mon 10/08/2020

Opera Reviews

Siegfried, Royal Opera review - a truly fearless hero

David Nice

Siegfried is usually the problem with Siegfried. Even Stuart Skelton, top Tristan and currently singing an acclaimed Siegmund in this last revival of Keith Warner's rattlebag Ring, won't touch the longest, toughest heroic-tenor role in Wagner, the protagonist of his third opera in the tetralogy.

Read more...

Salome, English National Opera review - a not so terrible stillness

David Nice

Sibling incest among the symbolic clutter of the Royal Opera Ring on Wednesday, last night necrophilia and a bit more incest – mother and daughter this time, courtesy of the director's imagination – in a stone-cold ENO Salome.

Read more...

Die Walküre, Royal Opera review – putting family before sex

Peter Quantrill

Perched alone and fearful in her hut as the curtain rises on Die Walküre, Sieglinde clutches and then throws aside a grimy teddy-bear. Story time is over. The nymphs and gold and bickering gods all belong in the past, to the ‘preliminary evening’ of Das Rheingold, or so Sieglinde might think. The real drama of Wagner's Ring begins here.

Read more...

Das Rheingold, Royal Opera review - high drama and dark comedy

Gavin Dixon

Keith Warner’s production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen was first seen at Covent Garden between 2004 and 2006, and is now back for a third and final series of full runs, chiefly to catch the Brünnhilde of Nina Stemme in three of the operas, continuing into November.

Read more...

Isouard's Cendrillon, Bampton Classical Opera review - stepsisters shine in fairy-tale bagatelle

David Nice

Cinderella as opera in French: of late, the palm has always gone to Massenet's adorable (as in a-dor-Ah-bler) confection, and it should again soon when Glyndebourne offers a worthy home to the master's magic touch.

Read more...

Parsifal, Saffron Opera Group review - drama and focus

Gavin Dixon

It is a pleasure to report on the continuing success of the Saffron Opera Wagner project. The organisation was formed in 2013, and since then has presented concert performances of the Ring cycle and Meistersinger, and now Parsifal, all with an amateur orchestra and chorus and a cast of mostly lesser-known professionals.

Read more...

War and Peace, Welsh National Opera review - an Operation Barbarossa that comes off

stephen Walsh

What lunatic would ever have the idea of turning War and Peace into an opera? Well, maybe if you, a composer, had found yourself in Moscow in June 1941 when news of the German invasion reached the Soviet capital, you might have decided to mount an Operation Barbarossa of your own, and that’s in all but name what Prokofiev did. The project occupied him on and off for the rest of his life (he died in 1953 on the same day as Stalin), and it never quite reached a definitive form.

Read more...

Tosca, Opera North review - exciting update, strong on sonic thrills

graham Rickson

Puccini’s Tosca isn’t a subtle work, and this, Opera North’s fourth production since the company’s founding in 1978, is occasionally too loud and crude. But it’s undeniably powerful.

Read more...

The Rake's Progress, British Youth Opera review - perfect poise in slippery Stravinsky

David Nice

So it's been sellouts for half-baked if well-cast productions of The Rake's Progress and now Britten's Paul Bunyan at Wilton's Music Hall, while British Youth Opera's classy Stravinsky in the admittedly larger Peacock Theatre, several hundred yards away from the Hogarth Rake paintings in Sir John Soane's Museum, played to a half-empty house, last night, at least.

Read more...

Prom 71, DiDonato, Tamestit, ORR, Gardiner review - concert Berlioz as bracing theatre

David Nice

How do you make your mark in a crucial last week after the Olympian spectaculars of Kirill Petrenko's Proms with the Berlin Philharmonic?

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

The Adulterer, Channel 4 review – atmospheric, addictive and...

It has taken a good half-decade for the Dutch series ...

Blindness, Donmar Warehouse review – a beautifully haunting...

Wowee! Twenty weeks after the last time I set foot in a theatre, I was able to visit a venue once more. Hello again...

Album: Tanya Donelly and The Parkington Sisters

It’s exciting to come to an album with no preconceptions and no context and find you fall immediately in love with it. Tanya Donelly is probably...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dudu Phukwana and the "Spears"

Whether explicitly or indirectly, what’s written on a master tape box can tantalise. Revealing part of a picture creates a desire to want to know...

Blu-ray: Buster Keaton: Three Films, Vol. 3

Every great artist can have an off day, and the the best moments in Eureka’s latest collection of Buster Keaton features are good enough to make...

Heart's Delight, Opera Holland Park review - a classy h...

Nostalgia of all kinds played a part in this summer evening’s divertissement. Some audience members were probably remembering when operetta held a...

Perfect 10 review - a small movie with a big heart

We first see Leigh (Frankie Box), the cheeky heroine of Scottish...

Alex Halberstadt: Young Heroes of the Soviet Union review -...

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a collective examination of its past, with Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich at...