sat 15/08/2020

ENO

The Marriage of Figaro, English National Opera review - energised attitudes, lower-level humanism

So Susanna and Figaro got married on Saturday, just before the entire Almaviva household and its home, the London Coliseum, went into quarantine. Let's at least celebrate the fact that these splendid singer-actors, with youth especially on the five...

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Luisa Miller, English National Opera review - Verdi in translation makes a stylish comeback

Those who booed the production team last night - there was nothing but generous cheering for singers, conductor and orchestra - might reflect that this was at least regietheater, that singular brand of not-all-bad director's opera in Germany, with...

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theartsdesk Q&A: soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn

Could English National Opera be about to right the wrong done to a national treasure? Elizabeth Llewellyn was Brixton born - with what she calls a usual childhood, recorders and chime bars at primary school, followed by special opportunities at a...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Director Sir Jonathan Miller

Doctor, writer, sculptor, curator, comedian, presenter and director, Sir Jonathan Miller (1934-2019) was one of the mighty cultural and intellectual omnivores of our age. To those of a musical or theatrical bent, however, Miller was above all one of...

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Orphée, English National Opera review – through a screen darkly

Like almost everything that it touches these days, English National Opera’s autumn season of shows rooted in the Orpheus myth has enjoyed a fairly mixed reception. The company’s programme of visits to the Underworld concludes with another high-risk...

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The Mask of Orpheus, English National Opera review - amorphous excess

Advance publicity overstated the case for The Mask of Orpheus. "Iconic"? Only to academics and acolytes, for British audiences haven't had a chance to see a production since ENO's world premiere run in 1986. "Masterpiece"? Sitting there after the...

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Orpheus in the Underworld, English National Opera review – ENO goes to hell

Maybe some British opera houses just don’t get operetta. Without wit, lightness and snappy pace, cudgelling us with desperate relevance, the frothiest works crash to earth stone cold dead. There have been disasters elsewhere, too, though...

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Orpheus and Eurydice, English National Opera review – imaginative but underwhelming

English National Opera chose a curiously low-key production to open their season. Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice has only three singing roles and very little action. For this production, Wayne McGregor has reimagined the work as an opera/dance hybrid...

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Noye's Fludde, ENO/Theatre Royal Stratford East review - two-dimensional music theatre

Benjamin Britten's musical mystery tour is still bringing young communities together to work with professionals at the highest level 61 years on from its premiere in a Suffolk church, and Lyndsey Turner's sweet production at Stratford must have been...

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Hansel and Gretel, ENO, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - into the broomstick woods

Shoving a child-eating drag-queen witch into an oven can't be good for any kid's psyche. Director Timothy Sheader doesn't let us forget it in a production which nevertheless treads a fine line between the darkness of the Grimm story and the...

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Man of La Mancha, London Coliseum review - historical work better left in the past

English National Opera continues its run of semi-staged musicals, in commercial collaboration with Grade Linnit, with a revival of this vintage oddity. Mind, commercial might be a stretch, as Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh's 1965 work –...

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Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel, English National Opera review - powerful ensemble, wrong subject

If you can’t put a name to any of Jack the Ripper’s victims – and spin it however you please, victims they remain – then you shouldn’t buy the publicity about this new opera "bringing dignity back" to the murdered women in question. Isn’t it time to...

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