thu 30/03/2017

Royal Opera

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Royal Opera

Recent British-based productions have taken Wagner's paean to creativity, the reconciliation of tradition and the individual talent, at face value. Graham Vick's long-serving Covent Garden colourfest, with its brilliant staging of the night brawl;...

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Adriana Lecouvreur, Royal Opera

Adriana Lecouvreur deserves to be better known. The opera has a toe-hold in the repertoire, with occasional appearances, usually as a showcase for the soprano in the title role. Its composer, Francesco Cilea, is known for little else, but the opera...

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La Traviata, Royal Opera

It takes some pretty special casting to spice up Richard Eyre’s Royal Opera regular, currently returning for its 14th revival (with a 15th on the cards later this year). And that’s exactly what was on the bill here, with house debuts from both Joyce...

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Written on Skin, Royal Opera

There’s a passage in Martin Crimp’s impeccable libretto for Written on Skin that describes a page of illuminated manuscript. The ink, he tells us, stays forever wet – alive with moist, fleshy, indecent human reality rather than dried into decorous...

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Best of 2016: Opera

It was the best and worst of years for English National Opera. Best, because principals, chorus and orchestra seem united in acclaiming their Music Director of 14 months, Mark Wigglesworth, for his work at a level most had only dreamed of (“from the...

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Der Rosenkavalier - Cast 2, Royal Opera

Fiftysomething may well be the new 32, the age Strauss and Hofmannsthal made the central figure of the Marschallin in their "comedy for music" Der Rosenkavalier. Hearts and minds no doubt still move with Renée Fleming, senior doyenne of the role in...

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Der Rosenkavalier, Royal Opera

Der Rosenkavalier is an opera of thresholds. Characters are caught between states – girlhood and marriage, lover and lover-no-more, woman and whatever lies beyond sexuality and desirability – while around them a city and a nation are also poised on...

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Manon Lescaut, Royal Opera

Jonathan Kent’s Manon Lescaut is back for a first revival at Covent Garden. It’s a gaudy affair, and seems calculated to provoke. But there are some interesting ideas here, and the musical standards remain high, even from the lesser-known names of...

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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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Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Royal Opera

The Tales of Hoffmann is a young man’s piece, full of melodic energy and helter-skelter narrative thrust. We tumble from love affair to love affair, lusting, losing and leaving three women in barely three hours, before taking peevish refuge in the...

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Norma, Royal Opera

You wait ages for a Norma, and then three come along at once. English National Opera saw something nasty in the woodshed back in February with their 19th-century American take on Bellini, while up at the Edinburgh Festival this summer the opera’s...

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Prom 2: Boris Godunov, Royal Opera, Pappano

The Royal Opera’s Boris Godunov production made the short trip from Covent Garden to South Ken for the company’s appearance at the 2016 Proms. The opera (here in its original 1869 version) is a good choice for concert presentation: as Antonio...

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