tue 21/11/2017

Handel

Oreste, Royal Opera, Wilton's Music Hall

Human sacrifice and long-term reconciliation are serious matters for music-drama. Not that you'd know it from Handel's pasticcio or confectionary of previous operatic hits, nor from Gerard Jones's one-note production. For strip-cartoon violence...

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Alcina, RAM, Round Chapel, Hackney

Handel’s Alcina is about sex, certainly. But unlike Olivia Fuchs’s new production for the Royal Academy of Music, it’s about an awful lot of other things as well. Power, illusion, ageing, love, gender, family, intimacy – all these themes find...

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Be With Me Now, Britten Studio, Snape

As the hand-held credits popped up on screen to pianist and musical director Manoj Kamps's superb quartet arrangement of Mozart's Magic Flute Overture, the European Union's Culture Programme logo brought a spontaneous burst of applause. Not the norm...

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theartsdesk in Göttingen: HandelFest 2016

What Auden called "the sexy airs of summer" arrived early in Göttingen this year. Frog action in the Botanical Gardens of the town's pioneering University may have been less clamorous than when I first came here in late rather than early May (the...

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Piau, Les Talens Lyriques, Rousset, Wigmore Hall

La Follia was, as every programme note inevitably reminds us, a pop song of its day. A strutting Spanish dance, it featured in the work of over 150 composers, so catchy was its signature chord progression. Still a classic of Baroque concert...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Copland, Handel, Janáček

Copland: Orchestral Works 1 BBC Philharmonic/John Wilson (Chandos)There are sensational things in the first volume of John Wilson’s projected Copland series, but his disc suffers from being released too soon after Andrew Litton’s thrilling Colorado...

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Ariodante, Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music

The London Handel Festival is back, and instead of ploughing their usual furrow of rarely-seen works, this year’s opera is a classic. If the rest of Ariodante doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its two often-excerpted arias (“Dopo Notte” and “...

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Orlando, The English Concert, Bicket, Barbican

Anyone who says Handel can’t do psychology should spend an evening with Orlando. Form, orchestration, even exit conventions are all reinvented or cast aside for a work of startlingly contemporary fluidity, where music is completely the servant of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Handel, Reicha, Stravinsky

Handel: Duetti e Terzetti italiani Roberto Invernizzi (soprano), La Risonanza/Fabio Bonizzoni (Glossa)Handel's brief Italian period was crucial to his musical development, lasting from 1706 to 1710, just before his arrival in London. Stefano...

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Ariodante, Scottish Opera

In the end, it’s all about the oranges. They adorn the programme that accompanies Harry Fehr’s intelligent new production of Handel’s Ariodante for Scottish Opera. More importantly, they’re prominent in designer Yannis Thavoris’s clinical steel-and-...

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Tamerlano, Il Pomo d'Oro, Emelyanychev, Barbican

The curse of Tamerlano strikes again. The last time London saw Handel’s darkest and most sober opera was in 2010. Graham Vick’s production for the Royal Opera House lost its unlikely star Placido Domingo before it even opened in London, ran...

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RLPO, Koopman, Philharmonic Hall Liverpool

It was rather like a trip home to see long-lost relatives. Ton Koopman took to the stage at the Liverpool Philharmonic with a broad smile. That smile both greeted the audience and, from what the audience could see, told the orchestra that they were...

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