tue 21/11/2017

Royal Opera

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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4.48 Psychosis, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith

New operas are a risky business, or so the Royal Opera’s past experience teaches us. For years, visiting the company’s Linbury Studio Theatre was like rolling the dice while on a losing streak: vain, desperate hope followed inevitably by...

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Pleasure, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith

A 28-year-old British composer makes his name with a new four-hand opera, set in contemporary Britain but underpinned by classical legend, pushing the boundaries of operatic subject matter and launching a glittering career. This was Mark-Antony...

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Tannhäuser, Royal Opera

Tim Albery’s 2010 production of Wagner's Tannhäuser is back for a revival at Royal Opera, featuring a different conductor and a nearly new cast, with one notable exception. The production itself is serviceable, visually coherent and with plenty of...

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Lucia di Lammermoor, Royal Opera

Lucia di Lammermoor is an opera in which men spend an awful lot of time talking about women, and very little actually talking to them. (Which, if nothing else, ensures a rather more dramatic denouement than a frank conversation about everyone’s...

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