fri 18/10/2019

Germany

Mephisto [A Rhapsody], Gate Theatre review - the callowness of history

You wonder about the title of French dramatist Sam Gallet’s Mephisto [A Rhapsody], an adaptation for our days of Klaus Mann’s 1936 novel about an actor unable to resist the blandishments of fame, even if they come at the cost of losing himself....

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The Silver Lake, English Touring Opera review - shadows of the Weimar twilight

Almost exactly a century after the Weimar Republic’s constitution took effect, English Touring Opera presents a show whose birth coincided with the Republic's untimely death. His third collaboration with the prolific, maverick playwright Georg...

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Youth Without God, Coronet Theatre review - the chill control of nascent Nazism

The only novel by the Hungarian dramatist Ödön von Horváth, Youth Without God was written in exile after he fled Anschluss Vienna and published in 1938, shortly before his death. In the English-speaking world, we know von Horváth for his plays,...

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theartsdesk in Hamburg: Reeperbahn Festival 2019 review

Hatari’s 10th placing in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest hasn’t done them any harm. Neither did ruffling the feathers of the European Broadcasting Union and host nation Israel with their stance on Palestine. Based on their performance in Hamburg...

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Prom 15: Bavarian RSO, Nézet-Séguin review - perfect Beethoven, nuanced Shostakovich

While we wish the great Mariss Jansons a speedy recovery, no-one of sound heart and soul could be disappointed by his substitute for the two Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Proms, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, whose supreme art is to show the score's...

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Never Look Away review - the healing potential of art

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who made his reputation as a leading German film-maker with The Lives of Others (2006), told the New Yorker that his latest film sprang out of a desire to explore the relationship between making art and healing....

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Blu-ray: People on Sunday

Weimar Germany produced some extraordinary cinema, with Pabst, Murnau, Fritz Lang and others creating a language that transformed the medium and is still a core reference today. People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag), a silent film made in 1929,...

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Brundibár, Welsh National Opera review - bittersweet children's opera from the ghetto

Politics, in case you may not have noticed, has been in the air of late: questions of escape, release, borders, refugees, things like that. So WNO’s June season of operas about freedom has been suspiciously well timed. We’ve had the dead man walking...

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The Damned, Comédie-Française, Barbican review - slow-burn horrors in devastating images

Is the terrifying past of Germany in 1933 also our future? Having had nightmares about the brilliant dystopian TV soap opera Years and Years, which built like all the best of its kind on present fears, I wasn't expecting to be confronted so soon by...

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Kozhukhin, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - more cultured than electrifying

With two German giants roaring - Brahms in leonine mode, Richard Strauss more with tongue in armour-plated cheek - it could have all been too much. Not in the eloquent hands of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's Music Director Designate, Vasily...

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Das Rheingold, Longborough Festival Opera review - more Wagnerian excellence in a Gloucestershire barn

The whole raison d’être of the Longborough Festival was always the performance of its founder Martin Graham’s beloved Wagner. So it’s perfectly natural that the twelfth anniversary of the start of the festival’s original Ring cycle should be marked...

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First Person: Conductor Maxime Pascal on Stockhausen at the Southbank Centre

Stockhausen stands alongside Monteverdi and Beethoven as a composer who exploded the understanding of his art. Stockhausen deeply changed the relationship between space, time and music; there’s a human, intimate dimension to his composition, and he...

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