sat 13/07/2024

Opera North

Cavalleria Rusticana/Aleko, Opera North review - a new foil for Mascagni

Opera North have a new pairing for Mascagni’s popular but clichéd Cavalleria Rusticana in this double bill: an early Rachmaninov one-acter, written when he was 19. The production of the former is a revival of the one seen in 2017 in their Little...

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Così fan tutte, Opera North review - a safe bet

Reviving Tim Albery’s production of Così fan tutte, now almost 20 years old, again at Leeds Grand Theatre, Opera North have a bet that’s as safe as Don Alfonso’s in the story – that “Women are all the same”. It’s a sure-fire winner, and the...

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Albert Herring, Opera North review - immersive and intimate fun

Reviving Giles Havergal’s 2013 production from its “Festival of Britten” of that year, Opera North have an Albert Herring that’s both immersive and intimate, to quote their own publicity.Immersive because it was designed specifically for the...

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Best of 2023: Opera

Choosing a limited best seems almost meaningless when even simply the seven operatic experiences I've relished in the run-up to Christmas (nothing seasonal) deserve a place in the sun. But in a year which has seen Arts Council devastation versus...

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La Rondine, Opera North review - rehabilitation for a Puccini damp squib?

The signal achievement of this production of La Rondine may be that James Hurley (director) and Kerem Hasan (conductor) have rehabilitated it to its proper place, against the perception that it’s the least successful of Puccini’s mature operas.Even...

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Masque of Might, Opera North review - a tale of ecological virtue

Sir David Pountney’s creation of a “masque” performance for our times, recycling music Purcell wrote for his, is downright good entertainment even if the plotline’s a bit incoherent.Now that’s a virtue, if you look at the 17th century models he’s...

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Falstaff, Opera North review - going green and having fun

There’s a charmingly retro feel to Opera North’s new Falstaff, which comes from it being done as part of their new “green”, i.e. ecologically conscious, season.Leslie Travers’ set is made of bits from other productions and – most notably – shows...

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First Person: Director Sir David Pountney on creating a new 'Masque of Might' from the music of Purcell

Purcell came very early to me. When I was a chorister at St. John’s Cambridge “Jehova quam multi sunt” was a perennial favourite and we were thrilled by the evenings when George Guest brought in some string players to accompany Purcell’s verse...

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Requiem, Opera North review - partnership and diversity

Innovation is always a risky business. Opera North’s vision and ambition for this production is to create, in effect, a new genre: a combination of staged choral-orchestral performance with contemporary dance.Partnership and diversity are the buzz...

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The Pearl Fishers, Opera North review - focus on the mystery

The Pearl Fishers is very much a mid-19th century Romantic opera, with a plot that’s basically a love triangle set in an exotic location. Its writers, Michel Carré and Eugène Cormon, were not the greatest of plot inventors, and after hearing the...

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Ariadne auf Naxos, Opera North review - funny and beautifully sung

Rodula Gaitanou’s production of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos is a hugely entertaining treatment of an opera that brings its fair share of problems to any company, and the chief virtue of Opera North’s presentation (a co-production with...

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The Cunning Little Vixen, Opera North review - magic of a classic staging

It’s good to think that there are some opera productions – not just compositions – that in themselves can have the status of classics. David Pountney’s 1980 interpretation of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen must be high on a list of contenders...

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