tue 24/10/2017

WNO

From the House of the Dead, Welsh National Opera review - elderly staging, music comes up fresh

This week is Prison Week in the Christian Churches, and it would be nice, if fanciful, to think that WNO programmed their revival of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead with that in mind. More likely the thinking was that it fitted well enough into...

Read more...

Khovanshchina/Eugene Onegin, Welsh National Opera review - Russian revivals strong and weak

About Khovanshchina I once had serious doubts. Leaving aside its unfinished condition, it always struck me as what Wagnerians would call a bleeding chunk of history, unstructured, confused, over-researched and dramaturgically obscure. Three recent...

Read more...

Der Rosenkavalier, Welsh National Opera review - hard to imagine a stronger cast

Der Rosenkavalier, you might think, is one of those operas that belong in a specific place and time and no other. “In Vienna,” says Strauss's score, “in the first years of Maria Theresia’s reign” (i.e. the 1740s). But this, of course, is a...

Read more...

Le Vin herbé, Welsh National Opera

Wagner’s Tristan left a huge mark on fin de siècle art, on the symbolist poets, even on their pseudonyms; Debussy himself toyed with a four-act opera on the subject. And his version, if he had ever composed it, would have been an intriguing...

Read more...

Best of 2016: Opera

It was the best and worst of years for English National Opera. Best, because principals, chorus and orchestra seem united in acclaiming their Music Director of 14 months, Mark Wigglesworth, for his work at a level most had only dreamed of (“from the...

Read more...

Kiss Me, Kate, Welsh National Opera

There are two ways of reacting to an opera company like WNO staging a musical like Kiss Me, Kate. You can ask yourself whether this is work that an opera house should concern itself with at all. Or you can take Confucius’s advice, and just lie back...

Read more...

Prom 25: Gerhardt, Komlósi, Relyea, RPO, Dutoit

"Let the song speak, I pray," exhorts the Bard in the Prologue to Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, "Listen in silence." This was a night for leaning in and listening closely, despite the large forces arrayed on stage for Dvořák’s Cello Concerto and Bartók’s...

Read more...

Kommilitonen, Welsh National Youth Opera, Barry

What happened was this. I found my way, not without difficulty, to the Barry Memo Arts Centre, got my ticket, had a chat with the librettist, stopped to order an interval drink, then turned round to discover that the entire audience had disappeared...

Read more...

Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Welsh National Opera

Seventy years ago, almost to the month, Welsh National Opera took to the stage for the first time with a double bill of the terrible twins, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci; and fifty years later the company celebrated with the same two works...

Read more...

In Parenthesis, Welsh National Opera

War may be a dramatic affair for anyone involved in it, but staging it is another matter. In fact describing it satisfactorily at all needs either a Tolstoyan flair for the large canvas, or else a poetic genius for directing its force inwards, into...

Read more...

Figaro Gets a Divorce, Welsh National Opera

The third of Beaumarchais’s Figaro plays, La Mère coupable, is a very different affair from the other two, in that it records actual adultery and its disastrous consequences (including Cherubino’s death in battle), as opposed to the largely comic...

Read more...

The Marriage of Figaro, Welsh National Opera

From the more or less inconsequential wit and bravura of The Barber of Seville to the profound comic psychology, social nuances and unparalleled musical genius of The Marriage of Figaro, and from the silly antics of Sam Brown’s Rossini to the style...

Read more...
Subscribe to WNO