thu 06/10/2022

opera directors

Patience, Charles Court Opera, Wilton's Music Hall review - bar room bliss

“Twenty lovesick maidens we,” pining in stained-glass attitudes for florid poet Reginald Bunthorne, usually kick off Gilbert and Sullivan’s delicious mockery of the high (or cod) aesthetical. That might have been a problem for Charles Court Opera’s...

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Otello, Grange Park Opera review - angels and demons

The devil, in Verdi’s Otello, doesn’t quite have all the best tunes. Desdemona trumps him there. But the arch-manipulator Iago boasts a part of such polished, seductive wickedness that (as in Shakespeare’s tragedy) the villain can often make off...

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Best of 2021: Opera

January to mid-May 2021 were the bleakest Covid months, yielding only the occasional livestream at least half as good as being there (Barrie Kosky’s magically reinvented Strauss Der Rosenkavalier from Munich, a film of Britten's The Turn of the...

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Remembering Graham Vick (1953-2021) - top colleagues on one of the greatest opera directors

Five weeks have passed since the death of opera director Graham Vick from complications due to Covid-19, shocking even to those of us (un)prepared for the worst, and yet so many of us think about him every day. For the musicians, actors, dancers and...

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RhineGold, Birmingham Opera Company, Symphony Hall review - music-drama at the highest level

The love of power corrupts, the power of love falters or fails. The essence of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung is also what Graham Vick communicated so stunningly in many of his unforgettable productions with his Birmingham Opera Company (...

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GogolFest:Dream review - the best music festival of the summer?

GogolFest:Dream in Kherson, somewhere near the Crimea in Ukraine was the music festival of the summer. Admittedly, in my case and for many, having missed out on WOMAD, Glastonbury, Fez, and others it was the only festival of the summer, and the bar...

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The Telephone, Scottish Opera/Cargill, RSNO, Søndergård, Edinburgh International Festival online - human emotions in digital form

Lockdown, perhaps more than any other time, has amplified how modern technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Of course, it’s wonderful to have the means to connect with friends and family scattered across the globe; carry on working, learning...

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The Encore, Opera Holland Park review - stylish return for a squad of old friends

As Dvořák’s "Song to the Moon" from Rusalka rose to its impassioned climax, Natalya Romaniw had to battle a helicopter thumping overhead. The helicopter lost (well, of course it did). As Nardus Williams and David Butt Phillip disappeared into...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Director Sir Jonathan Miller

Doctor, writer, sculptor, curator, comedian, presenter and director, Sir Jonathan Miller (1934-2019) was one of the mighty cultural and intellectual omnivores of our age. To those of a musical or theatrical bent, however, Miller was above all one of...

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Anna Bolena, Longborough Festival Opera review - Henry VIII's court becomes a sexualised death cult

Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived. Anne Boleyn is number two on the list, so anyone who can remember even that much Tudor history can guess that Donizetti’s Anna Bolena is not going to end well. The overture has hardly ended...

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Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), Brighton Festival 2019 review - a feverishly foul-mouthed musical comedy

Five years ago this Kneehigh Theatre production caused a stir with its vibrant modern retelling of John Gay’s 18th century satirical classic, The Beggar’s Opera. It’s currently on tour again and it’s easy to see why a revival was greenlit. It’s a...

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Idomeneo, English Touring Opera review – honest excellence

Selfish, cunning, cynical, the older generation has screwed up the world with aggression abroad and dishonesty at home. Can their children make it good again? This family drama of transgression and reparation threads through Idomeneo, the opera that...

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