mon 18/06/2018

Glyndebourne

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Glyndebourne

Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is too other-worldly to have anything as mortal as a musical heartbeat. Pulsing through it instead are musical quivers, jolts of eerie energy first heard in the opening cello glissandi. Denaturing the instrument,...

Read more...

Béatrice et Bénédict, Glyndebourne

Locations count for little in most of Shakespeare's comedies. Only a literal-minded director would, for instance, insist on Messina, Sicily as the setting for Much Ado About Nothing. In Béatrice et Bénédict, on the other hand, Berlioz injects his...

Read more...

The Cunning Little Vixen, Glyndebourne

Is The Cunning Little Vixen a jolly children’s pantomime, or is it a searching study of issues of life and death, Man and Nature? The answer, naturally, is that it’s both. Children dress up as animals, and sing and prance about. But at the same time...

Read more...

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Glyndebourne

A celebration of the power of words and music (leaving aside, briefly, that more troubling business about the Fatherland), Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is a natural opener for the summer opera season. Art triumphs over all, but in David...

Read more...

The Moderate Soprano, Hampstead Theatre

Remember back when David Hare was left-wing? I’m not sure that he does. Between the affectionate, bittersweet nostalgia of South Downs and now The Moderate Soprano – a stroll through the verdant history of England’s most...

Read more...

Ravel Double Bill, Glyndebourne

Ask opera-lovers to name their favourite one-acter and chances are the choice will be L’enfant et les sortilèges. Colette’s typically off-kilter fable of a destructive kid confronted with the objects and animals he’s damaged is set by Maurice...

Read more...

Saul, Glyndebourne

I can’t remember a time I felt so profoundly disquieted by a Handel staging. It’s partly that, as an oratorio, Saul breaks so many dramatic rules that lend the operas their reassuring structural certainty, but there’s also something – a tenderness...

Read more...

The Rape of Lucretia, Glyndebourne

Britten’s first chamber opera is very much a Glyndebourne piece; its world premiere in the old festival theatre in July 1946 was also the festival’s inaugural post-war production. It brought into being the English Opera Group, and led soon...

Read more...

Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Glyndebourne

What a difference seven years can make to a budding genius. Mozart’s La finta giardiniera (1775) has only patches of brilliance, and last year’s Glyndebourne production, despite musical excellence, failed them all. This time an experienced director...

Read more...

Carmen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

After Calixto Bieito’s radical reimaging of Carmen, which opened at English National Opera this week, David McVicar’s version at Glyndebourne was bound to seem conservative. But it turned out to be a comparison of apples and Seville oranges: Bieito...

Read more...

Poliuto, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Fashion is a funny thing, in opera no less than the sartorial trappings that go with it (everything from tight, hipster trews to billowing ballgowns at last night's Glyndebourne season opening, in case you were wondering). Donizetti's classical...

Read more...

Best of 2014: Opera

When everything works – conducting, singing, production, costumes, sets, lighting, choreography where relevant – then there’s nothing like the art of opera. But how often does that happen? In my experience, very seldom, but not this year. It's been...

Read more...
Subscribe to Glyndebourne