thu 17/06/2021

Opera Reviews

La traviata, Opera Holland Park review – a revival in rude health

Boyd Tonkin

Loudly and painfully, the consumptive Violetta wheezes before we hear a single note. Her pitiful gasping for the breath that deserts her precedes the prelude to Opera Holland Park’s La traviata; the same effect ushers in Act Three.

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Eugene Onegin, Garsington Opera review - choral and orchestral opulence for Tchaikovsky

David Nice

Peasant harvesters enter from the facsimile of Lady Ottoline Morrell’s Garsington garden to the right (stage left) of the state-of-the-art pavilion and, splendidly led by a solo tenor (Dominick Felix), burst into song. The temptation is to burst into tears, for this is the first time, surely, any of us has heard a rich, full chorus live for over a year.

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Die Walküre, Longborough Festival Opera review - heroic defiance of farcical constraints

stephen Walsh

Whatever might be said about Longborough Festival’s first live opera since 2019, the first and most important thing is to praise the company without reservation for putting on a show of anything like this quality in the face of obstacles of the sort that normally confront the heroes of Russian fairy tales.

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Il turco in Italia, Glyndebourne review – who knew 1950s neorealism could be such fun?

Sebastian Scotney

The new Glyndebourne production of Rossini's Il turco in Italia has a truly winning smile on its face and a spring and a dance in its musical step. It is brimful of fun and good ideas, conveying the sense that a lot of joy has been had in its making.

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Káťa Kabanová, Glyndebourne review - a misalliance of metatheatre and the mundane

David Nice

Angels and birds throng the inner life of tragic heroine Katya Kabanova, very much centre-stage in Nikolay Ostrovsky’s The Storm and achingly so in Janáček’s musical portrait. Director Damiano Michieletto takes the feathers, adds cages and claustrophobic white walls, and makes the symbolism the thing.

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Current, Rising, Royal Opera House review - a joyful celebration of storytelling possibility

alexandra Coghlan

This isn’t an opera review, because Current, Rising is not an opera. What it is, however, is the most convincing example yet that Virtual Reality arts might not just be possible, but desirable – an experience that glances beyond gimmick towards genuinely new territory.

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La clemenza di Tito, Royal Opera review - light and dark in near-perfect balance

David Nice

It looked as if the Royal Opera might be trying to keep its distance with the first new production since lockdown.

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Europe Day Concert, St John's Smith Square online review – celebrating in style

Jessica Duchen

We may not be in the EU any more, but geographically and culturally we can celebrate being part of Europe as much as we jolly well like.

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The Seven Deadly Sins / Mahagonny Songspiel, Royal Opera online - modern morality tales mesh uneasily

David Nice

There are so many good ideas, so much talented hard work from the singers of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and two dancers, such a cinematic use of the Royal Opera House, that Isabelle Kettle’s interweaving of two Brecht/Weill mini masterpieces ought to work better than it does.

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L'heure espagnole, Grange Park Opera online review - seduction and sandwiches in 60 minutes

Richard Bratby

Some production concepts seem so obvious, in retrospect, that you wonder why they haven’t been tried more often. Traffic hums in the foreground in the opening shots of Grange Park Opera’s new film of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, the passing cars reflected in the window of an antique clock dealer’s store.

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