sat 28/11/2020

Opera Reviews

L'enfant et les sortilèges, VOPERA, LPO, Reynolds online – Ravel and Colette reimagined

David Nice

Colette’s sharply fantastical libretto for Ravel’s second one-act opera imagines wrongs exercised upon objects and animals by a naughty child revisited by the victims upon the perpetrator.

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The Seven Deadly Sins, Opera North online review - viscerally thrilling

Jenny Gilbert

Theatres are currently banned from moving scenery and props about on stage and you might expect this to present a major obstacle to a production of The Seven Deadly Sins. How else is the opera’s protagonist to be seen to visit seven American cities, succumbing to a different sin in each?

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Ariodante, Royal Opera online review – stylish, but confined

David Nice

“After black and gloomy night, the sun shines all the brighter,” sings hero Ariodante after a life-threatening bout of jealousy nearly scuppers a royal wedding. There’s a snag in Handel’s dramaturgy: all that sunshine in preparation for the nuptials in Act One isn’t really earned.

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Bluebeard's Castle, LSO, Rattle, LSO St Luke's online review - slow-burning magnificence

graham Rickson

Poulenc’s La voix humaine comes close, but Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle has to be the perfect lockdown opera, this heady tale of two mismatched souls stuck in a confined space (admittedly an enormous one) alarmingly pertinent.

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The Magic Flute, Glyndebourne review - deeply moving light in darkness

David Nice

How does Mozart do it? His music can provoke deep emotions even in the unlikeliest operatic situations, if well done, and present circumstances stirred them up all the more on Sunday afternoon.

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Meet the Young Artists Week recital, Linbury Theatre – four big personalities

David Nice

Throughout this most difficult of years, the Royal Opera has done the right thing for the singers on its Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. They were fortunate to finish the run of Handel’s Susanna before the Linbury Theatre closed down for over seven months (yesterday saw its reopening to a necessarily small audience).

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4/4, Royal Opera review – desire, loss and lunacy in four surprising acts

David Nice

Think you’ve seen enough of monologues and duets over the past few months? Watch this and reel.

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Fidelio, Garsington Opera review - heart of darkness, light-filled liberation

David Nice

It may be only six and a half months since many of us saw a production of Beethoven’s Fidelio in the opera house, but that was another world, and this post-lockdown admittance to Garsington Opera’s spacious, award-winning pavilion with its impressive acoustic was always going to be something extraordinary.

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La bohème, Scottish Opera – pandemic Puccini

Christopher Lambton

Picture the scene. A vast steel gazebo covers a nondescript parking lot next to an industrial unit in Glasgow. With a clear plastic covering, it is the most rudimentary of shelters, sides open to admit the roar of the M8 and the wailing of sirens, carried on a keen autumnal breeze.

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The Royal Opera: Live in Concert review - Italianate fizz with a patch of flatness

David Nice

What could be better than Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro to celebrate the Royal Opera’s next step on the path out of lockdown? Ideally, the rest of the opera, especially remembering Antonio Pappano’s lively interaction with his singers playing the continuo role.

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