sat 30/05/2015

David Nice

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Bio
David writes, lectures and broadcasts on music. A former music critic for The Guardian and The Sunday Correspondent, he is a regular voice on BBC Radio 3. He has written short studies on Elgar, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky and the history of opera, and is currently working on the second volume of his Prokofiev biography for Yale University Press. He runs his own lecture series, Opera in Depth, at the Frontline Club in Paddington.

Articles by David Nice

King Size, Theater Basel, Linbury Studio Theatre

A journey into dreams through songs from Dowland to The Kinks; a Swiss director who, Covent Garden’s Director of Opera Kasper Holten assures us, is “one of the most important European theatre artists...

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theartsdesk in Thuringia: Easter with Bach

Sing, dance, breathe: those are the three imperatives for successful Bach performance, and three superlative interpretations at the Thuringia Bach Festival glorified them in excelsis. Frankly, I...

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Toradze, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

It was melody versus the machine last night as Sakari Oramo’s six voyages around the Nielsen symphonies with the BBC Symphony Orchestra hit the high noon of the 1920s. The fallout from the First...

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Sweeney Todd, London Coliseum

Still they keep coming, 35 years on from the London premiere of Sondheim's "musical thriller": Sweeneys above pubs, in pie shops, concert halls and theatres of all sizes, on the big screen, Sweeneys...

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Princess Ida, Finborough Theatre

All Savoyards, whether conservative or liberal towards productions, have been grievously practised upon. They told us to expect the first professional London grappling with Gilbert and Sullivan’s...

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Giove in Argo, Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music

If you’re looking for rare festival Handel, better a pasticcio – take that as shorthand for a cut-and-paste job mostly from previous hits – than one of those original operas in which the composer...

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Bronfman, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Over the past two Saturdays, Vladimir Jurowski and a London Philharmonic on top form have given us a mini-festival of great scores for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. The hallucinogenic vision of ancient...

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Madama Butterfly, Royal Opera

When is a famous aria more than just a showpiece? When it’s a narrative of a future event conjured by a hope beyond reason, which is what Madama Butterfly’s “Un bel dì” (“One fine day”) ought to be...

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Building a Library: Living with Sibelius

I’ve just spent five weeks in the company of a very austere and sometimes frightening masterpiece, Sibelius’s Fourth Symphony, hearing a great many recordings of it for Building a Library, the...

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DVD: Roberto Rossellini - The War Trilogy

Filming in bombed locations around Italy and Germany, the immediate evocation of wartime and post-war moral zeros, ordinary Italian locals and American GIs playing themselves alongside professional...

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Opinion: Where's the crisis at ENO?

Having been bowled over by the total work of art English National Opera made of Wagner’s The Mastersingers of Nuremberg on its first night, I bought tickets immediately afterwards for the final...

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Donohoe, BBCSSO, Prieto, City Halls, Glasgow

Shock and Shakespeare were the two forces that powered a typically thoughtful programme from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. I said as much in a pre-performance talk where the links weren’t hard...

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Rattle for the LSO: great or just good news?

Having manoeuvred to get a new concert hall for London earmarked in principle, Simon Rattle has finally agreed, as we thought he would, to take charge of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2017. By...

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Ruddigore, Charles Court Opera, King's Head Theatre

How can a feisty village dame duetting “lackaday”s with the mounted head of a long-lost, nay, long-dead love be so deuced affecting? Ascribe it partly to the carefully-applied sentiment of Gilbert...

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Le Roi de Lahore, Chelsea Opera Group, QEH

Now that opera houses mostly lack either the will or the funds to stage the more fantastical/exotic pageants among 19th century operas – the Royal Opera production of Meyerbeer’s mostly third-rate...

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Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera

Mozart’s The Magic Flute is one of those operas, like Verdi’s Il trovatore and all the mature Wagner masterpieces, which need a line-up of equally fine singers but rarely get it in the compromised...

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How to contact David Nice

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CD: The Darkness - Last of Our Kind

The Hawkins brothers get heavy, lose their charm

Classical CDs Weekly: Nielsen, Choir of Gonville & Caius...

Rip-roaring Danish symphonies, plus choral music from Brazil and Leeds.

When Pop Ruled My Life, BBC Four

Study of obsessive fandom from the Beatles to One Direction is funny but sa...

San Andreas

Dwayne Johnson rocks - kinda - in otherwise daft disaster movie

DVD: Wild

A Reese Witherspoon heroine hikes her way to happiness

Sunset

A story of violent revolution, told without violence, from the sidelines

Man Up

Lake Bell and Simon Pegg star in a romantic comedy with a manic screwball e...

Sylvie Guillem, Life in Progress, Sadler's Wells

Ballerina says goodbye with new works from Khan, Maliphant

Schubert Sonatas 1, Barenboim, RFH

The new instrument sounds sublime, but is the player on this occasion?

Fleetwood Mac, Reunion Tour, O2 Arena

Balance restored as a magnificent five-piece, but they could talk less