thu 24/09/2020

Opera

Fidelio, Garsington Opera review - heart of darkness, light-filled liberation

It may be only six and a half months since many of us saw a production of Beethoven’s Fidelio in the opera house, but that was another world, and this post-lockdown admittance to Garsington Opera’s spacious, award-winning pavilion with its...

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Eavesdropping on Rattle, the LSO and Bartók’s Bluebeard

One source of advance information told us to expect a reduced version of Bartók’s one-act Bluebeard’s Castle, among the 20th century’s most original and profound operatic masterpieces. Joining 19 other lucky invitees and some of the LSO brass...

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La bohème, Scottish Opera – pandemic Puccini

Picture the scene. A vast steel gazebo covers a nondescript parking lot next to an industrial unit in Glasgow. With a clear plastic covering, it is the most rudimentary of shelters, sides open to admit the roar of the M8 and the wailing of sirens,...

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The Royal Opera: Live in Concert review - Italianate fizz with a patch of flatness

What could be better than Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro to celebrate the Royal Opera’s next step on the path out of lockdown? Ideally, the rest of the opera, especially remembering Antonio Pappano’s lively interaction with his singers...

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Sāvitri, Lauderdale House review - death and life in a Highgate garden

In seach of Orpheus, and following a route from the Hades of (thankfully) masked beings on the underground to Archway, then up to a windy, grassy plateau just below Highgate village, this wandering critic encountered another myth about the power of...

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The Encore, Opera Holland Park review - stylish return for a squad of old friends

As Dvořák’s "Song to the Moon" from Rusalka rose to its impassioned climax, Natalya Romaniw had to battle a helicopter thumping overhead. The helicopter lost (well, of course it did). As Nardus Williams and David Butt Phillip disappeared into...

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Heart's Delight, Opera Holland Park review - a classy hour of operetta pops

Nostalgia of all kinds played a part in this summer evening’s divertissement. Some audience members were probably remembering when operetta held a greater sentimental sway than it does now; many would have been thinking of the full Opera Holland...

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Moses und Aron, Komische Oper Berlin, OperaVision review – complex and powerful memorial

Barrie Kosky’s production of Moses und Aron was staged at the Komische Oper Berlin in 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Schoenberg’s opera is philosophical and open to a variety of interpretations. Kosky emphasises...

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Elektra, Salzburg Festival, Arte review - distancing, but not in the physical sense

So much for the assertion that nowhere in the world would be staging the big Strauss and Wagner operas for the indefinite future. With a combination of lavish funding and good pandemic management on Austria's part, it’s been possible in Salzburg....

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First Person: Antonia Bain on directing a short kitchen opera for film

The Narcissistic Fish is a brand new opera specifically created to be filmed. Set in Leith and written in Scots, it tells the story of restaurant owner and chef, Angus, and his brother Kai who are arguing over the death of their father, while the...

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Classical music/Opera direct to home 19 – and two before a live audience

It’s begun: very limited access to live music, the chance to sit before one or two players in the same room – as we were doing only three and a half months ago, in some cases thousands of us before an orchestra of up to a hundred musicians. When the...

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The Opera Story: Episodes review - whimsical takes on lockdown life

The Opera Story is an enterprising set-up based in London and founded with a mission to commission and stage new operas by early career composers. They have so far produced three full-scale pieces, the earliest from 2017, performed in a reclaimed...

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