sat 29/04/2017

tragedy

DVD/Blu-ray: Ludwig

No-one has ever matched costume drama to psychological depth quite like Luchino Visconti. Much of it has to do with what Henry James termed a "divided consciousness": as a nobleman who became a communist in World War Two and was relatively open...

Read more...

Madama Butterfly, Royal Opera

"È un'immensa pietà" - "it's heartbreaking," rather than "it's a huge pity" - sings consul Sharpless of "Butterfly" Cio-Cio San's fatal belief that her American husband will return to her. Heartbreak is what we expected from Ermonela Jaho after her...

Read more...

Roman Tragedies, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican

It felt good to be encountering Shakespeare at his most political with a world event to smile about, for once (hailing, of course, from this brilliant Dutch company's homeland). It felt even better to emerge six hours later spellbound and deeply...

Read more...

The White Devil, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

It's no accident that when the Globe's Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opened in 2014 it was with The Duchess of Malfi. This wooden womb, with its thick darkness and close-pressed audience is made for the stifling, claustrophobic horror of revenge tragedy....

Read more...

King Lear, RSC, Barbican

At the conclusion of a year in which Britishness has come so resoundingly to the fore of the national debate – and with a play that at the time of its writing, 1605-6, was engaging with that concept no less urgently – the first impression made by...

Read more...

Conspiracy Files: The Trump Dossier, BBC Two

So we’re less than a week away from America’s choice. Many in the States have presented it as a kind of Sophie’s Choice – an unbearable outcome no matter who they choose. On the one hand they have a racist, sexist, braggart bully who has been named...

Read more...

Madama Butterfly, Glyndebourne Tour

What would Glyndebourne, staging Madama Butterfly for the first time, bring to Puccini's most heartbreaking tragedy? Subtle realism, perhaps? Certainly the composer, along with his superb librettists Giacosa and Illica, offers plenty of...

Read more...

Die Walküre, Opera North, Southbank Centre

Enter the human - and superhuman demands for at least four of the singers - in the second, towering instalment of Wagner's Ring cycle. It says so much for Opera North's achievement so far that no one fell in any way short of the sometimes insane...

Read more...

Phaedra(s), Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, Barbican

Britten fathomed Phaedra's passion for her stepson in a shattering quarter of an hour's dramatic cantata. Euripides' Hippolytus takes about 90 minutes in the playing. Director Kryzsztof Warlikowski's fantasia on the Phaedra myth is more...

Read more...

Oedipe, Royal Opera

"Unjustly neglected masterpiece" is a cliché of musical criticism, and usually an exaggeration. Romanian master Enescu's vast journey through aspects of the Oedipus myth seemed like an unacknowledged great among 20th century operas through the...

Read more...

Kings of War, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican

Banished from the Barbican are the hollow kings of the mediocre RSC Henrys IV and V. In their place comes a whole new procession of living, breathing monarchs in a vision that's light years away from bad heritage Shakespeare. Doyen of Dutch-Belgian...

Read more...

Iphigénie en Tauride, English Touring Opera

Gluck's two operas about the daughter of Agamemnon saved from sacrifice only to serve as priestess-butcher herself have found their level on the contemporary operatic stage. Not that the handful of UK productions or their casts in recent years have...

Read more...
Subscribe to tragedy