wed 11/12/2019

Donizetti

theartsdesk Q&A: Director Sir Jonathan Miller

Doctor, writer, sculptor, curator, comedian, presenter and director, Sir Jonathan Miller (1934-2019) was one of the mighty cultural and intellectual omnivores of our age. To those of a musical or theatrical bent, however, Miller was above all one of...

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Don Pasquale, Royal Opera review - fun and frolics in stylish new production

Venetian director Damiano Michieletto’s new Royal Opera production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale is a clever and entertaining mix of old and new. The curtain rises to reveal a skeleton of a 1960s style house - there are doors, but no walls, revealing...

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La Fille du Régiment, Royal Opera review - enjoyable but questionable revival

On paper, this might seem like a revival too far, a production clearly intended as a vehicle for world-class singers being tacked on the end of the Covent Garden season, and without any big names in sight. But it turns out that Laurent Pelly’s...

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Anna Bolena, Longborough Festival Opera review - Henry VIII's court becomes a sexualised death cult

Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived. Anne Boleyn is number two on the list, so anyone who can remember even that much Tudor history can guess that Donizetti’s Anna Bolena is not going to end well. The overture has hardly ended...

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L'Ange de Nisida / JPYAP Summer Programme, Royal Opera - buoyant touch in Donizetti bagatelle

Two rules should help the non-Donizettian: avoid all stagings of the prolific Bergamasco's nearly 70 operas other than the comedies; and seek the guarantee of top bel canto stylists. Conductor Mark Elder and soprano Joyce El-Khoury certainly fit...

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Alzira / The Daughter of the Regiment, Buxton Festival review – thundering good tunes

Alzira is Verdi’s shortest opera and his least performed, and you have to ask why. Buxton International Festival has done his legacy a service by bringing it to the stage this year, and it completes the trilogy of early Verdi operas performed there...

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Classical CDs Weekly Special: Callas Live

Remastered they may be, but the 20 live operas recorded here between 1949 and 1964 vary soundwise from clean at best to atrocious, with all the caprices of stage noise and audience participation seemingly acceptable at the time (so often there's the...

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Lucia di Lammermoor, Royal Opera review - creepy, violent and intense

Katie Mitchell’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor opened at Covent Garden in 2016 and now returns for a first revival. Royal Opera were clearly expecting great things, even from the start, and this is the third cast to have presented the show,...

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ENO's Marvellous Miller in pictures

It should have been unmodified rapture: a gathering of English National Opera team members old and new celebrating the doyen of the company's best-selling productions. And, as has always happened with the artistic side of the company, this loving...

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Maria de Rudenz, Wexford Festival Opera

Given the horrors lurking in the composer’s more familiar operas, the warning that Maria de Rudenz is “perhaps the darkest of Donizetti’s tragedies” carries no little weight. A Gothic spectacular with echoes of The Castle of Otranto and Matthew...

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Don Giovanni / Pia de' Tolomei, English Touring Opera

The curtain is up for the overture to English Touring Opera’s new production of Don Giovanni, but no-one is on stage. Instead, we gaze at Anna Fleischle’s set: a creation in two layers. On the top, elegant Klimt panels glint with gold. Below, and...

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Lucia di Lammermoor, Royal Opera

Lucia di Lammermoor is an opera in which men spend an awful lot of time talking about women, and very little actually talking to them. (Which, if nothing else, ensures a rather more dramatic denouement than a frank conversation about everyone’s...

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