tue 27/06/2017

Rome

CD: Lory D - Strange Days

Imagine that The Ramones were not only still playing into the mid 2000s, but were still writing new songs as good as “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” and still sending young audiences completely delirious to boot. That might seem fanciful, but it's a...

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L'Incoronazione di Poppea, EBS, Gardiner, Colston Hall, Bristol

Whatever musicologists may tell us about the patchy authenticity of Monteverdi’s last two operas, they unquestionably make a pair. Il ritorno di Ulisse is all about fidelity and ends with a love duet between the reunited husband and wife. L’...

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theartsdesk in Rome: Bartoli and Pappano on home turf

Wherever you are in the world, opportunities to see Cecilia Bartoli perform are hard to come by. A one-off chance to see her sing Mozart in Rome was not to be missed. This was a rare homecoming for Bartoli. Born in Rome, she studied at the city’s...

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Cymbeline, RSC, Barbican

“Britain is a world by itself.” It could be the slogan of the year – and rather longer, probably – but the phrase comes from Shakespeare’s late romance Cymbeline. Its Act III scene, in which Britain announces that it is breaking its...

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The Young Pope, Sky Atlantic

Having survived what you might call his boy-band years, Jude Law has emerged as a truly substantial actor, and his role here as Lenny Belardo, the newly-elected Pope Pius XIII, may prove to be a defining moment. Created by a multinational consortium...

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Beyond Caravaggio, National Gallery

Cheekily bottom-like, their downy skin blushing enticingly, these must be the sexiest apricots ever painted. If you held out your hand, you might just be able to touch them, there in the foreground of what is thought to be Caravaggio’s earliest...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Conversation Piece

Luchino Visconti's penultimate film, made entirely in a studio recreation of a two-floor Roman apartment for the benefit of the semi-invalid director, is an atmospheric drama split down the middle.The better half of it is very definitely Burt...

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Suburra

An underage prostitute dies from a drug overdose at a mini “bunga bunga” party with a high-ranking politician. When that’s one of a film’s less shocking moments, you know you’re in for a bumpy ride.With its steady stream of killings, maimings,...

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Mary Beard's Ultimate Rome: Empire without Limit, BBC Two

The world of antiquity, from Greece to Rome, is both so familiar and so unknown. So it was more than welcome when the immensely knowledgable Professor Mary Beard – the role of the academic, she announced, is to make everything less simple –...

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The Story of Scottish Art, BBC Four

“Finding the Light”, the second episode of this four-part series, took us to the period when Scottish intellectuals led the world in innovative and revolutionary thinking, Edinburgh’s neo-classical architecture in the leafy streets of the New Town...

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Michael Palin’s Quest for Artemisia, BBC Four

For his latest journey Michael Palin, actor, writer, novelist, comedian, Python, traveller, has gone beyond geography in search of the visual arts with his characteristic enthusiasm, eclectic curiosity, and sense of discovery.With his usual...

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Spectre

The title sequence of Bond number 24 is a bit of a nightmare, with Sam Smith's mawkishly insipid theme song playing over a queasy title sequence featuring a hideous giant octopus, but the traditional opening mini-movie is an explosive chain reaction...

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