fri 19/07/2019

Opera Reviews

Cendrillon, Glyndebourne Tour review - too many ingredients in the magic soup

David Nice

Supernatural wonders, consciously avoided in Rossini's enlightened tale of goodness rewarded La Cenerentola and unrealised by second-rank composer Isouard in his 1810 Cendrillon, recently uneathed by Bampton Classical Opera, flood Massenet's gem-studded version of the Cinderella story. For a contemporary production to avoid visual representation to match would be foolhardly; but to yoke magic to an alternative narrative can also be confusing.

Read more...

Porgy and Bess, English National Opera review - strength in depth on Catfish Row

Boyd Tonkin

After exhausting years of financial and artistic crisis-management at the Coliseum, English National Opera urgently needed an ironclad, feelgood success. This season’s opener, a somewhat idiosyncratic take on Strauss’s Salome, was unlikely to fit that bill.

Read more...

Solomon, Royal Opera review - an awkward compromise of a performance

alexandra Coghlan

There was no synopsis in the programme for the Royal Opera’s concert performance of Handel’s Solomon. Maybe that was an oversight, but perhaps it’s simply because there really is no plot to summarise.

Read more...

Opolais, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - splendid and awful stretches

David Nice

Latvia is fighting fit. The recent elections did not see the expected victory for the pro-Kremlin Harmony party; support for the European Union and NATO will be well represented.

Read more...

Radamisto, English Touring Opera review - propulsive, lively Handel

Gavin Dixon

Baroque repertoire doesn’t seem to register on most British opera company’s schedules these days, so it is good to see ETO devoting their autumn season to Handel, Purcell and Bach, with some additions from Carissimi and Gesualdo for good measure. Their first production, Handel’s Radamisto, is a good choice for touring, a compact six-hander with strong characters and great music.

Read more...

BBC Philharmonic, Wellber, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - new conductor’s debut

Robert Beale

Two days after announcing his appointment as their next chief conductor (he takes the reins officially next summer, in time for the Proms), by remarkable good fortune the Manchester-based BBC Philharmonic was able to present Omer Meir Wellber as the conductor of their second Bridgewater Hall series concert.

Read more...

Dido and Aeneas, Academy of Ancient Music, Barbican review – prosthetic passions

Boyd Tonkin

 “War Horse has a lot to answer for,” grumbled, or joked, my neighbour as the white-draped and white-faced puppet of the Queen of Carthage lay crumpled on the floor at the close of Thomas Guthrie’s semi-staged production of Dido and Aeneas. Well, not just War Horse.

Read more...

Götterdämmerung, Royal Opera review - a fiery finale to this ambiguous cycle

alexandra Coghlan

And so it ends. Flames give way to water, and as the Rhinemaidens resume their naked dance we come full circle – quite literally in Keith Warner’s Wagner Ring – back where we began, on the banks of the Rhine. Once again we find ourselves on the brink – but of what?

Read more...

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...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

CD: Hot Since 82 - 8-track

Club music has its own micro-universe, with its own...

The Lion King review - a dazzling photocopy

The cynicism of this film’s existence squeezes all the feeling from it. It approaches cherished...

Pick of the BBC Proms 2019

It's been much the same trajectory over the past few years for many of us: look through the...

Blu-ray: Lords of Chaos

“All this evil and dark crap was supposed to be fun,” complains exasperated...

Boogarins, Jazz Cafe review - psychedelic hues and Brazilian...

I guess the thing with jazz is, you never quite know where you stand with it. The endless,...

k.d.lang, Brighton Dome review - superb revival of classic a...

It’s hard to convey in an age of equal marriage and gender fluidity the impact that k.d. lang’s Ingénue had when it was released in 1992...

The Night of the Iguana, Noël Coward Theatre review - Clive...

One of the glories of contemporary London theatre is its revivals of classic American drama. Year after year, audiences are able to revisit and...