sun 13/10/2019

Opera Reviews

The Cunning Little Vixen, Welsh National Opera review - family night in the forest

stephen Walsh

Considering that Janáček’s Vixen is, among other things, an allegory of the passing and returning years, it’s appropriate that WNO continue to recycle David Pountney’s now nearly 40-year-old production, and that it comes up each time refreshed, with this or that altered or added detail, but quantum-like the same general image.

Read more...

Orpheus in the Underworld, English National Opera review – ENO goes to hell

Jessica Duchen

Maybe some British opera houses just don’t get operetta. Without wit, lightness and snappy pace, cudgelling us with desperate relevance, the frothiest works crash to earth stone cold dead. There have been disasters elsewhere, too, though ENO is the chief culprit, and (after a miserable Merry Widow and a fearful Fledermaus) this one is the nail in the coffenbach.

Read more...

The Silver Lake, English Touring Opera review - shadows of the Weimar twilight

Boyd Tonkin

Almost exactly a century after the Weimar Republic’s constitution took effect, English Touring Opera presents a show whose birth coincided with the Republic's untimely death.

Read more...

The Seraglio, English Touring Opera review – focused and light

Gavin Dixon

No great innovations in this Seraglio – as ETO are styling Mozart’s early Singspiel (its full title in translation is The Abduction from the Seraglio – but a traditional staging that makes the most of all the work’s characters and quirks.

Read more...

Orpheus and Eurydice, English National Opera review – imaginative but underwhelming

Gavin Dixon

English National Opera chose a curiously low-key production to open their season. Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice has only three singing roles and very little action. For this production, Wayne McGregor has reimagined the work as an opera/dance hybrid.

Read more...

Rigoletto, Welsh National Opera review - same old update, fine performance

stephen Walsh

Considering the doubtfulness of its underlying idea, James Macdonald’s production of Rigoletto has shown remarkable staying power since its Cardiff début 17 years ago.

Read more...

The Intelligence Park, Linbury Theatre review - baroque to the point of obscurity

David Nice

Could Gerald Barry's first opera really be as enervating in the Royal Opera House's Linbury Theatre as it seemed nearly 30 years ago at its Almeida Music Festival premiere?

Read more...

Agrippina, Royal Opera review - carry on up the Campidoglio

David Nice

It was said of the Venetian audiences randy for the satirical antique of Handel's first great operatic cornucopia in 1709 that "a stranger who should have seen the manner in which they were affected, would have imagined they were all distracted".

Read more...

Carmen, Welsh National Opera review - intermittent brilliance in a gloomy, unclear environment

stephen Walsh

You can love Carmen as much as you like (as much as I do, for instance), and still have a certain sympathy for the poor director who has to find something new to say about a work so anchored in a particular style and place. For all its musical and dramatic brilliance, Bizet’s piece is a litter of stereotypes: the wild gipsy girl, the village ingénue, the strutting toreador, the smugglers (all forty or fifty of them), the Spanish dancers, the castanets, the wiggling hips.

Read more...

Werther, Royal Opera review - shadows and sunsets from an unreconstructed romantic

Jessica Duchen

Goethe’s Die Leiden des junges Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther) was a vital spark in the ignition of the German romantic movement. The story of a young man driven to kill himself for love of a woman, Charlotte, who loves him but marries someone else out of duty to her family, it was first published in 1774. It triggered a fever across Europe ranging from fashion trends (Werther wears blue with a yellow waistcoat) to a spate of copycat suicides.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Thomas J Campanella: Brooklyn - The Once and Future City rev...

For visitors to New York, it’s all about Manhattan, its 23...

Great Women Artists review - the book we have been waiting f...

Every now and then a book comes out that can change lives. If a survey like this had appeared when I was a student at the Slade, the struggle to...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dip - Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi

The temptation with the 20th anniversary reissue of Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi (Explosion Picture Score) is to look for traces...

Baby Reindeer, Bush Theatre review - break, break, breaking...

True stories, even in a fictional form, have the power to grip you by the throat, furiously shake your body and then give you a parting kick in...

PP Arnold, Islington Assembly Hall review - joy in a consumm...

“I had my first inter-racial relationship.” Moments after walking on stage and before the first song, PP Arnold is reminiscing about when she...

The Cunning Little Vixen, Welsh National Opera review - fami...

Considering that Janáček’s Vixen is, among other things, an allegory of the passing and returning years, it’s appropriate that...

LFF 2019: Le Mans '66 review - Matt Damon, Christian Ba...

While recent motor racing movies have been built around superstar names like Ayrton Senna and James Hunt, the protagonists of Le Mans ’66...

CD: Mark Lanegan Band - Somebody's Knocking

Spaghetti Western guitar, rumbling bass, a rattling keyboard pulse and an unyielding forward thrust combine to delineate Somebody's Knocking’s...