thu 09/04/2020

Opera Reviews

The Rake's Progress, Complicité online review - well-projected journey from pastoral to madhouse

David Nice

One way to look at Stravinsky's celebrated collaboration with W H Auden and Chester Kallman is as a numbers opera in nine pictures, four of them indebted to Hogarth's series of paintings/prints.

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The Turn of the Screw, Opera North, OperaVision review - claustrophobic visions of terror and beauty

David Nice

Feeling stir-crazy right now? Imagine being confined to one room with a half-crazed housekeeper, two dysfunctional kids and two increasingly insistent ghosts, plagued by nightmares, unable even to get out into the garden or walk down to the lake.

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Le nozze di Figaro, Garsington Opera, OperaVision review - natural comedy, musical sublimity

David Nice

Only the birds will be singing at country opera houses around the UK this summer. Glyndebourne seems over-optimistic in declaring that it might be able to launch in July; other companies with shorter seasons have made the regretful but right decisions to call it a year.

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The Marriage of Figaro, English National Opera review - energised attitudes, lower-level humanism

David Nice

So Susanna and Figaro got married on Saturday, just before the entire Almaviva household and its home, the London Coliseum, went into quarantine.

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Susanna, Royal Opera/London Handel Festival review - fitful shinings

David Nice

That virtue can be fascinating and prayers to a just God dramatic have been proved in riveting productions of two late Handel oratorios, Theodora and Jephtha.

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Fidelio, Royal Opera review - fitfully vivid singing in a dramatic void

David Nice

Emblazoned on a drop-curtain in front of a mirror-image of the auditorium, the three great tenets of the French revolution seem to be mocking us right at the start, above all the second of them: equality, really, given the make-up of the Royal Opera stalls?

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Cosi fan tutte, English Touring Opera review - a blissful, uncomplicated delight

alexandra Coghlan

Cosi fan tutte is, as the opera’s subtitle clearly tells us, “A School for Lovers”. But too often these days it can feel like a school for the audience. Joyless productions lecture us sternly on the battle of the sexes – on chauvinism, feminism, cynicism and sex – until we’re battered into fashionable discomfort. A happy ending?

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Nixon in China, Scottish Opera - musical chatter, poetic banality

Christopher Lambton

Scotland was at the cutting edge of culture in 1988, when the Edinburgh International Festival hosted the UK premiere of Nixon in China in the Houston Grand Opera production at the cavernous Playhouse.

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Denis and Katya, Music Theatre Wales / Uproar, Rafferty review - disturbing the untroubled monotony of South Wales music

stephen Walsh

Once upon a time writing an opera was first and foremost a question of choosing a good story.

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Luisa Miller, English National Opera review - Verdi in translation makes a stylish comeback

David Nice

Those who booed the production team last night - there was nothing but generous cheering for singers, conductor and orchestra - might reflect that this was at least regietheater, that singular brand of not-all-bad director's opera in Germany, with discipline and purpose close enough to its subject.

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