wed 17/08/2022

19th century

Hanslip, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - lyricism and challenge

Manchester’s oldest chamber orchestra has been gathering a new audience at the Stoller Hall in Chetham’s School of Music since that auditorium opened, and Sunday afternoon’s programme provided an excellent example of where the Northern Chamber...

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Giltburg, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - back to glorious normal?

Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé were making something of a statement in this concert. Gone was the extended platform, gone the distanced orchestral seating of the past 18 months or so (strings now back to shared music stands), and the programme (also a...

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A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic review - not quite a festive-season cracker

Four years and a Broadway run on from its Old Vic debut, director Matthew Warchus and writer,Jack Thorne are still throwing everything they can at one of the most familiar stories, and characters, in English literature. That may be to address the...

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Devin Jacobsen: Breath Like the Wind at Dawn review – the disturbances of the Civil War

How do you imagine the wind at dawn? Biting, brisk, peremptory – a kind of summons as another day begins? For Les Tamplin, wife-beater, sheriff, father to three sons, it is a detective, deathly wind, "the wind that cannot be stopped" which...

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Carmen, Opera North review - humanity and no bull

Is Bizet’s Carmen all about Carmen? Or Don José and his obsession with her? Or the society that made her what she is? Or all of the above? Inevitably it’s an opera that almost never escapes some Regietheater treatment these days. Director Edward...

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The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review - visually arresting biopic

On its surface, a biopic of a late-Victorian artist starring big British talents including Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrea Riseborough and Claire Foy, sounds like typical awards fare for this time of year. Will Sharpe, best-known for directing the dark...

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Rigoletto, Royal Opera review - routine clouds the best in this season opener

Another season, another new production of Verdi’s nastiest masterpiece. For which we should be profoundly grateful after the tribulations of the last 18 months. Yet how quickly elements of the routine can corrode the soul of the spectator, just as...

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The North Water, BBC Two review - a terrible voyage into the great beyond

It’s perhaps unfortunate that The North Water arrives on BBC Two only a few months after The Terror, since it’s impossible to avoid the parallels between them. They’re set only a few years apart (1859 for The North Water, 1845 for The Terror), both...

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The Barber of Seville, Welsh National Opera review - back to work in an old banger

Welcome back, WNO! Yes, emphatically, and with a loud hurrah, which is precisely what the company received, and rightly received, from the somewhat arbitrarily scattered first night Millennium Centre audience for their opening revival of The Barber...

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Luisa Miller, Glyndebourne review – small-scale tragedy, big emotions

“Time-travelling” is how Enrique Mazzola, the superb first conductor of Glyndebourne’s last new production of the main season, described the slow-burn trajectory of Verdi’s semi-masterpiece Luisa Miller in his First Person here on theartsdesk....

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Mr and Mrs Nobody, Jermyn Street Theatre review – as comfortable as afternoon tea with jam puffs

If you’re looking for a distraction from the apocalyptic headlines that seem to be the norm right now, then it may appeal to descend into the pleasantly air-conditioned surroundings of Jermyn Street Theatre and take a trip to 1888. Here you will be...

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The Barber of Seville, Clonter Opera Theatre review - youthful enthusiasm triumphs

Harnessing the enthusiasm of youth has always been what Clonter Opera, on a farm in Cheshire, is about with its summer productions. The house is relatively small (there’s always a reduced orchestration as accompaniment), and the idea is that...

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