mon 17/06/2019

Italy

Franco Zeffirelli: 'I had this feeling that I was special'

"I am amazed to be still alive. Two hours of medieval torment.” Franco Zeffirelli - who has died at the age of 96 - had spent the day having a lumbar injection to treat a sciatic nerve. You could hear the bafflement in his heavily accented English....

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Bauci e Filemone/Orfeo, Classical Opera, QEH review - a star Orpheus is born

All happy 18th century couples are alike, it seems, and that makes for a certain placidity in Gluck's pastoral Bauci e Filomene for the (unhappy) wedding of Ferdinand, Duke of Parma and Maria Amalia, Archduchess of Austria. All unhappy couples are...

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58th Venice Biennale review - confrontational, controversial, principled

There’s a barely disguised sense of threat running through the 2019 Venice Biennale. Of the 79 participating artists and groups, all are living and there’s a sharp sense that the purpose of the exhibition is to diagnose the ills afflicting the...

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First Person: Robert Hollingworth on I Fagiolini's 'Leonardo - Shaping the Invisible'

Leonardo da Vinci died 500 years ago on 2 May this year. We all know he was a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, pioneer of flight and anatomist – yet according to Vasari, Leonardo’s first job outside Florence was as a result of his musical...

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Who’s Afraid of Drawing? Works on Paper from the Ramo Collection, Estorick Collection review - surprising and rewarding

Paper is traditionally the medium though which artists think. Stray thoughts and experiments can be quickly tried out, pushed further or jettisoned. There are no penalties for starting something which goes wrong or transforms into something else...

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Loro review – hedonism must have an end

"Them" - the "loro" of the title (with a further play on “l’oro”, gold) - denotes the mostly sleazy opportunists willing to use and be used by "him" ("lui"), "Presidente" Silvio Berlusconi in his septuagenarian bid for an extended sexual and...

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Happy as Lazzaro review - magical realism from Italy

Italy has a romance with rural grit and innocence and – perhaps not surprising in a country where the links between village and city are still very strong: Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy as Lazzaro (Lazzaro Felice) isn’t in any way derivative, but...

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Pitzhanger Manor review - letting the light back in

When in 1800 the architect Sir John Soane bought Pitzhanger Manor for £4,500, he did so under the spell of optimism, energy and hope. The son of a bricklayer, Soane had – through a combination of talent, hard work and luck – risen through...

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Bernheim, Finley, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - top Italians in second gear

Would Verdi and Puccini have composed more non-operatic music, had they thrived in a musical culture different to Italy's? Hard to say. What we do know is that they both became absolute masters of orchestration – Puccini rather quicker than Verdi,...

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Fausto Melotti: Counterpoint, Estorick Collection review - harmonious things

For an artist whose cerebral and frequently playful works reference physics, myth and music, Fausto Melotti’s artistic education was appropriately heterogeneous.The foundations were laid early on at the Elisabettina School in his hometown of...

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My Brilliant Friend, Sky Atlantic review - rich revelations of childhood

This opening episode of My Brilliant Friend was a stunning symphony in grey. For any viewers concerned that HBO’s long-awaited Elena Ferrante adaptation might be tempted to sweeten the visual experience of the writer’s impoverished 1950s Naples...

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Federico Colli, Wigmore Hall review – poised on the edge of the possible

The Italian pianist Federico Colli, 30, best known so far as winner of the 2012 Leeds International Piano Competition, last night arrived for his Wigmore Hall debut sporting an emerald-green cravat, but the sonic colours he magicked out of the piano...

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