fri 23/02/2018

Rome

Tosca, Welsh National Opera review - ticking the traditionalist boxes

Opera-lovers: if you’ve finally had enough of the wheelchairs and syringes, the fifties skirts and heels, the mobile phones and the white box sets, and the rest of the symbolic paraphernalia of the right-on modern opera production, pop along to the...

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Titus Andronicus, RSC, Barbican review - blood will out

Live theatre, eh? It had to happen. On press night a sound of what seemed to be snoring (the production’s really not dull) revealed, in the Barbican stalls, a collapse. About an hour in, a huge amount of blood is smeared over Titus Andronicus’s...

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Antony and Cleopatra, RSC, Barbican review - rising grandeur

Is there a key to “infinite variety”? The challenge of Cleopatra is to convey the sheer fullness of the role, the sense that it defines, and is defined by only itself: there’s no saying that the glorious tragedy of the closing plays itself out, of...

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Guy Johnston on his 1714 Tecchler cello - 'every day I start again and explore the possibilities within'

This adventure began in 2014 when my cello turned 300 years old. As birthdays go, it was a big one, so for me it felt important to do something special to celebrate. Why not imagine a journey back to Rome where it was made?The role of the cello has...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Guy Johnston, Joyce El-Khoury, Michael Spyres, The Chanteuse

Guy Johnston: Tecchler’s Cello - From Cambridge to Rome (King’s College Cambridge)Acquiring a second-hand instrument always leads one to wonder what sort of a life it led before. Did said instrument enjoy a flourishing professional career, or was it...

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Prom 54 review: Kavakos, Filarmonica della Scala, Chailly - cool Milanesi mute Roman exuberance

Last night was one of those rare occasions when I'd rather have heard Respighi's gaudy-brilliant Roman Festivals than Brahms's Violin Concerto. It wasn't just that concerts like Charles Dutoit's 2014 Prom had shown us that the Italian's Roman...

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La clemenza di Tito, Glyndebourne review - fine musical manoeuvres in the dark

So much light in the Glyndebourne production of Brett Dean's Hamlet; so much darkness in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito according to director Claus Guth. Something is irredeemably rotten in the state of ancient Rome, at odds with the fundamental...

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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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