tue 24/04/2018

ROH

Salome, Royal Opera review – lurid staging still packs a punch

David McVicar may seem too gentle a soul for the lurid drama of Strauss's Salome, but his production, here returning to Covent Garden for a third revival, packs a punch. He gives us plenty of sex and violence – or at least nudity and blood – but...

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Best of 2017: Opera

It may not have been the best year for eye-popping productions; even visionary director Richard Jones fell a bit short with a tame-ish Royal Opera Bohème, though his non-operatic The Twilight Zone is something else. Instead there's been time to...

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Kenneth MacMillan: A National Celebration, Programmes 2 & 3, Royal Opera House review - abhorrent to sublime

The choreographer Kenneth MacMillan was a man of many modes and moods, and it’s tempting to wonder how many more he might have revealed had he not been felled by a heart attack at the age of 62. Two retrospective programmes staged this week –...

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Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera review – enjoyable revival of much loved production

This is the sixth revival of David McVicar’s production of Die Zauberflöte at Covent Garden since its debut in 2003. It was heard most recently in 2015, and is modestly described in the Royal Opera’s own publicity as a “classic”. Having not seen it...

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The Exterminating Angel, Royal Opera

"But is any of this normal?," asks poor Beatriz at the end of Act One. Of course not. She and 14 other grand creatures are crossing the space of an aristocratic drawing-room from which, they are coming to realise, there is no escape. At the same...

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Balanchine's Jewels, Royal Ballet

Balanchine's Jewels is catnip to dedicated ballet lovers. A homage, faithful and brilliant as only a master could make, to three different styles of choreography and three different national sensibilities, it's as dense, expertly carved and...

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Wayne McGregor triple bill, Royal Ballet

"My mission is to create new dance with new music and new design that is intimately plugged in to the world we live in today. I am motivated to make contemporary work that speaks of now and that is totally present-tense," Wayne McGregor explains in...

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Anastasia, Royal Ballet

The reception of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Anastasia has some similarities with that accorded the Berlin asylum patient who some believed to be the lost Romanov Grand Duchess. For supporters who wanted to believe in the fairytale, Anna Anderson's...

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The Nose, Royal Opera

Even that most unpredictable of fantasists Nikolay Gogol might have been surprised to find his Nose, wandering far from the face of Collegiate Assessor Kovalyov, sung by a high tenor in an unlikely operatic adaptation of his wackiest story. Give the...

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Così fan tutte, Royal Opera

Prospects hadn't seemed that great for this new Covent Garden Così. Could Semyon Bychkov, powerful earth-and-fire conductor of Richard Strauss's darker operas, possibly find the right proportions of air and water in Mozart? Would German director Jan...

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The Taming of the Shrew, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

What do women want? Ballet plots are not the best guide, since the main desiderata – a well-paying job, coffee dates with girlfriends, not to die young of a broken heart – are rarely the lot of ballet heroines. Comedies at least tend to have the not...

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Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

"If you know anything about dance," I was told last night by an aged balletomane at the Royal Opera House, "you know that Russian ballet companies are the best." If this is true then the Bolshoi Ballet, biggest of the Russian companies, in Swan Lake...

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