tue 19/06/2018

fairytales

Lohengrin, Royal Opera review - swan mystery musically illuminated

It's awfully long for a fairytale in which a mystery prince helps a damsel in distress, and she asks him the question she shouldn't. Myth tends to go deeper, as Wagner did in The Ring of the Nibelung after Lohengrin. Here he captures the magic of...

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The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention.Early Man ★★★★★ Nick Park scores a magnificent goal with his stop-...

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Coraline, Royal Opera, Barbican review - spooky story, underwhelming score

With the eyes of musical fashion turned relentlessly on the calculating stage works of chilly alchemist George Benjamin, hopes ran high for a brighter spark in a new opera by his contemporary Mark-Anthony Turnage. Would Coraline, a music-drama for...

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Hansel and Gretel, RNCM, Manchester review – an urban dream

Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is a ‘"fairytale opera" (its composer’s description), and yet one characteristic frequently commented on is its "Wagnerian" scoring. For this production, with David Pountney’s English translation, the RNCM...

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Baráti, Lyddon, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Stravinsky's bright but derivative beginnings

"You have to start somewhere," Debussy is reported to have said at the 1910 premiere of The Firebird. Which, at least, is a very good "somewhere" for Stravinsky, shot through with flashes of the personality to come. The Symphony in E flat of two...

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Song of the Earth/La Sylphide, English National Ballet review - sincerity and charm in a rewarding double bill

The unifying theme of this new Coliseum double bill is death, but don’t let that put you off. Kenneth MacMillan’s Song of the Earth and August Bournonville’s La Sylphide may seem like odd bedfellows, but both are a great deal more uplifting than...

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Cendrillon, RNCM, Manchester review - magic and spectacle

The Royal Northern College of Music’s production of Massenet’s Cendrillon has a particularly strong professional production team, and it shows. This is one of the most attractively spectacular operas the college has mounted for years.Director Olivia...

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The Nutcracker, English National Ballet review - a thoroughly enchanting performance

The familiar doesn’t have to get old. Last night at the Coliseum there were children in the boxes, adults in the circle and grandparents in the stalls. Seasonal favourite Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker brings all ages to the ballet — as well as...

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Coming soon: trailers to the next big films

Summer's here, which can only mean Hollywood blockbusters. But it's not all Spider-Man, talking apes and World War Two with platoons of thespians fighting on the beaches. There's comedy, a saucy menage-à-trois, a film about golf and even a ghost...

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A Monster Calls

It's not often you hear the sound of film critics sobbing quietly to themselves, but this really happened at the screening I attended of A Monster Calls. Having seen the trailer, with its scenes of a giant tree stomping around a spooky-looking...

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DVD: Three Wishes for Cinderella

Not quite three wishes; this film’s Czech title is Tři oříšky pro Popelku, which translates as three nuts. We’ll get to that later. Three Wishes for Cinderella, a Czechoslovak-East German co-production from 1973, is a treat, and still an annual...

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The Little Matchgirl, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

For anyone disposed to treat the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as hallowed ground – and such issues have gained much currency at the Globe recently following the announced early departure of artistic director Emma Rice – The Little Matchgirl may seem like...

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