wed 14/04/2021

Opera Reviews

The Seven Deadly Sins / Mahagonny Songspiel, Royal Opera online - modern morality tales mesh uneasily

David Nice

There are so many good ideas, so much talented hard work from the singers of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and two dancers, such a cinematic use of the Royal Opera House, that Isabelle Kettle’s interweaving of two Brecht/Weill mini masterpieces ought to work better than it does.

Read more...

L'heure espagnole, Grange Park Opera online review - seduction and sandwiches in 60 minutes

Richard Bratby

Some production concepts seem so obvious, in retrospect, that you wonder why they haven’t been tried more often. Traffic hums in the foreground in the opening shots of Grange Park Opera’s new film of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, the passing cars reflected in the window of an antique clock dealer’s store.

Read more...

Siegfried, Göteborg Opera online review - a hero for our times

Peter Quantrill

The team of Stephen Langridge (director), Alison Chitty (design) and Paul Pyant (lighting) produced a quietly radical Parsifal at the Royal Opera in 2013, finding both beauty and horror in unexpected corners.

Read more...

Der Rosenkavalier, Bavarian State Opera online review - myth-making magic

David Nice

Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time stalk this haunting dream of a Rosenkavalier. The love games of teenager Octavian and his experienced mistress the Marschallin are sexy and plausible; the comedy of ridiculous Baron Ochs keeps a low profile, but stays real and turns out funny in unexpected places; a winged old gentleman (Ingmar Thilo) embodies the second and fourth manifestations.

Read more...

Die tote Stadt, Komische Oper Berlin, OperaVision review – when catharsis goes missing

Jessica Duchen

A word about grief. Many of us have learned a lot about it this past year; many knew about it before that. When someone we love dies, we grieve. This is normal. This is human. It is agony, but it’s not actually a mental illness. Having Paul, the hero (or anti-hero) of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Die tote Stadt be marched off stage by those in white coats at the end is therefore not only a directorial cop-out.

Read more...

Tony and the Young Artists, Royal Opera/Liebeslieder Waltzes, Blackheath Halls online review - love and joy

David Nice

Young performers seeking platforms for their careers have had it especially rough over the past year, most slipping through the financial-support net and now facing the further blow of the Brexit visa debacle. So it’s always good to welcome quality streamings supporting their progress.

Read more...

Der Freischütz, Bavarian State Opera online review – marksmen as marketeers

Gavin Dixon

Bavarian State Opera has led the way for live performances and associated broadcasts during the pandemic. Their series of weekly “Montagsstück” events have presented innovative chamber operas, specifically for web streaming. Their next goal is full-size opera with a live audience. That is not possible yet, so instead they are premiering a new production of Weber’s Der Freischütz.

Read more...

Hansel and Gretel, Scottish Opera online - bewitching feast for ears but not eyes

David Nice

Christmas isn’t just for Christmas, Daisy Evans’s bargain-basement fir-trees-and-tinsel production of Humperdinck’s evergreen masterpiece seems to be telling us.

Read more...

Netrebko, Met Stars Live in Concert online review - flashy performance from operatic powerhouse

Miranda Heggie

Though the global pandemic has brought about an unprecedented degree of isolation, it’s also, in unusual ways, brought us together too. Visiting New York’s Metropolitan Opera House is currently an impossible dream - the house is still completely dark.

Read more...

The Turn of the Screw, OperaGlass Works online review - the fright is in the filming

David Nice

It’s second time lucky for OperaGlass Works, whose previous production at Wilton’s Music Hall, of Stravinsky’s The Rake's Progress, hit the mark for me in the singing but not the staging. I suspect that had we been there in the auditorium with performers all too palpable, the same might have been true of The Turn of the Screw in this venue.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott: Failures of State re...

Almost a year ago, in the midst of the first national lockdown, The Sunday Times broke the news that Boris Johnson had failed to attend...

Too Close, ITV review - capable cast struggles with unreward...

What may have happened here is that an intriguing book has been turned into a not so great TV series. Too Close was Natalie Daniels’s...

Benjamin Grosvenor, Barbican online review - black magic and...

I can’t deny that it’s great to be able to experience a recital...

Album: Imelda May - 11 Past the Hour

11 Past the Hour opens with its title song, a delicious, twangy, string-laden Nancy Sinatra Bond theme that never was. The album closes...

Singer-songwriter Peggy Seeger: still in the vanguard of her...

If American music has a royal family, it’s surely the Seeger clan. Charles, the patriarch, the composer, musicologist and teacher who could be...

Album: Lady Dan - I Am the Prophet

There’s a line in “No Home”, the staggering centrepiece of Lady Dan’s debut album, that perhaps sums up the project. “Wolves will never...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Wes Montgomery - The NDR Hamburg Studio...

Speaking to America’s Hit Parader magazine in August 1967...

Night in Paradise review - lukewarm bloodbath

Since launching his directing career in 2011 with The Showdown, Park Hoon-jung has established himself as a promising devotee of the...

DVD/Blu-ray: Catch Us If You Can

Catch Us If You Can, the 1965 road movie starring Barbara Ferris and the eponymous drummer and guiding force of the Dave Clark Five,...