mon 15/08/2022

Opera Reviews

Bluebeard’s Castle 2: Komlósi, Relyea, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - consolations of solitude

Peter Quantrill

Where is the stage – outside or within? The question posed by the prologue of Bartók’s only opera addresses the fundamental privacy of our thoughts, as well as setting the scene for its drama within the theatre of our own minds. For many of us a year and a half of periodic lockdown has only turned up the volume on the echoing contents of our heads, lending an unlooked-for familiarity to Bluebeard’s forbidding castle.

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HMS Pinafore, English National Opera review - shipshape classic comedy craft

David Nice

Yes, it was bound to be HMS Laugh-a-minute, given Cal “One Man, Two Guvnors” McCrystal’s ENO comedy riffs on an already funny early G&S classic, but what does this tight little craft have to say to Little England today?

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The Rake's Progress, Glyndebourne Tour - a classic revitalized

David Nice

Tom Rakewell Esquire, the Glyndebourne edition generally known as “the Hockney Rake” though it is very much director John Cox’s too, is 46 years old.

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Die ägyptische Helena, Fulham Opera review - mythological mess impressively handled

David Nice

So Helen of Troy arrives at a church in Fulham via Poseidon’s island palace and a pavilion at the foot of the Atlas Mountains.

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Bernstein Double Bill, Opera North review - fractured relationships in song and dance

graham Rickson

Leonard Bernstein’s one-act opera Trouble in Tahiti enjoyed a relatively trouble-free gestation, at least compared to his other stage works. Its seven short scenes last around 50 minutes, Bernstein providing his own libretto and completing much of this acerbic, occasionally bitter study of a marriage in crisis whilst on his own honeymoon in 1951.

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Don Pasquale, Glyndebourne Tour review - winning comeback for a sturdy veteran

Boyd Tonkin

If it ain’t broke… on tour and in the Glyndebourne summer festival, Mariame Clément's production of Don Pasquale has gratified audiences for a decade now. It surely will again in Paul Higgins's spirited revival. The show returns to the Sussex house at the start of this year’s tour with the leaves about to turn but the gardens still ablaze with late-season colour.

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First Person: director Frederic Wake-Walker on Glyndebourne's new 'Fidelio'

Frederic Wake-Walker

2016

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Jenůfa, Royal Opera review - Janáček scours the soul again in a compelling new take

David Nice

At the heart of Janáček’s searing music-drama, and the pioneering play by another remarkable Czech, Gabriela Preissová, on which it is based, are two strong women trapped in a conventional community whose intelligence goes to waste and whose lives take tragic turns.

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Madam Butterfly, Welsh National Opera review - decent performance, disagreeable context

stephen Walsh

It’s easy enough to see the difficulty Madam Butterfly places your thinking director in. I share her pain.

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The Midsummer Marriage, LPO, Gardner, RFH review – Tippett’s cornucopia shines in fits and starts

David Nice

British opera’s attempted answer to The Magic Flute, and its presentation as the opening gambit of Edward Gardner’s eminent position as principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, leave me queasily ambivalent.

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