tue 23/07/2019

Donizetti

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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Lucia di Lammermoor, Opera Holland Park

Out-characterising anything on stage last night, London’s weather certainly did its bit to celebrate the start of the Opera Holland Park summer season. No Scottish heath could have been more blasted, no moorland more battered by the wind than we...

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theartsdesk in Wexford: Wexford Festival Opera's 60th Anniversary Season

I’m within 20 yards of Wexford Opera House when I stop a couple for directions, convinced that my map is some sort of Irish practical joke. Approached down a narrow and frankly rather unpromising side street, from the exterior Wexford Opera House...

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Don Pasquale, Glyndebourne on Tour

Who would have thought that in a comic opera by Donizetti, least orchestra-indulgent of Italian composers, the conductor could be paramount? While Mariame Clément's production frisks around the soft edges of the stock opera buffa plot - sometimes...

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The Elixir of Love, English National Opera

“An elixir with a kick, sir, one that really packs a punch”, sings Adina in Jonathan Miller’s Midwestern The Elixir of Love, and she couldn’t be more right. A night spent among the floral prints, perky ponytails and pastel wipe-down surfaces of this...

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theartsdesk at the Buxton Festival: An Opera a Day

An opera a day keeps boredom at bay. There’s no danger of boredom in Buxton in mid-July. Set 1,000ft up in the Derbyshire hills, on the edge of the Peak District, and blessed with an Edwardian gem of an opera house, the old spa town is now well...

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L'elisir d'amore, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore must be the only opera from whose central lesson one can actually learn something. Its message - drink, chill out, back off and the girl will be yours - is as good a moral guide to life as any. But it was still...

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Don Pasquale, Opera Holland Park

Don Pasquale (Donald Maxwell) and Malatesta (Richard Burkhard): A genuinely comic double act

Nothing says summer opera quite like the skittish melodies and Neapolitan oom-pah-pah of a Donizetti overture. It doesn’t get much cheekier or more playful than this, the kind of music that makes you long for a pea shooter to pelt opera-goers with a...

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theartsdesk in Clonter: The Opera Farm

Deep in rural Cheshire farmland, music is in the air. It’s not the music of the spheres from the Jodrell Bank radio telescope nearby, nor even the sound of the birds and the bleating of the lambs nearby. It is the music of human voices at work on...

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Lucrezia Borgia, English National Opera

When future historians write the story of 21st-century film, Mike Figgis will play a founding father-like role. Figgis's Timecode (2000) was one of the world's first and most ambitious digital films. I still remember the excitement the day I...

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Juan Diego Flórez, Royal Festival Hall

We’ve all seen singers go wrong. Forgetting words, missing entries, skipping verses – it happens often enough, and is generally cause for little more than some awkward laughter and a second attempt. Never, however, have I seen a wrong entry (as ill-...

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Don Pasquale, Royal Opera

Anticipating revivals of productions that were hardly vivacious in the first place, you can always find reasons to hope. Perhaps there'll be a dazzling house debut. Maybe someone, preferably the revival director, will bring a more focused individual...

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