wed 24/04/2019

Opera Reviews

Acis and Galatea, English National Opera, Lilian Baylis House review - Handel for the hashtag generation

alexandra Coghlan

If you go to ENO’s Acis and Galatea expecting a grassy knoll draped decoratively with a Watteau shepherdess or two then you may be disappointed.

Read more...

Roscoe, BBC Philharmonic, Mena, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - a scenic send-off

Robert Beale

Juanjo Mena, chief conductor of Manchester's BBC Philharmonic for the past seven years, took his official leave of them with a programme reflecting his great love, the music of his Spanish homeland.

Read more...

Giulio Cesare, Glyndebourne review - no weak link

Sebastian Scotney

What a great show, on every level. David McVicar’s Glyndebourne production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare, originally staged in 2005, and in its third revival this year, has a cast without a weak link, and never fails to draw in the audience to the work’s cycles of power, suffering, death and intermittent triumph...

Read more...

Un ballo in maschera, Grange Park Opera review – singing out against the American grain

Boyd Tonkin

Stumble across Grange Park Opera’s new brick-clad “Theatre in the Woods”, nestled amid a labyrinth of gardens and orchards next to the rambling Tudor pile of West Horsley Place in Surrey, and on a mild June evening you may feel as if you have fallen into some Home Counties version of a magic-realist novel.

Read more...

Lohengrin, Royal Opera review - swan mystery musically illuminated

David Nice

It's awfully long for a fairytale in which a mystery prince helps a damsel in distress, and she asks him the question she shouldn't. Myth tends to go deeper, as Wagner did in The Ring of the Nibelung after Lohengrin. Here he captures the magic of transformation and transcendence, but in between there's too much hard-to-stage pomp.

Read more...

La finta semplice, Classical Opera, QEH review - consummate musicianship stokes early Mozart

David Nice

You can always be sure of impeccable casting and spirited playing as Ian Page takes his Classical Opera through Mozart year by year. Just don't expect more than the glimmer of genius to come in 1768, though.

Read more...

Der fliegende Holländer, Longborough Festival review - stand and deliver on an empty stage

stephen Walsh

Brilliant and innovative though it is in many respects, The Flying Dutchman is by no means a straightforward piece to stage. It’s an odd, sometimes uncomfortable mixture of the genre and the epic. At Sadler’s Wells in the sixties they had a little ship and a big ship that hove into view, a fishing village, sailors with tankards and striped shirts, and girls at looms.

Read more...

Capriccio, Garsington Opera review - a classy evening with words and music

David Nice

Like the comedies of Mozart – the genius the artistic milieu depicted in Capriccio seems to be waiting for, if its original 1770s setting is observed – the more conversational operas of Richard Strauss depend far more than one often realises on conducting that sets a stylish, buoyant pace.

Read more...

Così fan tutte, Opera Holland Park review - the pain behind the prettiness

Boyd Tonkin

A proper production of Così fan tutte should make you feel as if the script for a barrel-scraping Carry On film has been hi-jacked by Shakespeare and Chekhov – working as a team. The story is so silly (even nasty), the music so sublime.

Read more...

Die Zauberflöte, Garsington Opera review - visually stimulating, conceptually confusing

alexandra Coghlan

Something is afoot at Garsington this season. Walking past the lake you might just catch sight of three strange figures in the distance – white-clad pawns engaged in a solemn game of human chess. Continue towards the auditorium and, somewhere among the topiary, there’s a splash of colour. A man with the cap and long red robes of an Inquisitor stands silently and contemplates the statuary. Opera, once again it seems, has fallen through the looking glass.

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

Billy Budd, Royal Opera review - Britten's drama of goo...

On one level, it's about Biblically informed good and evil at sea, in both the literal and the metaphorical sense. On another, the love that dared...

Suede, Brighton Dome review - Brett Anderson gives it full f...

Suede finish “Sabotage”. It’s a mid-paced, elegant number set off by swirling, circling central...

10 Questions for actress and playwright Nicôle Lecky

Nicôle Lecky’s one woman show Superhoe has added fire to the reputation of an already fast-rising actress and writer. Based around Sasha...

All My Sons, Old Vic review - starry but disappointingly une...

Superstar Sally Field has come to town. With two academy awards and countless other accolades, the actor who played Forrest Gump's mother and...

Run for Your Life, ITV review - giving the nation's you...

With the knife crime epidemic seemingly raging out of control, and...

Looking for Rembrandt, BBC Four review - painter's biog...

This final episode of BBC Four's Looking for Rembrandt...

CD: Bad Religion - Age of Unreason

Bad Religion have been making politically aware, high-speed, melodic ...

Obituary: Bibi Andersson 1935-2019

"One talks, the other doesn’t" is about as crude a description as could be of the Swedish masterpiece, Persona. Profoundly experimental...

Sea Star: Sean Scully, National Gallery review - analysing p...
Either side of a doorway, framing a view of Turner’s The Evening Star, c. 1830 (Main picture), Sean Scully’s ...
DVD/Blu-ray: Pet Shop Boys - Inner Sanctum

Pet Shop Boys are never shy of producing stylishly conceived fan mementos. Coming not long after Faber & Faber’s hardback collection of Neil...