mon 01/06/2020

Opera Reviews

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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Les vêpres siciliennes, Welsh National Opera review - spectacular, silly, but some great music

stephen Walsh

It’s not hard to see why The Sicilian Vespers has struggled since its surprisingly successful opening run at the Paris Opéra in 1855. Verdi had composed it reluctantly, despised the librettist, Eugène Scribe, who he regarded as a well-named cynical scribbler, and tried unsuccessfully to get a release from his contract.

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Alice's Adventures Under Ground, Royal Opera review - a blast for children of all ages

David Nice

"About as much fun as you can have with your clothes on," promised a member of the two Royal Opera casts teamworking their way through multiple roles and costume changes for what in effect is Alice's Adventures Under Ground and Through the Looking Glass in under an hour.

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Ermonela Jaho, Stephen Maughan, Wigmore Hall review – emotional honesty in rare repertoire

Sebastian Scotney

Wigmore Hall audiences don’t usually roar. But when a star soprano who has already made her mark at the world’s major opera houses pays a visit, they do.

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Siegfried, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - an incandescent journey to the mountain top

David Nice

Of Wagner's four Ring operas, Siegfried poses the biggest casting problem. Most heroic tenors with the lungs to last the evening are not going to be ideal incarnations of the stroppy adolescent who learns and fights his way through an often nightmarish fairy-tale landscape. Torsten Kerl, not an agile mover to say the least, certainly wasn't.

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Street Scene, Opera North review - a true ensemble achievement

Robert Beale

Kurt Weill’s “Broadway opera” – his own preferred description – is an extraordinary and brilliant piece of work.

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