tue 25/06/2019

Donizetti

L'Elisir d'Amore, Royal Opera

“Watch out for the dog!” instructs Covent Garden’s programme for its latest revival of L’elisir d’amore. These creatures do have a way of stealing shows, but the canine who dashed across the flat Italian cornfield after Dr Dulcamara’s decrepit lorry...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Tenor Michael Fabiano

You can usually trust the buzz around rehearsals. From Glyndebourne, five weeks into preparation for La traviata, which opens tomorrow, one of the team working on Tom Cairns’ new production declared in an e-mail conversation that newcomer soprano...

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Yende, Vaughan, Cadogan Hall

Lovely singer, consummate pianist, shame about the programme. “Art song” is a rather prissy term, but we could have done with a few to ballast a diet of old pop – French chansons, Italian canzonettas, Spanish canciones, Victor Herbert tralala. Even...

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Kiri at 70

Even more deserving of the sobriquet “the beautiful voice” than Renée Fleming, the natural successor who virtually copyrighted it, Kiri te Kanawa was one of the great sopranos of the 20th century. With those big, candid brown eyes and bone structure...

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La Fille du régiment, Royal Opera

Roll up, roll up, to hear Juan Diego Flórez deliver his nine cheek-by-jowl top Cs in the umpteenth performance of Laurent Pelly’s slick, often funny Donizetti comedy. Does the whole thing still fizz? Only up to a point in Christian Räth's revival....

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Roberto Devereux, Welsh National Opera

Whatever it was about the kings and queens of England that so intrigued Donizetti, it certainly wasn’t their politics. The third, and last, in WNO’s autumn cycle shows Elizabeth once again in a state of unrequited love with one of her rebellious (...

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Maria Stuarda, Welsh National Opera

Last week Anne Boleyn, this week Mary Queen of Scots. Donizetti’s trawl through the Tudor monarchs and their victims was more a recurrent obsession than a systematic exploration. WNO, on the other hand, seem to be implying some Ring-like continuity....

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Anna Bolena, Welsh National Opera

“Let the florid music praise,” sing Britten and Auden in their On This Island cycle; and I suppose we must do as we’re told, though aesthetic duty can be a hard taskmaster. For me it cracks its whip in the three Donizetti operas that, inexplicably,...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato

She’s the Kansas mezzo-soprano whose ruby slippers have now taken her across the globe, singing in all the great opera houses, but who has never lost the common touch. She’s not a diva, she’s a “Yankee Diva” – a contemporary creature who would never...

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theartsdesk in Verbier: Festival scales new heights

The moment when Alfred Brendel shuffled on stage during the Verbier Festival’s 20th Anniversary Concert not to play, but to turn pages for long-time colleague Emmanuel Ax, expressed everything that is so special, so extraordinary about this festival...

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Don Pasquale, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Her tongue firmly planted in her cheek, Mariame Clément grumbles in the Glyndebourne programme that Don Pasquale “poses no specific ‘conceptual’ challenge” to the opera director. Sighs of relief all round. Donizetti’s final comic masterpiece turns...

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L'elisir d'amore, Royal Opera

You can tell a lot about a performance of L’elisir d’amore from the two pizzicato string chords that so neatly take the sheen off the military pomp of the opening phrase. Played well, these subversive little asides can throb with all the wit and...

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