fri 10/07/2020

Opera Reviews

The Opera Story: Episodes review - whimsical takes on lockdown life

Bernard Hughes

The Opera Story is an enterprising set-up based in London and founded with a mission to commission and stage new operas by early career composers. They have so far produced three full-scale pieces, the earliest from 2017, performed in a reclaimed warehouse space in Peckham.

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Don Giovanni/Sibelius plus, Swedish RSO, Harding, livestream review - dark studio rituals

David Nice

"Touch her and you die," sings Masetto in telling Don Giovanni to keep away from his Zerlina. There's certainly trouble, though not instant death, when fingers briefly meet.

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Live from Covent Garden 1, Royal Opera and Ballet online review - small-scale but perfectly formed

David Nice

Vintage champagne was served up last night, and whether you found the glass half-full or half-empty would depend on your perspective.

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La voix humaine, Grange Park Opera online review – hanging on the telephone

Boyd Tonkin

Rustles of renewal are stirring in the Surrey woods where Grange Park Opera has built the splendid theatre that remains, for this summer, sadly out of bounds. Faced with the cancellation of its 2020 programme, Wasfi Kani’s company has not simply relied, like many others, on a back catalogue of archive videos to keep its audiences onside.

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The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Dutch National Opera, OperaVision review - fairy-tale good and evil made real

David Nice

How do you render pure goodness interesting? Unorthodox director Dmitri Tcherniakov and radiant young soprano Svetlana Ignatovich make us smile and break our hearts with their take on the maiden Fevroniya: living at one with nature, seeing God in everything and destroyed by her encounter with civic life.

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Sadko, Bolshoi Opera online review - medieval Russia meets reality TV

Gavin Dixon

Russia came late to the coronavirus lockdown, and will be leaving early – this evening Vladimir Putin announced that national measures were coming to an end, though the disease still rages there.

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Eugene Onegin, Komische Oper, OperaVision review - sensual and devastating

alexandra Coghlan

Liberated from Pushkin’s salons, ballrooms and bedrooms, Barrie Kosky’s Eugene Onegin bursts out into nature. Tatyana and Olga lounge in the long grass stealing heavy fingerfuls of jam straight from the jar; party-guests run through the trees with flaming torches, dancing wildly, barefoot; after the harvest groups gather on the lawn with picnics and games. This is a world apart, the hot, hazy, endless summer of first love – an intense, but unreliable memory.

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Metropolitan Opera At-Home Gala livestream review - classy joy and sorrow in domestic settings

David Nice

So many of the world's great opera singers inviting us to look through the keyhole at a carefully presented version of their lockdown lives over four very variable hours, such bad sound for the most part (Skype, like Zoom, catches the voice but loses the accompaniment).

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Elektra/Der Rosenkavalier, Nightly Met Opera Streams review - searing hits and indulgent misses

David Nice

A brutal Greek tragedy and a rococo Viennese comedy, both filtered through the eyes and ears of 20th century genius: what a feast on consecutive nights from the Metropolitan Opera's recent archive.

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The Rake's Progress, Complicité online review - well-projected journey from pastoral to madhouse

David Nice

One way to look at Stravinsky's celebrated collaboration with W H Auden and Chester Kallman is as a numbers opera in nine pictures, four of them indebted to Hogarth's series of paintings/prints.

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