sat 18/05/2024

Rossini

When crossover goes haywire

No one's saying that the mezzo of the moment, glamorous Latvian Elina Garanca, isn't a very class act indeed when it comes to high-quality opera, song and even zarzuela. But she didn't revert to the Age of Aquarius too successfully in this ill-...

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Il barbiere di Siviglia, Royal Opera

Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia comes gift-wrapped in its own candy-striped box – packaging that sets the tone for the brittle, sugary entertainment within. Trading satire for slapstick, politics for aesthetics,...

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Armida, Garsington Opera

It's not hard to imagine the Bloomsburyites frolicking around the exquisite Garsington grounds in mock-ups of scenes from Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata. Lady Ottoline, chateleine of the enchanted garden, would writhe as eastern sorceress Armida,...

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Rick Stein's Food of the Italian Opera, BBC Four

Golfing for Cats: Alan Coren once invented the perfect book title on the basis that if you combined those who follow the activities of Tiger Woods with those who adore smaller domestic felines, you have a massive demographic primed to buy your last...

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Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Fischer, Royal Festival Hall

Rossini provided the lively curtain-raisers to both halves of this Chamber Orchestra of Europe concert, streamed live to Aberdeen where Shell, the sponsors, have something of a vested interest in keeping their employees entertained. The liquid gold...

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Lawrence Brownlee, Iain Burnside, St John's, Smith Square

Lawrence Brownlee: a winning and seductive combination of vocal agility and beauty

We might have expected that the rising young bel canto tenor Lawrence Brownlee would include “Ah! Mes amis… Pour mon âme” from Donizetti’s La fille du régiment (that’s the number with the nine top Cs) in his Rosenblatt recital at St John’s, Smith...

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Opera Italia, BBC Four

The backlash begins here with the first of Flavia Rittner's three documentaries: not an operatic wannabe or a gushing celebrity outsider to present, only a conductor who knows and loves his job inside out and a parade of gorgeous, energetic singers...

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Guillaume Tell, Chelsea Opera Group, QEH

Swiss artist Fuseli's depiction of the oath on the Rütli, grand finale to Rossini's Act Two

Was Rossini, credited with the unsinkable comment that Wagner had "beautiful moments but bad quarters of an hour", hoist by his own petard in his last and grandest opera? For while Wagner, at least in performances as well-paced as the one I heard of...

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Juan Diego Florez, Barbican Hall

Can we clear something up once and for all, please? Yet again this week an all too familiar headline caught my eye: “Is Juan Diego Florez the heir apparent to Pavarotti?” Or words to that effect. Why do these lazy (and/or ill-informed) editors and...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Opera Directors Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser

It is rare enough for directors to collaborate in theatre, even rarer in opera. Patrice Caurier (b. Paris, 1954) and Moshe Leiser (b. Antwerp, 1956) began their long collaboration in their 20s. They are now in their 50s, and since that first...

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Production Gallery: Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser at the Royal Opera House

Adultery alla Rossini: Il turco in Italia stars Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Selim and Aleksandra Kurzak as Fiorilla

As co-directors of opera, Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser's fidelity to each other's artistic vision is one thing. Their devotion to Rossini is also relatively unusual. Their loyalty to and faith in their designers is almost as deep. In this...

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Classical Music CDs Round-Up 2

Padmore and Lewis: 'It seems unsatisfactory to recommend a Winterreise for the pianist, rather than the singer'

This month's round-up of the latest classical CDs takes in a major new Schubert recording by Mark Padmore and Paul Lewis, a pair of Shostakovich symphonies brought to fresh life in Liverpool under a young Russian conductor from the composer's home-...

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