fri 26/11/2021

Royal Opera

Macbeth, Royal Opera review - bloody, bold, and resolute

Phyllida Lloyd’s production of Macbeth has been in rep at the Royal Opera since 2002, and it is a solid performer. The setting is slick and vaguely period, with lots of iron weaponry, smart, pony-tailed warriors, but not a kilt in sight. The set (...

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'Everyone who played for him always gave their very best': remembering Bernard Haitink (1929-2021)

Few musicians get to stage-manage a dignified departure from the world. Among his last compositions, Richard Strauss set a poem by Eichendorff depicting an old couple looking into the sunset and asking “is this perhaps death?”, and towards the end...

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Royal Opera House lullabies for Little Amal

“I want to tell her that people will be good,” Tewodros Aregawe of Phosphoros Theatre confided to us as Little Amal closed her eyes on the giant bed made up for her in the Paul Hamlyn Hall, “that all the people with kind eyes who have walked...

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Jenůfa, Royal Opera review - Janáček scours the soul again in a compelling new take

At the heart of Janáček’s searing music-drama, and the pioneering play by another remarkable Czech, Gabriela Preissová, on which it is based, are two strong women trapped in a conventional community whose intelligence goes to waste and whose lives...

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The Magic Flute, Royal Opera review - all but a guarantee of a great night out

Rarely has the revolving door of opera twirled so efficiently. David McVicar’s venerable production of Rigoletto may have exited the Royal Opera on Monday (presumably with one final squeak of protest from that pesky revolve), replaced by a shiny new...

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Rigoletto, Royal Opera review - routine clouds the best in this season opener

Another season, another new production of Verdi’s nastiest masterpiece. For which we should be profoundly grateful after the tribulations of the last 18 months. Yet how quickly elements of the routine can corrode the soul of the spectator, just as...

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Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance, Royal Opera review – breathtaking young talent

Instant sell-out would have been guaranteed if the Royal Opera had advertised this as “Cardiff Singer of the World finalist Masabane and fellow Young Artists”. No doubt about it, South African soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha is indeed the most...

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Current, Rising, Royal Opera House review - a joyful celebration of storytelling possibility

This isn’t an opera review, because Current, Rising is not an opera. What it is, however, is the most convincing example yet that Virtual Reality arts might not just be possible, but desirable – an experience that glances beyond gimmick towards...

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La clemenza di Tito, Royal Opera review - light and dark in near-perfect balance

It looked as if the Royal Opera might be trying to keep its distance with the first new production since lockdown. After all, Mozart’s last opera – only the Overture and March of the Priests in The Magic Flute remained to be composed in the fatal...

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The Seven Deadly Sins / Mahagonny Songspiel, Royal Opera online - modern morality tales mesh uneasily

There are so many good ideas, so much talented hard work from the singers of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and two dancers, such a cinematic use of the Royal Opera House, that Isabelle Kettle’s interweaving of two Brecht/Weill mini...

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Tony and the Young Artists, Royal Opera/Liebeslieder Waltzes, Blackheath Halls online review - love and joy

Young performers seeking platforms for their careers have had it especially rough over the past year, most slipping through the financial-support net and now facing the further blow of the Brexit visa debacle. So it’s always good to welcome quality...

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Royal Opera Christmas Concert online review – pajama party around the Nutcracker tree

So Hansel and Gretel can’t cuddle up together in the dark forest, Musetta doesn’t fall into long-suffering lover Marcello’s arms and there’s no audience to play to (as there would have been three days earlier). No matter: the Christmas-tree-grown-...

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