wed 23/09/2020

Royal Opera

The Royal Opera: Live in Concert review - Italianate fizz with a patch of flatness

What could be better than Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro to celebrate the Royal Opera’s next step on the path out of lockdown? Ideally, the rest of the opera, especially remembering Antonio Pappano’s lively interaction with his singers...

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Classical music/Opera direct to home 19 – and two before a live audience

It’s begun: very limited access to live music, the chance to sit before one or two players in the same room – as we were doing only three and a half months ago, in some cases thousands of us before an orchestra of up to a hundred musicians. When the...

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Live from Covent Garden 2, Royal Opera and Ballet online review - heaven and earth in a nutshell

Solitude, mortality and transcendence have never been more profoundly expressed in music than by Mahler, who composed Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) in the valley of the shadow of death (too superstitious to give it the name of Ninth...

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Classical music/Opera direct to home 16 - putting freelancers first

The latest wave of musicians to make their voices heard comes from the freelancers who haven't been able to claim anything so far for their loss of income and of the ability to work together. As a group of top players putting out their plea observes...

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Live from Covent Garden 1, Royal Opera and Ballet online review - small-scale but perfectly formed

Vintage champagne was served up last night, and whether you found the glass half-full or half-empty would depend on your perspective. In the bigger picture, it's disappointing that not more musicians could return to the Royal Opera House stage, and...

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Classical music/Opera direct to home 15 - opening up at different rates

It's taken time, but at last we have two major musical figures speaking up for cultural institutions in dire straits. Following a crucial, detailed article by Charlotte Higgins in The Guardian, Simon Rattle and Mark Elder have finally taken up the...

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 5 - orchestral manoeuvres in the light

Necessity has certainly been the mother of invention over the past  three weeks, and orchestras especially, left in the dark with no means of coming together other than virtually, have had to adapt double-quick. The players, of course, are...

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Susanna, Royal Opera/London Handel Festival review - fitful shinings

That virtue can be fascinating and prayers to a just God dramatic have been proved in riveting productions of two late Handel oratorios, Theodora and Jephtha. Whether Susanna can ever be reclaimed for the stage as powerfully seems unlikely, but this...

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Fidelio, Royal Opera review - fitfully vivid singing in a dramatic void

Emblazoned on a drop-curtain in front of a mirror-image of the auditorium, the three great tenets of the French revolution seem to be mocking us right at the start, above all the second of them: equality, really, given the make-up of the Royal Opera...

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Alice's Adventures Under Ground, Royal Opera review - a blast for children of all ages

"About as much fun as you can have with your clothes on," promised a member of the two Royal Opera casts teamworking their way through multiple roles and costume changes for what in effect is Alice's Adventures Under Ground and Through the Looking...

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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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Death in Venice, Royal Opera review – expansive but intimate evocations

Death in Venice is usually a dark and claustrophobic affair. It lends itself to small-scale staging with minimal props and suggestive, low-key lighting. But for this new production at the Royal Opera, director David McVicar has taken a different...

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