sun 21/07/2024

Glyndebourne

Giulio Cesare, Glyndebourne review - every number a winner from dazzling revival cast

How much better can a classic get? Sebastian Scotney more or less asked the same question on theartsdesk the last time Giulio Cesare returned in triumph to Glyndebourne. I never saw David McVicar’s justly famous production of what has to be Handel’s...

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The Merry Widow, Glyndebourne review - fun and frolics in the Embassy

Why would anyone want to stage a work like The Merry Widow in this day and age? Silly question. It’s the music, stupid. Of course, it’s an entertaining story and there are some good jokes. But I'd bet that if Heuberger had composed the music to this...

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Die Zauberflöte, Glyndebourne review - cornucopia of visual inventiveness eclipses everything else

Five years after it first clattered onto the Glyndebourne stage, André Barbe and Renaud Doucet’s visually exuberant Die Zauberflöte – featuring everything from dancing carcasses to a monster made out of blue-and-white crockery – continues to dazzle...

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Carmen, Glyndebourne review - total musical fusion

It’s what you dream of in opera but don’t often get: singers feeling free and liberated to give their best after weeks of preparation with a master conductor. Glyndebourne Music Director Robin Ticciati leads the way with a peerless London...

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Remembering conductor Andrew Davis (1944-2024)

As a human being of immense warmth, humour and erudition, Andrew Davis made it all too easy to forget what towering, incandescent performances he inspired. Now is a good time to recall those properly to mind, to listen to his huge discography, and...

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Best of 2023: Opera

Choosing a limited best seems almost meaningless when even simply the seven operatic experiences I've relished in the run-up to Christmas (nothing seasonal) deserve a place in the sun. But in a year which has seen Arts Council devastation versus...

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Semele, Glyndebourne review - the dark side of desire

It never rains but it pours – and hails, snows or, above all, thunders. The presiding tone of Semele, in Adele Thomas’s new production for Glyndebourne, matches the current English summer with its grey skies, glowering clouds and stormy outbursts....

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Dialogues des Carmélites, Glyndebourne review - faith overwhelmed by horror

Harrowing and holiness alternate in Poulenc’s unique masterpiece, nominally an opera about nuns during the French revolution, at a deeper level a music-drama about the greatest disturbances in the human condition. Glyndebourne’s cast, conductor and...

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Don Giovanni, Glyndebourne review - stunning, exuberant production reveals human nature in all its complexity

Why stage Don Giovanni in a post #MeToo world? That’s the question most frequently being asked about Mariame Clément’s new production for Glyndebourne and on its opening night she delivered a response that was as conceptually subtle as it was...

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First Person: soprano Soraya Mafi on why Glyndebourne's tour cancellation is disastrous

Anyone concerned about making the arts accessible regardless of where they live should be concerned by the recent announcement from Glyndebourne that it’s having to cease touring across England.That painful decision, and Welsh National Opera’s...

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La bohème, Glyndebourne Tour review - Death and the Parisienne doing the rounds

The sopranos are Ethiopian-Italian and Hispanic-American, the tenor Uzbek, the baritones South African (no EU principals, but it seems you can't have everything). This is opera at its best: the cream of international singers coming together to make...

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First Persons: Glyndebourne's sustainability advisers Sara and Jeremy Eppel on creating eco-friendly opera

Like the beacons saving ships from the Cornish rocks in Ethel Smyth’s opera, The Wreckers, which opened this year’s Glyndebourne Festival, the Sussex opera house has itself become a beacon of more environmentally sustainable opera. In 2021, with the...

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