wed 25/04/2018

Scottish Opera

Ariadne auf Naxos, Scottish Opera review - superb singing in slick new production

"The Show must go on". So say the posters dotted around Glasgow and Edinburgh for Scottish Opera's production of Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. Except on Thursday, it didn’t. A fire at a nearby Glasgow nightclub which ravaged several city...

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Flight, Scottish Opera review - poignant and powerful, this production soars

Inspired by the astonishing true story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian refugee who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport for 18 years, Jonathan Dove’s Flight is a humorous, touching, uplifting yet profoundly poignant study into human...

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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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BambinO / Last And First Men, Manchester International Festival

The Manchester International Festival – a biennale of new creative work – this year has a new artistic director in John McGrath, and there’s no large-scale new opera or prominent "classical" work, it would seem, other than Raymond Yiu’s song cycle,...

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Bluebeard's Castle & The 8th Door, Scottish Opera

What to pair with Bluebeard’s Castle? It’s always a dilemma for opera companies. Something lightweight, even comic, provides contrast but also risks trivialising Bartók’s dark, symbolist drama. Something equally brooding risks submerging the...

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Best of 2016: Opera

It was the best and worst of years for English National Opera. Best, because principals, chorus and orchestra seem united in acclaiming their Music Director of 14 months, Mark Wigglesworth, for his work at a level most had only dreamed of (“from the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beshevli, Gershwin, Gilbert & Sullivan

Ilya Beshevli: Wanderer (Village Green)Siberian musician Ilya Beshevli's background will resonate with anyone who's resented learning an instrument. The son of a composer and a musicologist, Beshevli grew to dislike his enforced piano lessons,...

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Rusalka, Scottish Opera

For the gentleman next to me in the Festival Theatre, this was his second outing to see Rusalka. At the production premiere earlier this month in Glasgow, he had been “blown away” by Dvořák's lyric masterpiece. Given half a chance, I would go back...

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Ariodante, Scottish Opera

In the end, it’s all about the oranges. They adorn the programme that accompanies Harry Fehr’s intelligent new production of Handel’s Ariodante for Scottish Opera. More importantly, they’re prominent in designer Yannis Thavoris’s clinical steel-and-...

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Listed: Essential Operas 2015-16

September is upon us and it’s nearly time for the new season. English National Opera’s Artistic Director John Berry may have left the building but his enterprising legacy lives on in a 2015-16 season that looks on paper as good as any in the past 20...

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Il Trovatore, Scottish Opera

"The darkness deceived me," sings Leonora in Act I as she mistakenly rushes into the arms of the Count di Luna, rather than those of her beloved, the mysterious troubador Manrico who’s been serenading her for nights on end. Seeing Robert B Dickson’s...

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Jenůfa, Scottish Opera

Even at the tragic heart of Janáček's Jenůfa there is ambiguity. As the Kostelnička or village sacristan takes her stepdaughter Jenůfa’s baby boy outside to drown it in the icy river, you cannot quite be sure whether she is motivated by...

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