thu 22/02/2018

Bizet

Carmen, Royal Opera review - clever concept, patchy singing, sexy dancing

Roll up, dépêchez-vous, for Carmen the - what? Circus? Vaudeville/music-hall/cabaret? Opéra-ballet, post-Rameau? Not, certainly, a show subject to the kind of updated realism which has been applied by just about every production other than the...

Read more...

Strictly goes to the Proms

The glitterball has landed. After loaning out Proms queen Katie Derham to Strictly Come Dancing last series, where she hauled comedy pro Anton Du Beke all the way to the final, the Beeb’s Saturday-night juggernaut returned the favour by...

Read more...

10 Questions for Choreographer Matthew Bourne

Choreographers are not generally household names, but Matthew Bourne must come close. Not only does his company tour frequently and widely, with a Christmas run at Sadler’s Wells that many families regard as an essential fixture of their seasonal...

Read more...

Matthew Bourne's The Car Man, Sadler's Wells

The original idea for the subtitle of this show, first made in 2000 and last seen at Sadler's Wells in 2007, was apparently "An Auto-Erotic Thriller". Yes, groan. But "erotic thriller" is a much straighter description of The Car Man than its actual...

Read more...

Carmen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

After Calixto Bieito’s radical reimaging of Carmen, which opened at English National Opera this week, David McVicar’s version at Glyndebourne was bound to seem conservative. But it turned out to be a comparison of apples and Seville oranges: Bieito...

Read more...

Carmen, English National Opera

Crotch-grabbing, suggestions of oral and anal sex, stylized punching and kicking and other casual violence offer diminishing returns in your standard Calixto Bieito production. Sometimes a scene or two flashes focused brilliance, which only makes...

Read more...

Carmen, Mid Wales Opera

It’s only a few days since I was remarking, à propos the WNO revival, that Carmen usually survives its interpreters. Now WNO’s humble neighbour, Mid Wales Opera, are proving the same point, but in a more positive spirit, by touring a new production...

Read more...

Carmen, Welsh National Opera

Popularity is all very well, but it can be a poisoned chalice. Braving the umpteenth revival of Carmen at WNO (original directors Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser, revival director Caroline Chaney), I began to experience that sense of weariness that...

Read more...

The Pearl Fishers, English National Opera

Before curtain-up on the opening night of this revival of Penny Woolcock’s production of The Pearl Fishers, ENO's head of casting arrived on stage with a microphone. No doubt delightful company in person, he was an unwelcome sight here. Sophie Bevan...

Read more...

Yende, Vaughan, Cadogan Hall

Lovely singer, consummate pianist, shame about the programme. “Art song” is a rather prissy term, but we could have done with a few to ballast a diet of old pop – French chansons, Italian canzonettas, Spanish canciones, Victor Herbert tralala. Even...

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Nicole Cabell

Last year a DVD appeared featuring the 15 winning performances from the start of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition up to 2011. I watched them all, skimming if any seemed a notch below par but staying with most. You could see the star...

Read more...

Le docteur Miracle, Pop-up Opera, The Running Horse

An orchestral musician recently told me that only one per cent of graduates from UK music colleges go on to take up a post in an established opera company or orchestra. You’d think, given such an alarming statistic, that there would be a lot of very...

Read more...
Subscribe to Bizet