fri 19/04/2019

Glyndebourne

Cendrillon, Glyndebourne Tour review - too many ingredients in the magic soup

Supernatural wonders, consciously avoided in Rossini's enlightened tale of goodness rewarded La Cenerentola and unrealised by second-rank composer Isouard in his 1810 Cendrillon, recently uneathed by Bampton Classical Opera, flood Massenet's gem-...

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Sir Peter Hall: a day of thanksgiving and celebration for a colossus of culture

Sir Peter Hall had no ordinary life, as might be expected from the director who more than any other defined the British theatre of the last half of the 20th century. The same can be said of the unforgettable two-part send-off he received exactly a...

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Vanessa, Glyndebourne review - blowsy histrionics and a great finale

"Sounds like an opera by Handel," said a friend when I told him that I was going to see Vanessa at Glyndebourne. Possible – the name first appeared in print as "invented" by Jonathan Swift in 1723 – had Handel not stuck to mythological and Biblical...

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Saul, Glyndebourne review - from extravaganza to phantasmagoria

It's swings and roundabouts for Glyndebourne this season. After the worst of one director currently in fashion, Stefan Herheim, in the unhappy mésalliance of the house's Pelléas et Mélisande, only musically gripping, comes the already-known best of...

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Prom 5, Pelléas et Mélisande, Glyndebourne review - for the ears, not the eyes

What a fabulous score Pelléas et Mélisande is, and what a joy to be able to hear it in a concert performance without the distraction of some over-sophisticated director’s self-communings. Well, if only. What last night’s Prom in fact served up was a...

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Pelléas et Mélisande, Glyndebourne review - frigid metatheatre

Pierre Boulez simply crystallised the obvious when he described Debussy's unique masterpiece as "theatre of cruelty," despite its enigmatic beginnings. Richard Jones, when I asked him to talk about its plot, declared "it's about two men who love the...

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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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Der Rosenkavalier, Glyndebourne - detailed acting, great singing

If Hugo von Hofmannsthal's libretto for Richard Strauss in their joint "comedy for music" is the apogee of elaborately referenced dialogue and stage directions in opera, Richard Jones's realisation - for all that it throws out much of the original...

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Madama Butterfly, Glyndebourne review - perverse staging, outstanding cast

Puccini’s heroines and the rough treatment he hands out to them have come in for plenty of opprobrium over the years. But just occasionally they fight back on his behalf in the person of an outstanding singing actress; and this is exactly the case...

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The Moderate Soprano, Duke of York's Theatre review - love and opera with a flinty edge

"What could be more serious than married life?" asked Richard Strauss, whose operas became a surprising pillar of Glyndebourne's repertoire some time after the early days dramatised in David Hare's play. "Honour" might have been the answer of...

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Glyndebourne Opera Cup - a view from inside

I was on a panel of six critics convened to choose the winner of a special "media award" at the Glyndebourne Opera Cup on Saturday evening. What follows is therefore not a review, but rather a chance to chew over the concept and its highs (and...

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Best of 2017: Opera

It may not have been the best year for eye-popping productions; even visionary director Richard Jones fell a bit short with a tame-ish Royal Opera Bohème, though his non-operatic The Twilight Zone is something else. Instead there's been time to...

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