mon 16/07/2018

18th century

Idomeneo, Buxton Festival review - revolution in the head

The audience at the Buxton International Festival has a way of cutting to the essence of a production. “They’ll have a job getting all that cutlery out of the sand” commented one of my neighbours after the end of Act One, where in Stephen...

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The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Grange Festival review - enjoyable if conventional production

Just as the Last Night of the Proms is an end-of-term party with a concert tacked on, The Grange Festival (like other similar venues) offers a massive picnic interspersed with some opera. Unlike the Proms, however, where anyone can get in wearing...

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Bach Weekend, Barbican review - vivid and vibrant celebrations

John Eliot Gardiner was 75 in April, and to celebrate, the Barbican Centre staged a weekend devoted to his favourite composer. Gardiner himself provided the backbone of the event, three concerts of cantatas with his Monteverdi Choir and English...

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Giulio Cesare, Glyndebourne review - no weak link

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’...

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Isabelle Huppert reads Marquis de Sade, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - virtue twinned with vice

In an era marked by virtue-signalling, it's perhaps no surprise that Isabelle Huppert – a woman who has always gone against the grain – has opted for a little vice-signalling. Unlike other French screen icons, she is not part of the female...

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Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, Wilton's Music Hall review - pure entertainment

One space, one person, one story, one voice – the monologue is theatre distilled, the purest form of entertainment. On a stage of packing boxes and boards, over the course of just over an hour, Paterson Joseph relays and plays the life of...

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

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. It doesn't matter in those admirable...

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Franco Fagioli on performing the Baroque: 'a challenge is to interpret beyond the musical notation'

I started singing when I was nine years old in my primary school choir. I sang plenty of solos there before moving on to another children’s choir; that was a formative experience for me. At this point, I was singing the soprano part and from here I...

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

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. When, in...

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Tartuffe, Theatre Royal Haymarket review - dual-language production loses its way

The idea of producing a classic play in a mix of two languages is pretty odd. What kind of audience is a bilingual version of Molière’s best-known comedy aiming at, you wonder. Homesick émigrés? British francophiles with rusty A-level French?...

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The Rosenkavalier film, OAE, Paterson, QEH review - silent-era muddle expertly accompanied

Let's face it, Robert "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" Wiene's 1926 film loosely based on Strauss and Hofmannsthal's 1911 "comedy for music" is a mostly inartistic ramble. Historically, though, it proves fascinating. The composer mostly left it to Otto...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Méhul, Mozart, Schubert

 Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Méhul: Symphony No 1 Solistes Européens Luxembourg/Christoph König (Rubicon)Étienne-Nicolas Méhul was one of revolutionary France’s key musicans. He was commissioned by Napoleon to write his Chant national du 14...

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