thu 21/11/2019

Spain

Carmen, Welsh National Opera review - intermittent brilliance in a gloomy, unclear environment

You can love Carmen as much as you like (as much as I do, for instance), and still have a certain sympathy for the poor director who has to find something new to say about a work so anchored in a particular style and place. For all its musical and...

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Pain and Glory review - masterful meditation on age and art

The Almodovar who made his name as an all-out provocateur in the Eighties considers that wild art’s becalmed far side, in this quietly wonderful meditation on where it’s left him. Antonio Banderas leads familiar faces from throughout his career with...

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Don Giovanni, Longborough Festival Opera review - Mozart in the urinal

One of the features of the converted barn that forms the theatre at Longborough is a trio of statues that tops the front pediment of the building: Wagner, flanked by Verdi on the right and Mozart on the left. No one could question Wagner:...

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Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras, Sadler's Wells review - storming opening to flamenco festival

Crowned queen of the percussive heel and the trouser suit, Sara Baras has the audience on its feet long before the final number of her show Sombras (Shadows). The Spanish superstar is a familiar presence at Sadler’s Wells, having fronted its annual...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Jeanette

Jeanette’s “Porque Te Vas” is a prime example of a type of Europop which – beyond a brief flirtation around 1968 to 1971: think Clodagh Rogers – Britain had little time for. It’s not quite schlager, but still has the tell-tale martial rhythm. The...

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Cannes 2019: Pain and Glory review - a dour, semi-autobiographical portrait

There’s a touch of Fellini’s 8 ½ in Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film. It’s a forlorn, confessional tale, with Antonio Banderas starring as Salvador Mallo, a director in the latter stages of his career. His character acts as a cypher for Almodóvar,...

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Man of La Mancha, London Coliseum review - historical work better left in the past

English National Opera continues its run of semi-staged musicals, in commercial collaboration with Grade Linnit, with a revival of this vintage oddity. Mind, commercial might be a stretch, as Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh's 1965 work –...

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Javier Perianes, QEH review - not a Spanish fire-eater but a world-class poet

Expect no cliches about toreador pianism. Red-earth flamboyance is not Javier Perianes' style, and the seven dances he offered in his programme - eight including an encore - by fellow Spaniard Manuel de Falla were not the most consistently engaging...

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La forza del destino, Royal Opera review - generous voices, dramatic voids

When "Maestro" Riccardo Muti left the Royal Opera's previous production of Verdi's fate-laden epic, disgusted by minor changes to fit the scenery on the Covent Garden stage, no-one was sorry when Antonio Pappano, the true master of the house then...

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Life Itself review - epically vapid

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade: that bromide is about the only one absent from the astonishingly bad Life Itself, which in actuality might require a stiff drink to make it through the film intact. Folding together an interconnected set of...

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L'heure espagnole, Mid Wales Opera review - Ravel goes like clockwork

Mid Wales Opera makes small-scale touring look fun – even when you suspect that, behind the scenes, it really isn’t. Barely 24 hours before this performance of their current production of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, and 11 dates into their current 16...

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Don Quixote, Garrick Theatre review - riotous revival of Cervantes' much-loved chivalric tale

Don Quixote and his paunchy sidekick long ago escaped the pages of Miguel de Cervantes' novel. The image of the sad-faced knight on his bony nag Rocinante with his companion Sancho Panza atop his donkey are familiar in film, opera, paintings and...

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