mon 15/04/2024

Scottish Opera

Marx in London, Scottish Opera review - the humour of history made manifest

An opera about a day in the life of Karl Marx doesn’t exactly sound like a barrel of laughs. But then so much of Jonathan Dove’s witty 2018 work proves that things are not always what they seem, whether that’s through Dove’s jaunty score-writing,...

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Best of 2023: Opera

Choosing a limited best seems almost meaningless when even simply the seven operatic experiences I've relished in the run-up to Christmas (nothing seasonal) deserve a place in the sun. But in a year which has seen Arts Council devastation versus...

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Daphne, Scottish Opera, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - Strauss’s translucent hymn to nature

On an Edinburgh afternoon of torrential rain close to the winter solstice, what ecstasy to be transported to an ancient Greek midsummer day, a Claude landscape with shepherds calling across the hills, painted in the most translucent colours by...

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Ainadamar, Scottish Opera/Opera Ventures review - worlds collide in fiery fusion

Ainadamar - meaning "fountain of tears" in Arabic – is the name given to a natural spring high in the hills above the Andalucian city of Granada, the site where the poet and playwright Federico Garica Lorca was executed in 1936 during the...

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The Gondoliers, Scottish Opera, Hackney Empire review - G&S con amore

Having sung the Gondoliers’ Duet with an Iranian tenor who’d been a big pop star in his native land, I know that internationalism hit performances of the Savoy operas some time ago (this superb but all-white ensemble admittedly doesn't follow the...

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The Miserly Knight / Mavra, Scottish Opera review - a bold double act in the heart of Scotland

To stage a double bill of unusual 20th century Russian operas would be brave at the best of times. To do so in the Fair City of Perth amply demonstrates Scottish Opera’s laudable commitment to extend its influence beyond the Edinburgh-Glasgow...

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Hansel and Gretel, Scottish Opera online - bewitching feast for ears but not eyes

Christmas isn’t just for Christmas, Daisy Evans’s bargain-basement fir-trees-and-tinsel production of Humperdinck’s evergreen masterpiece seems to be telling us. Filmed in Glasgow’s Theatre Royal last December, the February online premiere doesn’t...

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Così fan tutte, Scottish Opera online review - wit and deception in an empty theatre

For its latest production, unveiled on Sunday evening but recorded in November, Scottish Opera toys playfully with the absurdities of Covid-compliant performance practice. But maybe sensing our weariness with the whole business, it is not overdone....

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La bohème, Scottish Opera – pandemic Puccini

Picture the scene. A vast steel gazebo covers a nondescript parking lot next to an industrial unit in Glasgow. With a clear plastic covering, it is the most rudimentary of shelters, sides open to admit the roar of the M8 and the wailing of sirens,...

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Nixon in China, Scottish Opera - musical chatter, poetic banality

Scotland was at the cutting edge of culture in 1988, when the Edinburgh International Festival hosted the UK premiere of Nixon in China in the Houston Grand Opera production at the cavernous Playhouse. John Adams’ first opera, documenting the...

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Edinburgh International Festival 2019: Breaking the Waves, Scottish Opera/Opera Ventures review - great film makes a dodgy opera

Love him or hate him, Lars von Trier has time and again made the unpalatable and the improbable real and shatteringly moving in a succession of great films. Breaking the Waves set an audacious precedent. Baldly told, it's a story of a mentally ill,...

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Best of 2018: Opera

Outnumbered by four to one: out of the classical/opera team, Alexandra Coghlan, Jessica Duchen, David Benedict and Boyd Tonkin all chose English National Opera's production of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess as their best of the operatic year, while I...

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