fri 26/08/2016

Stephen Walsh

stephen.walsh

Stephen Walsh's picture
Bio
Stephen is a former Observer music critic and a regular contributor to The Times, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Independent and the BBC. He is the author of a major biography of Stravinsky and other books on Stravinsky, Bartók and Schumann. He holds a chair in music at Cardiff University.

Articles by Stephen Walsh

Kommilitonen, Welsh National Youth Opera, Barry

What happened was this. I found my way, not without difficulty, to the Barry Memo Arts Centre, got my ticket, had a chat with the librettist, stopped to order an interval drink, then turned round to...

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The Kingdom, Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester

The last time but one that the Three Choirs Festival was in Gloucester the main offering was Elgar’s oratorio The Kingdom, and there’s a kind of inevitability about the same work turning up again,...

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Jenůfa, Longborough Festival Opera

Quite apart from its inherent power, Jenůfa always amazes me by the way it seems to pluck a new language out of thin air, then use it to carry one of the most moving and emotionally...

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Le Nozze di Figaro, Longborough Festival Opera

“It doesn’t need me,” Sebastian Thomas writes in this season’s Longborough programme, “to labour the idea that the content of a theatrical or musical piece should find some relevance to our own lives...

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The Cunning Little Vixen, Glyndebourne

Is The Cunning Little Vixen a jolly children’s pantomime, or is it a searching study of issues of life and death, Man and Nature? The answer, naturally, is that it’s both. Children dress up as...

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Tannhäuser, Longborough Festival Opera

Wagner was never satisfied with Tannhäuser, and it’s not hard to see why. Essentially a study of the tension between sensual and spiritual love, it was composed at a time when, by his own later...

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La Fanciulla del West, Grange Park Opera

Though composed after and based on a play by the same author, Puccini’s spaghetti western is in no way a sequel to Madama Butterfly, his whisky-sour eastern. Fanciulla is ...

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Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Welsh National Opera

Seventy years ago, almost to the month, Welsh National Opera took to the stage for the first time with a double bill of the terrible twins, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci; and fifty years later...

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Rysanov, Neary, BBC NOW, Outwater, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff

Apart from festivals like the BBC Proms that do everything, the best festivals have always been the ones that cut a distinctive profile. They might not offer the best music. Those old French...

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In Parenthesis, Welsh National Opera

War may be a dramatic affair for anyone involved in it, but staging it is another matter. In fact describing it satisfactorily at all needs either a Tolstoyan flair for the large canvas, or else a...

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Figaro Gets a Divorce, Welsh National Opera

The third of Beaumarchais’s Figaro plays, La Mère coupable, is a very different affair from the other two, in that it records actual adultery and its disastrous consequences (including Cherubino’s...

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The Marriage of Figaro, Welsh National Opera

From the more or less inconsequential wit and bravura of The Barber of Seville to the profound comic psychology, social nuances and unparalleled musical genius of The Marriage of Figaro, and from the...

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The Barber of Seville, Welsh National Opera

The latest themed season from WNO, to add to their fallen women, Donizetti queens and what not, goes by the slightly worrying title (for anyone with a short attention span) of “Figaro Forever”, and...

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Dutilleux Centenary, BBC NOW, Rophé, Cardiff

The French composer Henri Dutilleux would have been 100 last Friday if he had lived that long, which in fact he very nearly did; he was 97 when he died in 2013. Five years before that he had been...

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A Christmas Carol, Welsh National Opera

Dickens’s public readings from his novels were almost as famous and popular as the novels themselves. He would write special scripts that gave prominence to particular characters and that dramatized...

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Tosca, Wales Millennium Centre

There’s a good deal to be said for semi-staged opera. It concentrates the mind in a particular way; it brings the orchestra more fully into the action; it moves the singers closer to the audience;...

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