tue 12/12/2017

Royal Opera

Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, Royal Opera review - one tenor, two samey brutes

Are "Cav and Pag" inseparable? Clearly not, to judge from Opera North's "Little Greats" and elsewhere, but it's still the pairing of choice. Tricky, because as music-theatre, Leoncavallo's drama of rough life entwined with rough art stands high...

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Semiramide, Royal Opera review - Rossini's Queen is back

It has long been a mystery why no new production of Semiramide should have been staged at Covent Garden since 1887: un offesa terribile considering that this splendid melodramma tragico should have been the inaugural production of the Royal Italian...

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Lucia di Lammermoor, Royal Opera review - creepy, violent and intense

Katie Mitchell’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor opened at Covent Garden in 2016 and now returns for a first revival. Royal Opera were clearly expecting great things, even from the start, and this is the third cast to have presented the show,...

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Jonas Kaufmann: Tenor for the Ages, BBC Four review - a musical megastar with sword and shortbread

Now we know who sent Jonas Kaufmann the Union Jack boxer shorts for the Last Night of the Proms. Whether the sender’s identity is the bigger surprise, or the hint of ambiguity over whether the "Greatest Tenor in the World" had previously heard of...

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La Bohème, Royal Opera review - spectacle and sentiment not yet in focus

“I’m not in the mood” – “non sono in vena” – sings aspiring poet Rodolfo as he settles down to write a lead article. Was it me, or had the mood not settled by the premiere of the Royal Opera’s first new production of Puccini's structurally perfect...

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Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance, Royal Opera review - vocal promise, poor stagecraft

They get to work with the best music and language coaches in the business. They make their mark in small parts throughout the Royal Opera season and showcase their art more prominently at the end of it, proving to the world that there are major...

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Mitridate, Re di Ponto, Royal Opera review - Crowe and costumes light up pointless revival

Why stage a stiff opera about half-frozen royals by a not-yet-divine Mozartino? The best Mitridate really deserves is one of those intimate concert performances with brilliant young singers at which Ian Page's Classical Opera excels. Yet this is the...

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Otello, Royal Opera review — Kaufmann makes a pretty Moor

Recorded on disc, this cast would be extraordinary for much of the time — to look at, not so much. Royal Opera conductor Antonio Pappano lured Jonas Kaufmann to London for his first attempt on the Everest of tenor roles, and with so many recent...

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Madama Butterfly, Royal Opera

"È un'immensa pietà" - "it's heartbreaking," rather than "it's a huge pity" - sings consul Sharpless of "Butterfly" Cio-Cio San's fatal belief that her American husband will return to her. Heartbreak is what we expected from Ermonela Jaho after her...

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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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