mon 23/07/2018

Strauss

Ariadne auf Naxos, Opera Holland Park - stylish staging, world-class singing

"When the new god approaches, we surrender, struck dumb". Especially if, for the singer of those words, popular entertainer Zerbinetta, the “new god” takes the shape of same-sex love. Director and designer Anthony McDonald locates the real “mystery...

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Ariadne auf Naxos, Longborough Festival review - appetising energy and wit

Much as I love Strauss’s Ariadne in its final form, I have a sneaking nostalgia for the original version (attached to Hofmannsthal’s adaptation of Molière’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme), which had Zerbinetta and her companions popping up after the...

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Capriccio, Garsington Opera review - a classy evening with words and music

Like the comedies of Mozart – the genius the artistic milieu depicted in Capriccio seems to be waiting for, if its original 1770s setting is observed – the more conversational operas of Richard Strauss depend far more than one often realises on...

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Der Rosenkavalier, Glyndebourne - detailed acting, great singing

If Hugo von Hofmannsthal's libretto for Richard Strauss in their joint "comedy for music" is the apogee of elaborately referenced dialogue and stage directions in opera, Richard Jones's realisation - for all that it throws out much of the original...

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The Rosenkavalier film, OAE, Paterson, QEH review - silent-era muddle expertly accompanied

Let's face it, Robert "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" Wiene's 1926 film loosely based on Strauss and Hofmannsthal's 1911 "comedy for music" is a mostly inartistic ramble. Historically, though, it proves fascinating. The composer mostly left it to Otto...

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Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall review - the eternal and ephemeral feminine

When you have 21 women to present in song, but only a couple among the 14 poets and none to represent them out of the 15 composers idolising or giving them a voice, you need two strong defenders of their sex at the helm. Lucy Crowe and Anna Tilbrook...

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Matthias Goerne, Seong-Jin Cho, Wigmore Hall review - slow and slower Strauss

Matthias Goerne has an exceptional ability to sustain evenness and legato through a vocal line. His breath control and his tone production are things to be marvelled at. He is able to function at impossibly slow tempi, and to make an audience hold...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Hans Abrahamsen, Lully, Strauss, Duo Jatekok

Hans Abrahamsen String Quartets No. 1-4 Arditti String Quartet (Winter & Winter)The opening section of Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen’s 2012 String Quartet No. 4 is subtitled “light and airy”, and, aptly, the four strings produce extraordinary...

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Gerhardt, RPO, Payare, RFH review - personality muted by faceless conducting

Former Royal Philharmonic Orchestra principal conductor Charles Dutoit has been exposed, to little surprise from musicians, as something of a roué whose apparent refusal to take "no" for an answer has rubbed up against the new #MeToo world. So his...

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Ariadne auf Naxos, Scottish Opera review - superb singing in slick new production

"The Show must go on". So say the posters dotted around Glasgow and Edinburgh for Scottish Opera's production of Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. Except on Thursday, it didn’t. A fire at a nearby Glasgow nightclub which ravaged several city...

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Louise Alder, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall review - sensual heat thaws a winter's evening

Rapture, ecstasy, ardour, and a few cheeky fumbles in the bushes – Louise Alder and James Baillieu’s Wigmore recital promised “Chants d’amour” and delivered amply, giving us love in all its bewildering, technicolour variety. From the heady eroticism...

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Salome, Royal Opera review – lurid staging still packs a punch

David McVicar may seem too gentle a soul for the lurid drama of Strauss's Salome, but his production, here returning to Covent Garden for a third revival, packs a punch. He gives us plenty of sex and violence – or at least nudity and blood – but...

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