tue 21/11/2017

Verdi

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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Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, V&A review - seven cities, seven masterpieces

There's something here for everyone, as a "roll up!" slogan for one of the greatest shows in town might put it. Even opera buffs don't seem to have found much to fault with the cornucopia of sounds, moving pictures, objects, paintings, drawings and...

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Aida, English National Opera review - heroine almost saves a dismal day

If the best is the enemy of the good, then the excellent is also the enemy of the "meh". And if you can stomach Verdi's Aida, go and see English National Opera’s new production for its central performance by Latonia Moore. In what’s become her...

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Michael Volpe on a Requiem for Grenfell: 'one of the most remarkable evenings in our history'

On the morning of the Grenfell Tower disaster, as the news of the fire gathered pace and gravity, our phones were abuzz with concern for our front of house colleague, Debbie Lamprell, who we knew lived in the tower. We all called her number time and...

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El-Khoury, Spyres, Hallé, Rizzi, Cadogan Hall review - bel canto lives again

Unless you're an undiscriminating fan of bel canto, the lesser Italian and French operas of the 1830s and '40s - that's to say, not Verdi's Nabucco and Macbeth or Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini - need to be approached with caution. Once you've lowered...

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Buxton Festival review - early Verdi, earlier Mozart and refreshing Britten

“The subject is neither political nor religious; it is fantastical” wrote Verdi to the librettist Piave about his opera Macbeth. “The opera is not about the rise of a modern fascist: nor is it about political tyranny. It is a study in character”...

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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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theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Aida Garifullina

There are certain roles where you’re lucky to catch one perfect incarnation in a lifetime. I thought I'd never see a soprano as Natasha in Prokofiev's War and Peace equal to Yelena Prokina, Valery Gergiev’s choice for Graham Vick’s 1991 production....

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Hipermestra / La Traviata, Glyndebourne

 A Saudi princess in her white wedding dress digs her own grave as men pile up stones to hurl at her head — next, an Isis fighter is stabbing a knife at her neck to decapitate her. Ah, the fate of the heroine of the average baroque ...

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Juan Diego Flórez, Vincenzo Scalera, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

“Who says Mozart is not like Rossini?” remarked Juan Diego Flórez, about a quarter of an hour into his debut recital at Symphony Hall. “There are seven high Cs in this aria.” And with a flicker of notes from the pianist Vincenzo Scalera, he was off...

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Rigoletto, English National Opera

This was supposed to be a triumphant return – one final encore for the production so good that audiences just couldn’t let it go. Instead, this 13th revival of Jonathan Miller’s Mafia Rigoletto seems like an apology. The designs are handsome as ever...

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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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