fri 21/09/2018

Italy

Prom 71, DiDonato, Tamestit, ORR, Gardiner review - concert Berlioz as bracing theatre

How do you make your mark in a crucial last week after the Olympian spectaculars of Kirill Petrenko's Proms with the Berlin Philharmonic? Well, for a start, you stay true to recent principles by getting as many of your period-instrument Orchestre...

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theartsdesk at the Suoni dal Golfo Festival - romantics shine in the Bay of Poets

If only Liszt had started at the end of his Byron-inspired opera Sardanapalo. The mass immolation of Assyrian concubines might have been something to compare with the end of Wagner's Götterdämmerung. Instead he only sketched out the first act,...

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Proms 25 / 26 review - Russian masters, noodling guitar, late-night perfection

Sometimes the more modestly scaled Proms work best in the Albert Hall. Not that there was anything but vast ambition and electrifying communication from soprano Anna Prohaska and the 17-piece Il Giardino Armonico under Giovanni Antonini, making that...

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A Sicilian Ghost Story review - a beautiful, confusing journey

Childhood is an inimitable experience – the laws of the world are less certain, imagination and reality meld together, and no event feels fixed. A Sicilian Ghost Story recreates this sensation in the context of real world trauma, producing a...

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theartsdesk at the Ravenna Festival - Italians, Ukrainians and an American promote peace

Everything is political in the world's current turbulent freefall. The aim of Riccardo Muti's "Roads of Friendship" series, taking the young players of his Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra to cities from Sarajevo in 1997 to Moscow in 2000 and Tehran...

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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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Isabeau, Opera Holland Park review - Mascagni's lumpy Godiva-ride rarity

Valiant Opera Holland Park, always taking up the gauntlet for Italian operas which should mostly never be staged again. Worst was Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini, where musical ambition vastly outruns technique and inspiration. Mascagni's Iris with...

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The Ciambra review - supremely effective storytelling

The Ciambra is a wonderful and subtle piece of filmmaking. Director/writer Jonas Carpignano captures the genuine heart and fire of family relationships with an amateur cast of relatives, led by the magnetic young Pio Amato. By trusting the audience...

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DVD: All the Money in the World

It’s open season on the Getty dynasty. Last month the BBC documentary The Gettys: The World’s Richest Art Dynasty briskly coursed through the family archives. In March the TV drama Trust began on FX, scripted by Simon Beaufoy and directed by Danny...

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Helaine Blumenfeld: Britain’s most successful sculptor you’ve never heard of

Sexy is an overused word in the arts but it’s an adjective you can’t help applying to some of Helaine Blumenfeld’s voluptuous marble sculptures as you run your fingers over their surfaces. These abstract bodily forms, often in the purest icing-white...

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Wake, Birmingham Opera Company review - power to the people

“Would you like a veil?” asked a steward, offering a length of black gauze, and when you’re at a production by Birmingham Opera Company it’s usually wisest to say yes. You get used to it - the frantic Google-mapping to locate the venue; the hike...

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Blu-ray: Orchestra Rehearsal

Made for Italian state television in 1978, Fellini’s Orchestral Rehearsal is full of clichés. Some of them do ring true: brass players and percussionists are often a mischievous, rowdy bunch. As for the others… I’d best stop there, lest I annoy any...

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