wed 24/02/2021

Royal Opera

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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Meet the Young Artists Week recital, Linbury Theatre – four big personalities

Throughout this most difficult of years, the Royal Opera has done the right thing for the singers on its Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. They were fortunate to finish the run of Handel’s Susanna before the Linbury Theatre closed down for over...

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4/4, Royal Opera review – desire, loss and lunacy in four surprising acts

Think you’ve seen enough of monologues and duets over the past few months? Watch this and reel. Four British directors, four conductors with close ties to the Royal Opera and five singers based here, from South African and Spanish-born sopranos on...

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The Royal Opera: Live in Concert review - Italianate fizz with a patch of flatness

What could be better than Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro to celebrate the Royal Opera’s next step on the path out of lockdown? Ideally, the rest of the opera, especially remembering Antonio Pappano’s lively interaction with his singers...

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Classical music/Opera direct to home 19 – and two before a live audience

It’s begun: very limited access to live music, the chance to sit before one or two players in the same room – as we were doing only three and a half months ago, in some cases thousands of us before an orchestra of up to a hundred musicians. When the...

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Live from Covent Garden 2, Royal Opera and Ballet online review - heaven and earth in a nutshell

Solitude, mortality and transcendence have never been more profoundly expressed in music than by Mahler, who composed Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) in the valley of the shadow of death (too superstitious to give it the name of Ninth...

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Classical music/Opera direct to home 16 - putting freelancers first

The latest wave of musicians to make their voices heard comes from the freelancers who haven't been able to claim anything so far for their loss of income and of the ability to work together. As a group of top players putting out their plea observes...

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Live from Covent Garden 1, Royal Opera and Ballet online review - small-scale but perfectly formed

Vintage champagne was served up last night, and whether you found the glass half-full or half-empty would depend on your perspective. In the bigger picture, it's disappointing that not more musicians could return to the Royal Opera House stage, and...

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Classical music/Opera direct to home 15 - opening up at different rates

It's taken time, but at last we have two major musical figures speaking up for cultural institutions in dire straits. Following a crucial, detailed article by Charlotte Higgins in The Guardian, Simon Rattle and Mark Elder have finally taken up the...

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 5 - orchestral manoeuvres in the light

Necessity has certainly been the mother of invention over the past  three weeks, and orchestras especially, left in the dark with no means of coming together other than virtually, have had to adapt double-quick. The players, of course, are...

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Susanna, Royal Opera/London Handel Festival review - fitful shinings

That virtue can be fascinating and prayers to a just God dramatic have been proved in riveting productions of two late Handel oratorios, Theodora and Jephtha. Whether Susanna can ever be reclaimed for the stage as powerfully seems unlikely, but this...

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