thu 20/09/2018

Opera Reviews

The Return of Ulysses, Royal Opera, Roundhouse review - musical drama trumps dodgy stagecraft

David Nice

The power of music solves every problem, at least when as bewitchingly performed as it was here.

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Salome, Royal Opera review – lurid staging still packs a punch

Gavin Dixon

David McVicar may seem too gentle a soul for the lurid drama of Strauss's Salome, but his production, here returning to Covent Garden for a third revival, packs a punch.

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National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – maturity from teenage players

Robert Beale

Seventy years old and still imbued with youthful flair and enthusiasm – that’s the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, which pioneered new territory in its first concert of 2018 last night. The flair and enthusiasm also apply to Sir Mark Elder, who conducted the event.

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Best of 2017: Opera

David Nice

It may not have been the best year for eye-popping productions; even visionary director Richard Jones fell a bit short with a tame-ish Royal Opera Bohème, though his non-operatic The Twilight Zone is something else. Instead there's been time to reflect on what makes a true...

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Cendrillon, RNCM, Manchester review - magic and spectacle

Robert Beale

The Royal Northern College of Music’s production of Massenet’s Cendrillon has a particularly strong professional production team, and it shows. This is one of the most attractively spectacular operas the college has mounted for years.

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Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, Royal Opera review - one tenor, two samey brutes

David Nice

Are "Cav and Pag" inseparable? Clearly not, to judge from Opera North's "Little Greats" and elsewhere, but it's still the pairing of choice. Tricky, because as music-theatre, Leoncavallo's drama of rough life entwined with rough art stands high above Mascagni's Sicilian village shenanigans, despite great scenes and numbers in both.

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I, Object review - this operatic double-bill delivers just a single hit

alexandra Coghlan

A comma divides the title of this opera double-bill in two, but the works paired here (Michael Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Kate Whitley’s Unknown Position) each explore what happens when you take it away – when natural divisions, between human and object, self and other, perception and reality are dissolved, dismantled or elided.

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Falstaff, RLPO, Petrenko, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall review - Bryn Terfel leads a merry dance

David Nice

Even seemingly immortal singers grow old. Sir Bryn is closer to the "Martinmas summer" of Shakespeare's and Verdi's Sir John than when first he put on the fat suit at the Royal Opera 18 years ago. Even if he walks the gouty walk that matches the belly, vocally he seems richer than ever.

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The Bear, Mid Wales Opera review - small stage, big ambitions

Richard Bratby

Go west, opera-lover: Mid Wales Opera is back in business. In fact, it’s been back since spring this year, when it toured venues in Wales and England with a warmly reviewed Handel Semele and a striking (and impressively cast) Magic Flute inspired by 1970s British sci-fi.

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The Rake's Progress, Wilton's Music Hall review - mercurial Stravinsky made cumbersome

David Nice

If you're not going to mention the imaginative genius of Stravinsky, Auden and Kallman within the covers of your programme, and the only article, by the director, is titled "Acting Naturally", then the production had better deliver.

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