sat 01/10/2022

19th century

Winslow Homer: Force of Nature, National Gallery review - dump the symbolism and enjoy the drama

Across the pond Winslow Homer is a household name; in his day, he was regarded as the greatest living American painter. He was renowned especially for his seascapes and his most famous painting, The Gulf Stream, 1899/1906 (main picture) features in...

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Blu-ray/4K Ultra HD: The Piano

Jane Campion’s enigmatic, triple-Oscar-winning film looks as beautiful as it did when it was released almost 30 years ago. Holly Hunter (you can’t help thinking she’s been underused ever since, give or take her performance in Campion’s Top of the...

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Ride, Charing Cross Theatre review - A true story of female empowerment

Who tells your story? Something of a theme in new musicals since Hamilton posed the question in those long ago pre-Covid, pre-inflation days. In Ride, the once famous cyclist who had hardly ever ridden a bike, Annie Londonderry, circumvents the...

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Eiffel review - sensuous secret history

This is a romantic historical epic with elan, giving sensual immediacy to a fanciful secret history of the Eiffel Tower, here inspired by a forbidden, rekindled romance between Gustave Eiffel (Romain Duris) and Arlette Bourgès (Sex Education’s Emma...

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Utopia, Limited, National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company review - bounded rapture

Joseph Heller grew tired of being told that he’d never written anything as good as Catch 22. ‘Who has?’, he'd retort. In the same spirit, it’s futile to compare Gilbert and Sullivan’s late flop Utopia, Limited to The Mikado, The Gondoliers,...

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Gillam, Brodsky Quartet, Manchester Camerata, Buxton International Festival 2022 review - a freshness in classic Elgar

It’s an ill heatwave that brings nobody any good, and Buxton International Festival’s decision to move its highlight concert, by Manchester Camerata with Jess Gillam and the Brodsky Quartet as their guests, from the Buxton Octagon to St John’s...

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La donna del lago, Buxton International Festival 2022 review - Rossini’s romanticism for today

Buxton International Festival’s opera scene is clearly back on track for 2022, and its most substantial production a taut and tension-filled presentation of Rossini’s La Donna del Lago.Jacopo Spirei’s production, with design by Madeleine Boyd, has...

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The Dance of Death, Arcola Theatre review - hate sustains a marriage in new version of Strindberg classic

Rebecca Lenkiewicz's adaptation of August Strindberg's 1900 paean to the power of loathing over loving uses the now familiar trick of dressing characters in period detail while giving them the full range of the 21st century's argot of disdain and...

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theartsdesk in Zurich - forging a brilliant new Ring

Could this be the summer Bayreuth finally sees a new Ring production that comes anywhere near its last great epic success, Harry Kupfer’s, which ran from 1988-92? If so, it’s been pipped to the post by a rather more comfortable and bijou opera house...

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Eugene Onegin, Opera Holland Park Young Artists review - intimacy and reflection

Sitting in a huge marquee on a June evening, with the sun peeking through every gap in the canopy, it is quite a stretch to imagine yourself in the remote countryside of rural Russia. But this new production of Eugene Onegin manages that, and with a...

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La bohème, Glyndebourne review - a masterpiece in monochrome

According to the programme, La bohème is (probably) the most performed opera, by the most performed operatic composer. Ever. So, what is it about this piece that continues to enthral, inspire and intrigue artists and audiences alike?Perhaps it’s...

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Maria Stuarda, Irish National Opera review – two queens sing for the crown, with spectacular results

You don’t plan a production of a Donizetti opera without having top voices in mind. For what, after all, is his simplification of Schiller’s Mary Stuart but bel canto business as usual with a bit of high drama attached? Internationally celebrated...

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