sat 23/02/2019

Russia

Rachvelishvili, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House review - perfect night and day

There's now something of a gala atmosphere when the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House takes to the Covent Garden stage with its music director Antonio Pappano. Admittedly some of the players are not the same as when he took up his tenure, but the...

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The Cherry Orchard, Pushkin Drama Theatre, Barbican review - stunning absurdist Chekhov

There is no doubt that this Cherry Orchard, whirled into town by Roman Abramovich from Moscow, is going to be divisive. If you, like the two elegant old gentlemen sat next to me on press night, have come to see the Pushkin Drama Theatre’s...

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Kempf, Devin, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Sinaisky, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - aglow but not alight

In the fourth performance of their UK tour, with Vassily Sinaisky replacing an indisposed Yuri Temirkanov, the St Petersburg Philharmonic gave a warm and rousing performance at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Prokofiev’s First Symphony – written in "...

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Counting Sheep, The Vaults review - visceral recreation of an uprising

Is there a connection between revolution and theatre? The answer has to be yes – a visceral one. The supremacy of symbols, the collective strength of a crowd, a sense that some kind of pressure valve is being released to challenge the dominant...

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CD: Kikok - Sauna

Russian trio Gnoomes have created small waves over the last couple of years with their woozy psychedelia. One of its defining factors is the way the band have utilised Soviet-era synthesizers. During the Cold War it wasn’t only weaponry and the...

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Swan Lake, English National Ballet, London Coliseum review - a solid, go-to production

Diversity, and the need for more of it, is a hot potato in the theatre arts. Kudos, then, to English National Ballet and its director Tamara Rojo for the 23 nationalities represented within its ranks. And for the poster advertising the company’s...

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Boris Akunin: Black City review - a novel to sharpen the wits

It is 1914 – a fateful year for assassinations, war and revolution. The fictional Erast Petrovich Fandorin, the protagonist of Boris Akunin’s series of historical thrillers, is an elegant, eccentric sometime government servant, spy and diplomat, as...

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Fiddler on the Roof, Menier Chocolate Factory review - family matters in this sensitive musical revival

There’s a welcome alternative to panto hijinks in this gem of a Trevor Nunn musical revival – more attuned to the biting hardships of winter, and to the elegiac aspect of change, than to festive jollies. Which is not to say that there isn’t rousing...

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Siberia review - Keanu Reeves's duff Russian mission

It is appropriate that Keanu Reeves sounds especially croaky and muffled throughout Siberia. Business meetings for his character Lucas Hill (a diamond trader) don’t normally involve much talk, just a swift briefcase handover and a confidential...

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Kolesnikov, BBCSO, Brabbins, Barbican review - rethought masterpiece, stolid rarity

Forget the latest International Tchaikovsky Competition winner (I almost have; only a dim memory of Dmitry Masleev's playing the notes in the obligatory First Piano Concerto, and nothing else, remains from an Istanbul performance). Had Pavel...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Theatre Producer Elyse Dodgson

The Royal Court Theatre has long been a leader in new British drama writing. Thanks to Elyse Dodgson, who has died aged 73, it has built up an international programme like few others in the arts, anywhere. At the theatre, Elyse headed up readings,...

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Fröst, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - blood, sweat and sweetness

Single adjectives by way of description always sell masterpieces short, and especially the ambiguous symphonies forged in blood, sweat and tears during the Stalin years. The Barbican's advance blurb hit one aspect of Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony...

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