tue 21/08/2018

London Coliseum

Kiss Me, Kate, Opera North, London Coliseum review - Cole Porter delivered in true company style

First palpable hit of the evening: a full orchestra in the pit under hyper-alert Opera North stalwart James Holmes, saxophones deliciously rampant. Second hit: they've got the miking of the voices right (very rare in West End shows). Third: the...

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The Sleeping Beauty, London Coliseum review - a triumph for English National Ballet

When Tamara Rojo won the top job at English National Ballet in 2012, it looked like a poisoned chalice. Directors had come and gone, some of them with visionary ideas, but all were defeated by the company’s peculiar position as underdog to the...

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Chess, London Coliseum review - powerfully sung but still problematic

Its origins as a concept album cling stubbornly to Chess, the Tim Rice collaboration with the male members of ABBA first seen on the West End in 1986 and extensively retooled since then in an ongoing quest to hit the elusive jackpot. Following hot...

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The Marriage of Figaro, English National Opera review - sassy, probing and splendidly cast

One year to Brexit, a seemingly endless winter chill and Londoners need soul food, badly. I prescribe an evening of total immersion in The Marriage of Figaro. ENO’s second revival of Fiona Shaw’s sassy, probing production (with revival director...

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La traviata, English National Opera review - into a vortex of ineptitude

You don't have to be a good director to manage the artistic side of an opera house. Daniel Kramer arrived at ENO and boosted morale at a time when company relations with then-CEO Cressida Pollock had hit rock bottom, and his repertoire choices for...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, ENO review - shiveringly beautiful Britten

“What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?” Hang on a minute, Tytania, there are no flowers. Instead, as Britten’s ominously low strings slither and tremble up and down the scale, the curtain rises on a huge, near-acidic emerald green hilly slope...

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Iolanthe, English National Opera review - bright and beautiful G&S for all

Very well, so ENO's latest Gilbert and Sullivan spectacular was originally to have been The Gondoliers directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. But that Venetian fantasia has already been seen at the Coliseum in recent years,...

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Marnie, English National Opera review – hyped new opera doesn’t hit the heights

The great and good of the London music scene were gathered at English National Opera last night for the unveiling of American Wunderkind Nico Muhly’s new opera, Marnie. Although it was commissioned by the Met in New York, somehow ENO managed to...

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Aida, English National Opera review - heroine almost saves a dismal day

If the best is the enemy of the good, then the excellent is also the enemy of the "meh". And if you can stomach Verdi's Aida, go and see English National Opera’s new production for its central performance by Latonia Moore. In what’s become her...

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Carousel, London Coliseum review - 'Katherine Jenkins is game, Boe out-acted by wig'

“Then I’ll kiss her so she’ll know.” At the sound of his ringing voice, the girls part to reveal him standing there, a hapless monument of rumpled charm. The audience relaxes in pleasure as an easeful actor joyfully shows what you can do with a...

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Partenope, English National Opera

It's time again for surrealist charades at the nothing-doing mansion. Christopher Alden's Handel is back at ENO, making inconsequentiality seem wondrous. Christian Curnyn's conducting sets the tone, with orchestral playing as light as air, and a new...

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The Winter's Tale, English National Opera

After a Royal Opera performance of Birtwistle's The Minotaur, a friend spotted Hans Werner Henze in the foyer and had the temerity to ask that annoying question "What did you think?" "Very competent and extremely well performed," came the reply....

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