sat 19/09/2020

ROH

Giselle, Royal Ballet

One of the secrets to enjoying life is mastering the creative use of disappointment. Many in the Covent Garden audience last night were no doubt deeply disappointed not to be seeing Natalia Osipova's legendary portrayal of the title role in Giselle...

Read more...

Il Trittico, Royal Opera

From working-class hell via convent purgatory to Florentine comic heaven, the riches of Puccini's most comprehensive masterpiece seem inexhaustible. In a production as detailed in its balance between the stylised and the seemingly spontaneous as...

Read more...

The Mighty Handful, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House

What fun it must have been to attend any of the St Petersburg Free Music School concerts during the second half of the 19th century. Balakirev, idiosyncratic mentor of the group briefly together as the "Mighty Handful", and his acolytes – Borodin,...

Read more...

L'Étoile, Royal Opera

Why have all attempts to make French comic opera funny to British audiences fallen so flat, at least since ENO's 1980s Orpheus in the Underworld? That company's La belle Hélène simply curled the toes, while Opera North managed to make a pig's-ear "...

Read more...

Tosca, Royal Opera

To say this latest revival of the Royal Opera’s Tosca peaks early would be an understatement. The shockwaves rippling out from the brass and timpani in the first few bars set the auditorium rumbling, tumbling the strings into motion. Conductor...

Read more...

Elizabeth, Royal Ballet

Please, sir, I want some more. Will Tuckett and Alasdair Middleton's Elizabeth is soul food for the hungry dance fan; an ingenious blend of words, music and dance that beguiles and entertains in equal measure. The shame is that it will be seen by so...

Read more...

Eugene Onegin, Royal Opera

Searing emotional truth has to be at the core of any attempt to stage Tchaikovsky’s “lyrical scenes after Pushkin”. I was among the minority who thought Kasper Holten got it right, with deep knowledge of the original verse-novel, in his first...

Read more...

The Two Pigeons, Royal Ballet

With real live birds fluttering across the stage, and a sweetly happy ending – hurrah for young love! – Frederick Ashton's 1961 The Two Pigeons can look like mere frothy fantasy, precisely the kind of trivial, uncomplicated...

Read more...

Morgen und Abend, Royal Opera

It’s never funny like Ligeti’s Le grand macabre, though it touches on that joke apocalypse’s more nebulous soundscapes. Nor is it obviously dynamic like David Sawer’s From Morning to Midnight, with which its title is not to be confused (there are no...

Read more...

Carmen, Royal Ballet

Carlos Acosta is that rare 21st-century phenomenon – a performer who has become a household name without the help of reality TV. Even people who run a mile from ballet know the story of the Havana slum boy made good through perseverance...

Read more...

Raven Girl/Connectome, Royal Ballet

Wayne McGregor wasn't anyone's idea of a ballet man when he was appointed choreographer in residence at the Royal Ballet in 2007. Before then, and since, his work has been abstract, spiky, verging on dysmorphic. His interest lay not in human...

Read more...

Remembering Jon Vickers (1926-2015)

Canadian heroic tenor Jon Vickers, who died on Friday 10 July aged 88 and whose full life took him from work on a Saskatchewan farm to the great opera houses of the world, was inimitable, terrifying and titanic. Faced with the intense flavour of...

Read more...
Subscribe to ROH