thu 02/02/2023

Opera North

Orfeo ed Euridice, Opera North review - more than a concert

Though billed as a “concert performance”, this was really much more than that. With the resources of their own theatre, Opera North’s team present a staging that employs a big, built-up and raked floor, with a simple platform in the centre and a...

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Orpheus, Opera North review - cross-cultural opera in action

Within its own aspirations, Orpheus is a complete triumph. “Monteverdi reimagined”, as Opera North subtitled it from the start, is an attempt to unite (and contrast, and compare, and cross-fertilise) early baroque opera with South Asian classical...

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First Persons: co-music directors Jasdeep Singh Degun and Laurence Cummings on their new Opera North 'Orpheus'

We believe that with Orpheus, we are creating something which will invite audiences to rethink what opera can and should be. Inspired by Monteverdi’s 1607 work L’Orfeo, it grew out of Opera North’s long-standing relationship with South Asian Arts-uk...

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Parsifal, Opera North review - full focus and a dream line-up

Wagner, in his medievalist, pan-European, 19th century way, wanted Parsifal to be a blend of abstract and religious experience for his audiences at Bayreuth, calling it a “festival play for a stage consecration”. Questions for those performing it...

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Rigoletto, Opera North review - Covid shocks, debut pleasures

Beware of joining the Duke of Mantua’s sleazy feast in time of Covid too late, as I did on Opera North’s Newcastle leg of its Verdi journey. You may find more than a couple of the distinguished guests on stage have fallen sick – three, no less, on...

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First Person: Femi Elufowoju Jr. on directing Verdi's 'Rigoletto'

I find that my experience of living as a Black man in the UK cannot help but inform the way I approach my work and never more so than with Verdi’s Rigoletto. It was because Verdi’s and his librettist Piave’s exploration of the impact of difference...

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Carmen, Opera North review - humanity and no bull

Is Bizet’s Carmen all about Carmen? Or Don José and his obsession with her? Or the society that made her what she is? Or all of the above? Inevitably it’s an opera that almost never escapes some Regietheater treatment these days. Director Edward...

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Bernstein Double Bill, Opera North review - fractured relationships in song and dance

Leonard Bernstein’s one-act opera Trouble in Tahiti enjoyed a relatively trouble-free gestation, at least compared to his other stage works. Its seven short scenes last around 50 minutes, Bernstein providing his own libretto and completing much of...

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Fidelio, Opera North online review - less is really more

Adaptability is the name of the game for big companies in the music business now. And Opera North’s streamed presentation of Beethoven's Fidelio from inside Leeds Town Hall is a prime example of just how adaptable things need to be.The orchestra is...

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The Seven Deadly Sins, Opera North online review - viscerally thrilling

Theatres are currently banned from moving scenery and props about on stage and you might expect this to present a major obstacle to a production of The Seven Deadly Sins. How else is the opera’s protagonist to be seen to visit seven American cities...

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The Turn of the Screw, Opera North, OperaVision review - claustrophobic visions of terror and beauty

Feeling stir-crazy right now? Imagine being confined to one room with a half-crazed housekeeper, two dysfunctional kids and two increasingly insistent ghosts, plagued by nightmares, unable even to get out into the garden or walk down to the lake....

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Street Scene, Opera North review - a true ensemble achievement

Kurt Weill’s “Broadway opera” – his own preferred description – is an extraordinary and brilliant piece of work. Its music ranges from the seriously dramatic to fun numbers like the "Ice Cream Sextet" and the jitterbug dance song “Moon Faced, Starry...

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