wed 22/01/2020

The Tsarina's Slippers, Royal Opera House | reviews, news & interviews

The Tsarina's Slippers, Royal Opera House

The Tsarina's Slippers, Royal Opera House

Tchaikovsky's fairytale gem is brilliantly designed but needs more energy

Larissa Diadkova (Solokha) and Maxim Mikhailov (the Devil) in The Tsarina's SlippersBill Cooper/Royal Opera House
A vain, capricious girl sends her lunk of a suitor on a quest for the best ruby slippers in the world, while said lunk's mother, the village witch, cosies up to the Devil. It's a whimsical Christmas Eve tale, exuberantly narrated by Nikolay Gogol in his Ukrainian-based Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka; but you wouldn't think there would be much room for pathos and sentiment. Trust Tchaikovsky to favour the heartfelt and the melancholy in his very characteristic early opera Vakula the Smith, revised at the height of his powers as what the Royal Opera - appealing, perhaps, to dangerous renascent Russian pride in the Romanovs - calls The Tsarina's Slippers.

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Thank goodness to read at last somebody who relishes Tchaikovsky's magical opera filled with endless melody and fantastic orchestration. I saw the Zambello production at Wexford which was a stunning success and there was also a memorable production at the Guildhall School of Music. I shall look forward to seeing the Royal Opera on tv and hope it will have perked up musically by the time it is recorded.

We took our children to see this and they loved it! Some of the reviews haven't been particularly good, so we were concerned, but they were all enchanted by it, the youngest 10 and eldest 13. We had a wonderful family evening out, we loved the singing and the dancing and the music was wonderful. Can't wait to see it on tv.

Thanks for taking the time to register that, Lou, and it's good to hear. A certain critic yelled 'don't take your children!', but since he hadn't, how would he know whether it was a good idea or not? Anyway, I'm curious to know how they got through the rather adult lovers' scene, but I'll bet they loved the cossacks and the happy end, as did we all! A bit of flying and jumping on devil's backs and magic tricks with sacks wouldn't have gone amiss, but the scenery did a lot of the work

The first fair review i've read - i agree with some small issues as mentioned, but overall the show (I went last night) was enchanting, and I'm so glad I saw it - and hope the ROH are not discouraged from putting on similar works in th future, as I would LOVE to see more shows like this at Covent Garden (or anywhere else).

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