. Ron Arad’s Curtain Call – a 360° installation of 5,600 sillicon rods – encircled the London...

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Alberto Remedios: 'his natural instrument obeyed his inner thoughts with ease'

When I sang Isolde to Alberto’s Tristan at English National Opera all those years ago, it was a joy to hear such wonderful tenor sounds in my ears, my heart and my soul. It was always difficult for him to memorise his work and up until the first...

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Tristan and Isolde, English National Opera

"Bad Star Trek episodes" is how one director describes a certain unfortunate look in would-be intergalactic opera productions. The late Nikolaus Lehnhoff came perilously close to it in his Glyndebourne Tristan und Isolde but offered a coherent...

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Madam Butterfly, English National Opera

There’s a beautiful moment at the start of Act II of Anthony Minghella’s Madam Butterfly. Butterfly kneels, leaning forward to kiss Pinkerton, seated in his defiantly Western armchair. A paper screen moves swiftly across our view, and almost before...

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Daniel Kramer for ENO Artistic Director: cause for cautious optimism?

Within the wounded, divided company of English National Opera – artists and administration still at loggerheads – the buzz is surprisingly positive. CEO Cressida Pollock does finally seem to be listening: union deputies from chorus and orchestra met...

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Sunset Boulevard, London Coliseum

Could the fascination of Glenn Close's Norma Desmond transcend the frequent bathos of Lloyd Webber? Would they have sorted out the miking which wrecked last year's first choice of semi-ENO musical, the infinitely superior Sweeney Todd? Yes, to...

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Save ENO: The Chorus Speaks

"Just listen". That's an imperative, of course, but it can be a very fair and reasonable one if the tone is right. It was Claudio Abbado's encouragement to his Lucerne Festival Orchestra players to make chamber music writ large. It also sounds...

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Akhnaten, English National Opera

What a load of balls. No, seriously. Globes, orbs, moons, suns, juggling balls, beach balls, er balls balls: if it’s spherical and pregnant with symbolism then you’re bound to find it somewhere on the props table for English National Opera’s...

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Norma, English National Opera

In the light of what follows, it's probably best to be clear that I'm completely behind the artistic side of ENO in rejecting a 25 per cent reduction of the chorus's annual salary, tied to a shorter season. A full-time chorus of this size is the...

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