fri 12/02/2016

Paris

L'Étoile, Royal Opera

Why have all attempts to make French comic opera funny to British audiences fallen so flat, at least since ENO's 1980s Orpheus in the Underworld? That company's La belle Hélène simply curled the toes, while Opera North managed to make a pig's-ear "...

Read more...

Tony Allen and Jimi Tenor, Café OTO

Questions of what is authentic and what is retro get more complicated the more the information economy matures. Music from decades past that only tens or hundreds of people heard at the time it was made becomes readily available, gets sampled by new...

Read more...

Boulez, The Rite and the National Youth Orchestra

David Nice writes: 2016 began by ringing in the new with concerts by the ever-astonishing National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and continued by ringing out the old-new with funeral bells on the news of Pierre Boulez’s death at the age of 90....

Read more...

DVD: Love

Sex sells, except in the cinema. So although it denies viewers the sight of Karl Glusman’s erect penis swinging towards them across a giant screen in 3D, home video is Love’s natural home. Director Gaspar Noé’s attempt to “make movies out of blood,...

Read more...

Secrets of the Mona Lisa, BBC Two

There’s a lot of breathless frontloading in television documentaries. The headlines promising shock and awe coming up are posted in the opening edit as a way of hooking in the remote-wielding viewer. Very often as presenters stump around history’s...

Read more...

Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict

The New Yorker Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979) was the classic poor little rich girl: insecure, a woman with scores, perhaps hundreds of lovers, longing for love, the writer of tell-all memoirs. What sets her apart is that she was also the creator of...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Paris: Peregrinations on the Pigalle

Sometimes appearances can be deceptive. The frontman on stage looks as generic it gets. His scruffy beard, retro specs, baseball hat, shapeless jeans and the bulging outline of a mobile phone stuffed in his trouser pocket don’t add up to suggest...

Read more...

Orpheus, Royal Opera, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

It’s Orfeo in the original Italian: not Monteverdi’s, nor yet another version of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, but a cornucopia of invention in the shape of the first Italian opera for the French court. When the Ensemble Correspondances presented its...

Read more...

La Bohème, English National Opera

Kurt Cobain’s “Smells like Teen Spirit’ cued a realistic song and drink routine for Chekhov’s Three Sisters in a hit-and-miss update by director Benedict Andrews. This one, with a Puccini soundtrack unsupportively conducted by Xian Zhang, smells...

Read more...

10 Questions for Conductor Laurence Equilbey

It’s a sunny afternoon at altitude – 1,082 metres, to be precise – in the precincts of France’s highest historic building, the austerely impressive early Gothic Abbey-Church of St-Robert, La Chaise-Dieu. I’m relaxed because I arrived the...

Read more...

The King Who Invented Ballet, BBC Four

Someone more unlike Louis XIV than David Bintley is hard to imagine. The latter comes across on TV as the most pleasant, unthreatening, mild-mannered of Everymen; unthinkable that he would order the massacre of Protestants or proclaim, “l’État, c’...

Read more...

Soup Cans and Superstars, BBC Four

Pop went the easel, and more, as we were offered a worldwide tour – New York, LA, London, Paris, Shanghai – of the art phenomenon of the past 50 years (still going strong worldwide). We were led by a wide-eyed interlocutor, the bright-eyed and bushy...

Read more...
Syndicate content