mon 20/09/2021

Opera Reviews

The Magic Flute, Royal Opera review - all but a guarantee of a great night out

alexandra Coghlan

Rarely has the revolving door of opera twirled so efficiently.

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Rigoletto, Royal Opera review - routine clouds the best in this season opener

David Nice

Another season, another new production of Verdi’s nastiest masterpiece. For which we should be profoundly grateful after the tribulations of the last 18 months. Yet how quickly elements of the routine can corrode the soul of the spectator, just as fresh, urgent communication can set it alight.

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The Barber of Seville, Welsh National Opera review - back to work in an old banger

stephen Walsh

Welcome back, WNO! Yes, emphatically, and with a loud hurrah, which is precisely what the company received, and rightly received, from the somewhat arbitrarily scattered first night Millennium Centre audience for their opening revival of The Barber of Seville.

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Tristan und Isolde, Glyndebourne, BBC Proms review - endless love, perfect pace

David Nice

“Now I’ve conducted Tristan for the first time,” the 27-year-old Richard Strauss wrote from Weimar to Wagner’s widow Cosima in 1892, “and it was the most wonderful day of my life”.

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Ariadne auf Naxos, Edinburgh International Festival review – apt setting for Strauss hybrid

Douglas McDonald

This lively interpretation of Richard Strauss’s opera within an opera provides a feast for the senses as a musical highlight of the Edinburgh international Festival.

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theartsdesk at the Birgit Nilsson Days - the rich legacy of a farm girl turned diva

David Nice

Feet firmly planted on fertile native soil, but always open to the world, lyric-dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson soared into realms no-one from the rolling hills and coastline of Sweden’s Bjäre peninsula, where she grew up, could possibly have imagined.

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A Night at the Opera, BBC Philharmonic, Glassberg, BBC Proms review - six of the best

Jessica Duchen

This delectable Prom hid behind the title "To Soothe the Aching Heart" the failsafe concept of a programme of the world’s favourite opera extracts, plus some. Take six British opera stars – three sopranos, two tenors and a mezzo – and assign them the business of comforting us all.

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Hansel and Gretel, British Youth Opera review - chaotic rewrite of a classic opera misses the mark

alexandra Coghlan

It’s hard to know where to start with this chaotic Hansel and Gretel, and not just because Humperdinck’s opera has been cut, spliced and re-stitched with a brand-new libretto, new characters and multi-track, multi-option audio. The restless, competing ideas, the gaudy design, the ill-judged tone, the fussy technology all conspire against the performers, who produce some fine singing despite everything.

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RhineGold, Birmingham Opera Company, Symphony Hall review - music-drama at the highest level

David Nice

The love of power corrupts, the power of love falters or fails.

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Luisa Miller, Glyndebourne review – small-scale tragedy, big emotions

David Nice

“Time-travelling” is how Enrique Mazzola, the superb first conductor of Glyndebourne’s last new production of the main season, described the slow-burn trajectory of Verdi’s semi-masterpiece Luisa Miller in his First Person here on theartsdesk.

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