tue 16/04/2024

melodrama

Il Trovatore, Royal Opera

That often-repeated truism about Verdi's craziest melodrama, that it needs four of the world's greatest voices, makes no mention of acting ability. Given the top-notch international approach to this kind of opera, impressively fielded by what's...

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Carol

New York, in the early 1950s. Twenty-something Therese Belivet is working in a Manhattan department store at Christmas, wearing a Santa hat and dutifully trying to overcome her boredom. Then Carol Aird strides into view – classy, confident,...

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Tosca, Wales Millennium Centre

There’s a good deal to be said for semi-staged opera. It concentrates the mind in a particular way; it brings the orchestra more fully into the action; it moves the singers closer to the audience; and above all it reduces – even removes – the power...

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Il Trovatore, Scottish Opera

"The darkness deceived me," sings Leonora in Act I as she mistakenly rushes into the arms of the Count di Luna, rather than those of her beloved, the mysterious troubador Manrico who’s been serenading her for nights on end. Seeing Robert B Dickson’s...

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Sweeney Todd, London Coliseum

Still they keep coming, 35 years on from the London premiere of Sondheim's "musical thriller": Sweeneys above pubs, in pie shops, concert halls and theatres of all sizes, on the big screen, Sweeneys with symphony orchestras, two pianos or a handful...

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The Changeling, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Ever been stuck in a claustrophobic space with a group of really unpleasant people? Add mayhem, murder and the kind of razor-sharp wit to be found in only a very few of the nastiest individuals, and you have Dominic Dromgoole’s candlelit production...

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Un Ballo in Maschera, Royal Opera

Covent Garden’s masked balls circling around the New Year feature not the seasonal bourgeois Viennese couple and a bat-winged conspirator but a king, his best friend’s wife and – excessively so in this production – the grim reaper. Big voices are...

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theartsdesk in Wexford: European opera feast

At the Wexford Opera Festival this autumn you could see a bicentenary performance of Verdi’s La traviata. Likewise Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. But that’s not why Ireland’s operatic showpiece is one of the most famous, admired and respected events...

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The Deep Blue Sea

The Deep Blue Sea, the latest from justly esteemed British director Terence Davies, shares its name with a Renny Harlin movie about genetically modified sharks (well, give or take a definite article). Both films deal in high anxiety and the looming...

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The Skin I Live In

Cinematic virtuoso Pedro Almodóvar’s contribution to the body horror subgenre is a sumptuous nightmare with the precision and looming malevolence of its psychotic surgeon’s blade. His 19th feature is a film for our age – an age which has seen...

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Mildred Pierce, Sky Atlantic

James M. Cain's novel Mildred Pierce is best remembered for Michael Curtiz's entertainingly lurid 1945 movie version, starring Joan Crawford. Featuring William Faulkner among its screenwriters, it played fast and loose with Cain's book, but bashed...

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Bette and Joan, Arts Theatre

Don't go expecting the "But ya are, Blaaanche, ya are" Gothic of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. After all, crazy Bette Davis and even phoney Joan Crawford must have been human behind the sacred-monster facade. Anton Burge's new play tries to show...

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