mon 29/05/2017

Verdi

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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Prom 74: Verdi Requiem, OAE, Alsop

Tradition – a choral spectacular for the penultimate night of the Proms – but with a twist – a youth choir and period instruments. Marin Alsop this evening led a spectacular Verdi Requiem, not least for the sheer scale of the chorus, the BBC Proms...

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Falstaff, CBSO, Gardner, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Edward Gardner gives the downbeat, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra bursts into Verdi’s great opening guffaw. Enter stage left Graham Clark, as Dr Caius. Enter stage right Ambrogio Maestri, as Falstaff. And before a note has been sung,...

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Il Trovatore, Royal Opera

That often-repeated truism about Verdi's craziest melodrama, that it needs four of the world's greatest voices, makes no mention of acting ability. Given the top-notch international approach to this kind of opera, impressively fielded by what's...

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Shakespeare 400 Gala, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Every year is Shakespeare year in theatre, opera house and concert hall. An anniversary's best, though, for those select few galas where the mind's made flexible by constant comparison between different Shakespearean worlds. I don't know how it was...

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The Force of Destiny, English National Opera

Verdi’s dark tale gets even darker in this new staging from Calixto Bieito. He updates the story to the Spanish Civil War, a setting with plenty of opportunity for his trademark violence but also offering illuminating parallels on the story itself....

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theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Mark Wigglesworth

Mark Wigglesworth and I go back quite a long way in terms of meetings – namely to 1996, when I interviewed him for Gramophone about the launch of his Shostakovich symphonies cycle on BIS. He completed it a decade later, though that release hung fire...

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Listed: Essential Operas 2015-16

September is upon us and it’s nearly time for the new season. English National Opera’s Artistic Director John Berry may have left the building but his enterprising legacy lives on in a 2015-16 season that looks on paper as good as any in the past 20...

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