sat 23/09/2017

ROH

Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera review – enjoyable revival of much loved production

This is the sixth revival of David McVicar’s production of Die Zauberflöte at Covent Garden since its debut in 2003. It was heard most recently in 2015, and is modestly described in the Royal Opera’s own publicity as a “classic”. Having not seen it...

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The Exterminating Angel, Royal Opera

"But is any of this normal?," asks poor Beatriz at the end of Act One. Of course not. She and 14 other grand creatures are crossing the space of an aristocratic drawing-room from which, they are coming to realise, there is no escape. At the same...

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Balanchine's Jewels, Royal Ballet

Balanchine's Jewels is catnip to dedicated ballet lovers. A homage, faithful and brilliant as only a master could make, to three different styles of choreography and three different national sensibilities, it's as dense, expertly carved and...

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Wayne McGregor triple bill, Royal Ballet

"My mission is to create new dance with new music and new design that is intimately plugged in to the world we live in today. I am motivated to make contemporary work that speaks of now and that is totally present-tense," Wayne McGregor explains in...

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Anastasia, Royal Ballet

The reception of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Anastasia has some similarities with that accorded the Berlin asylum patient who some believed to be the lost Romanov Grand Duchess. For supporters who wanted to believe in the fairytale, Anna Anderson's...

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The Nose, Royal Opera

Even that most unpredictable of fantasists Nikolay Gogol might have been surprised to find his Nose, wandering far from the face of Collegiate Assessor Kovalyov, sung by a high tenor in an unlikely operatic adaptation of his wackiest story. Give the...

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Così fan tutte, Royal Opera

Prospects hadn't seemed that great for this new Covent Garden Così. Could Semyon Bychkov, powerful earth-and-fire conductor of Richard Strauss's darker operas, possibly find the right proportions of air and water in Mozart? Would German director Jan...

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The Taming of the Shrew, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

What do women want? Ballet plots are not the best guide, since the main desiderata – a well-paying job, coffee dates with girlfriends, not to die young of a broken heart – are rarely the lot of ballet heroines. Comedies at least tend to have the not...

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Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

"If you know anything about dance," I was told last night by an aged balletomane at the Royal Opera House, "you know that Russian ballet companies are the best." If this is true then the Bolshoi Ballet, biggest of the Russian companies, in Swan Lake...

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Pet Shop Boys, Royal Opera House

Anyone remember the Boobahs? They were the less successful cousins of the Teletubbies, from the same production house. They were puffy, fat, primary-coloured humanoids who bounced endlessly around in bizarre choreographed dance routines. They were...

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Il Trovatore, Royal Opera

That often-repeated truism about Verdi's craziest melodrama, that it needs four of the world's greatest voices, makes no mention of acting ability. Given the top-notch international approach to this kind of opera, impressively fielded by what's...

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Werther, Royal Opera

All 23 of Massenet's mature operas boast memorably melodious quarters of an hour and fastidious orchestration, so why Werther’s special status as a repertoire staple? Three or four great arias may have been enough to clinch it. There’s also the fact...

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