mon 23/10/2017

19th century

The Lady from the Sea, Donmar Warehouse review - Nikki Amuka-Bird luminous in a sympathetic ensemble

What a profoundly beautiful play is Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea. It stands in relation to the earlier, relatively confined A Doll’s House, Ghosts and Rosmersholm as Shakespeare's late romances do to the more claustrophobic tragedies. And with what...

Read more...

The Seagull, Lyric Hammersmith review – is Lesley Sharp's Irina a sex addict?

The awful mother, the celebrity-obsessed teenager, the mediocre old writer who wants some young sex in his life – there are motifs in Chekhov’s The Seagull that fly merrily from one century to another, and Simon Stephens and Sean Holmes’ new modern-...

Read more...

Uchida, SCO, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - Berlioz steals the show

"Mitsuko Uchida plays Mozart" might have been the marketing tag to sell out this first concert in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's 2017-18 season (despite student and free under-18s take-up, the Usher Hall still wasn't full). "Dvořák Symphony No. 8...

Read more...

Classical CDs Weekly: Guy Johnston, Joyce El-Khoury, Michael Spyres, The Chanteuse

Guy Johnston: Tecchler’s Cello - From Cambridge to Rome (King’s College Cambridge)Acquiring a second-hand instrument always leads one to wonder what sort of a life it led before. Did said instrument enjoy a flourishing professional career, or was it...

Read more...

Widmann, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - when Mirga met Jörg

Apparently it was Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s idea to invite Jörg Widmann to be the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Artist in Residence this season – indeed, according to backstage rumours she made the phone call herself. If that’s true, it’s a...

Read more...

Cavalleria Rusticana/Trial by Jury, Opera North review - sombre triumph and pale froth

Pairing Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana with Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury makes for a pleasingly schizoid evening in the latest of Opera North's The Little Greats series. Mascagni’s crashing final chords precede a longish interval, and when...

Read more...

BBCPO, Mena, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - Mahler's Third lovingly realised

Juanjo Mena memorably began his tenure as chief conductor at the BBC Philharmonic with a Mahler symphony (the Second), and chose to enter his seventh and last season with them at the Bridgewater Hall with the Third. It was a testimonial to an era at...

Read more...

Drawn in Colour: Degas from the Burrell Collection review - guilty pleasures at the National Gallery

If only a modest fuss is being made about the rare and prestigious loan currently residing in Trafalgar Square, it could be that the National Gallery is keen to forget the role of its former director, Dr Nicholas Penny, in a row about art...

Read more...

Pagliacci/L’enfant et les sortilèges, Opera North review - off and on with the motley

The first two one-acters in Opera North’s season called The Little Greats were unveiled on Saturday. There are six in all, scheduled on a mix-and-match basis so Leeds opera-goers can choose their own tapas menu: grab one show, choose from various...

Read more...

'Fanny Price’s pained silences gave me the impulse to write music for her'

When I first read Mansfield Park, some 30 years ago, I heard music. That doesn’t always happen when I read, and it certainly didn’t happen when I read other novels by Jane Austen. There is something about this particular book that provoked musical...

Read more...

La Bohème, Royal Opera review - spectacle and sentiment not yet in focus

“I’m not in the mood” – “non sono in vena” – sings aspiring poet Rodolfo as he settles down to write a lead article. Was it me, or had the mood not settled by the premiere of the Royal Opera’s first new production of Puccini's structurally perfect...

Read more...

The 'self-experimenter': Howard Brenton on Strindberg in crisis

I wrote The Blinding Light to try to understand the mental and spiritual crisis that August Strindberg suffered in February 1896. Deeply disturbed, plagued by hallucinations, he holed up in various hotel rooms in Paris, most famously in the Hotel...

Read more...
Subscribe to 19th century