sat 20/07/2024

20th century

theartsdesk at the Buxton International Festival - power and glory in early Verdi

Buxton International Festival offers one thundering success, one uneasy compromise and one surprisingly enjoyable experience, in its three mainstage operas this year.Verdi’s Ernani is the thundering success. For the first time in years, the festival...

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NMC Recordings at 35, Dutch Church, London review - a fitting celebration

NMC Recordings has spent 35 years promoting contemporary music by British composers, and this commitment to both emerging and established voices was represented at this birthday concert in London last night, part of the Spitalfields Festival. From...

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Marie Curie, Charing Cross Theatre review - like polonium, best left undiscovered

There are many women whose outstanding science was attributed to men or simply devalued to the point of obscurity, but recent interest in the likes of DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin and NASA’s Katherine Johnson has given credit where credit is due....

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Sansara, Manchester Collective, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - sense of a unique experience

Manchester Collective have come a long way since their early days of chamber music in dark and dingy Salford basements and former MOT test centres. But they haven’t forgotten what made those pioneering performances special: the sense of a unique...

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Hallé, Wong, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - meeting a musical communicator

Kahchun Wong, the Hallé’s principal conductor from the coming autumn season, presided in the Bridgewater Hall for the first time yesterday since the announcement of his appointment.It was in the last of the four “Rush Hour” concerts recently...

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Špaček, BBC Philharmonic, Bihlmaier, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - three flavours of Vienna

Billed as a “Viennese Whirl”, this programme showed that there are different kinds of music that may be known to the orchestral canon as coming from Vienna.For a start, there’s the classical tradition of Mozart, Beethoven and those who aimed to be...

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Spencer Jones: Making Friends, Soho Theatre review - award-winning comedian mines his post-lockdown escape to the country

Lockdown feels more like a dream now: empty streets; bright, scarless skies; pan-banging at 8pm. Did it all happen? One part of our brains insists that it did; another resists such an overthrowing of what it means to be human. Try recalling events...

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Marwood, Power, Watkins, Hallé, Adès, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - sonic adventure and luxuriance

For the second big concert of his “residency” with the Hallé this season, Thomas Adès chose one major piece of his own, rather than a set of shorter ones. Tevot, a 21-minute one-movement work written for the Berlin Philharmonic 18 years ago,...

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Cargill, Kantos Chamber Choir, Manchester Camerata, Menezes, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - imagination and star quality

Brazil-born conductor Simone Menezes, known for imaginative and pioneering concert presentation, presided over a striking and illuminating programme shared by Manchester’s Kantos Chamber Choir and Manchester Camerata, with the star quality of Karen...

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Foam, Finborough Theatre review - fascism and f*cking in a Gentlemen's Lavatory that proves short of gentlemen

In a too brightly tiled Gentlemen’s public convenience (Nitin Parmar’s beautifully realised set is as much a character as any of the men we meet), a lad is shaving his head. He’s halfway to the skinhead look of the early Seventies, but he hasn’t...

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Faith Healer, Lyric Hammersmith review - Brian Friel's masterpiece works its magic again

Brian Friel’s Faith Healer isn’t noted for its laughs, but Rachel O’Riordan has found more than most directors do in this rich, masterly piece from 1979. Her approach pays dividends in all but one respect.No portrayal of the deep melancholy of a...

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Gillam, Hallé, Poska, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - an experience of colour and fun

There was a common factor in the superficially disparate elements of this Hallé concert, and it wasn’t just the fact that both soloist and conductor were female. It was an experience of the colours of the music and a sense of enjoyment of what...

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