tue 23/04/2019

Opera Reviews

Flight, Scottish Opera review - poignant and powerful, this production soars

Miranda Heggie

Inspired by the astonishing true story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian refugee who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport for 18 years, Jonathan Dove’s Flight is a humorous, touching, uplifting yet profoundly poignant study into human relationships, interactions and emotions. This is opera buffa for the modern age – relevant, relatable, lighthearted and often downright silly, but still revealing some very pertinent truths.

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Iolanthe, English National Opera review - bright and beautiful G&S for all

David Nice

Very well, so ENO's latest Gilbert and Sullivan spectacular was originally to have been The Gondoliers directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Mark Wigglesworth.

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Un ballo in maschera, Opera North review - decent, no more

graham Rickson

You’d expect a degree of mischief and bafflement in an opera about mistaken identity, closing with a scene set at a masked ball. But Tim Albery’s new Opera North Un ballo in maschera is confusing for the wrong reasons, its shortcomings all the more irritating compared how good the performance actually sounds.

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Tosca, Welsh National Opera review - ticking the traditionalist boxes

stephen Walsh

Opera-lovers: if you’ve finally had enough of the wheelchairs and syringes, the fifties skirts and heels, the mobile phones and the white box sets, and the rest of the symbolic paraphernalia of the right-on modern opera production, pop along to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff and catch up with Michael Blakemore’s...

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Carmen, Royal Opera review - clever concept, patchy singing, sexy dancing

David Nice

Roll up, dépêchez-vous, for Carmen the - what? Circus? Vaudeville/music-hall/cabaret? Opéra-ballet, post-Rameau? Not, certainly, a show subject to the kind of updated realism which has been applied by just about every production other than the previous two at Covent Garden.

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La forza del destino, Welsh National Opera review - rambling drama, fine music

stephen Walsh

David Pountney’s tenure at WNO has been an almost unqualified success, despite some eccentricities of repertoire and a certain obstinacy in the matter of new commissions. His own productions have included at least three of unforgettable quality.

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Orlando, La Nuova Musica, SJSS review - Handel painted in primary colours

alexandra Coghlan

The advertising for La Nuova Musica’s Orlando billed it as “Handel’s most psychologically complex opera”. Whether or not you agree (and there are plenty of heavyweight rivals – Alcina, Giulio Cesare and Agrippina just for starters) there’s also the issue that it’s only half the story.

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Das Rheingold, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - orchestral revelations, but cursing Alberich trumps wooden Wotan

David Nice

Vladmir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra have been to the bottom of the Rhine before, but in 2015 only did a whistlestop tour of the rest of Rheingold's terrain with an extensive array of excerpts.

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BBCSO, Pons, Barbican review - love hurts in vivid Spanish double bill

David Nice

This was an evening of Iberian highways re-travelled, but with a difference. At the beginning of 2016, the centenary of Spanish master Enrique Granados's untimely death, two young pianists at the National Gallery shared the two piano suites that make up the original Goyescas; finally last night at the Barbican we got the opera partly modelled on their deepest movements.

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The Return of Ulysses, Royal Opera, Roundhouse review - musical drama trumps dodgy stagecraft

David Nice

The power of music solves every problem, at least when as bewitchingly performed as it was here.

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