mon 20/05/2019

Opera Reviews

4.48 Psychosis, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith review - despairing truth in song and speech

David Nice

Depression, with or without psychotic episodes, is a rare subject for drama or music theatre - and with good reason: the sheer unrelenting monotony of anguish and self-absorption is hard to reproduce within a concentrated time-span.

Read more...

The Marriage of Figaro, English Touring Opera review - vanilla Mozart still tastes sweet

Richard Bratby

The Fates did not want theartsdesk to review English Touring Opera’s new production of The Marriage of Figaro.

Read more...

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Royal Opera review - bleak rigour and black comedy still cast a spell

David Nice

Anyone who's seen Richard Jones's rigorous production before will remember the makeover – Katerina Izmailova, bored and brutalised housewife released by sex and murder from her shackles, having her drab bedroom expanded and redecorated in deliberate incongruity with Shostakovich's most shattering orchestral music – and its polar opposite, the near-black horror of convicts in trucks by the river on...

Read more...

Bernstein's MASS, RFH review - polymorphousness in excelsis

David Nice

Live exposure to centenary composer Leonard Bernstein's anything-goes monsterpiece of 1971, as with Britten's War Requiem of the previous decade, probably shouldn't happen more than once every ten years, if only because each performance has to be truly special.

Read more...

Coraline, Royal Opera, Barbican review - spooky story, underwhelming score

David Nice

With the eyes of musical fashion turned relentlessly on the calculating stage works of chilly alchemist George Benjamin, hopes ran high for a brighter spark in a new opera by his contemporary Mark-Anthony Turnage.

Read more...

The Marriage of Figaro, English National Opera review - sassy, probing and splendidly cast

Jessica Duchen

One year to Brexit, a seemingly endless winter chill and Londoners need soul food, badly. I prescribe an evening of total immersion in The Marriage of Figaro.

Read more...

Ariadne auf Naxos, Scottish Opera review - superb singing in slick new production

Miranda Heggie

"The Show must go on". So say the posters dotted around Glasgow and Edinburgh for Scottish Opera's production of Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. Except on Thursday, it didn’t.

Read more...

Hansel and Gretel, RNCM, Manchester review – an urban dream

Robert Beale

Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is a ‘"fairytale opera" (its composer’s description), and yet one characteristic frequently commented on is its "Wagnerian" scoring. For this production, with David Pountney’s English translation, the RNCM used Derek Clark’s reduced orchestration.

Read more...

La traviata, English National Opera review - into a vortex of ineptitude

David Nice

You don't have to be a good director to manage the artistic side of an opera house. Daniel Kramer arrived at ENO and boosted morale at a time when company relations with then-CEO Cressida Pollock had hit rock bottom, and his repertoire choices for the new limited seasons look fine so far.

Read more...

Wake, Birmingham Opera Company review - power to the people

Richard Bratby

“Would you like a veil?” asked a steward, offering a length of black gauze, and when you’re at a production by Birmingham Opera Company it’s usually wisest to say yes.

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

La Damnation de Faust, Glyndebourne review – bleak and compe...

Mid-career, moving ever further away from composing for concert platform and church towards the stage,...

Last Stop Coney Island review - the life and photography of...

This is a real passion project; British filmmaker Andy Dunn spent years building up a relationship with the late American photographer Harold...

Gentleman Jack, BBC One review - the revolutionary life of A...

In 2010, Maxine Peake starred in The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, but this new...

Al Murray as the Pub Landlord, Embassy Theatre Skegness revi...

Al Murray's Pub Landlord character has been around since the mid-1990s. As such, it's a wonder that Murray has managed to reinvent the embittered...

Chamber Music, Brighton Festival 2019 review - Wu-Tang Clan...

Martial arts mayhem, Shaolin philosophy, a tribe of masked hip hop warriors emerging from the mist of Staten Island...

Rokia Traoré: Dream Mandé: Bamanan Djourou, Brighton Festiva...

Much of Rokia Traoré’s set tonight comprises folk songs about...

CD: Sting - My Songs

Some say that every successful rock star's career can be divided into three phases. First comes the youthful exuberance. Next, there's mature...

What We Do In the Shadows, BBC Two review - black comedy vam...

This is a toothsome treat for Sunday nights and one of those rare occasions when the...

First Person: Ellen McDougall on finding the commonality in...

I’ve wanted to direct Thornton Wilder’s Our Town for a long time.

The play is beautifully written and its form feels not only...

Cannes 2019: Pain and Glory review - a dour, semi-autobiogra...

There’s a touch of Fellini’s 8 ½ in Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film. It’s a forlorn, confessional tale, with Antonio Banderas starring as...