mon 16/07/2018

Verdi

Alzira / The Daughter of the Regiment, Buxton Festival review – thundering good tunes

Alzira is Verdi’s shortest opera and his least performed, and you have to ask why. Buxton International Festival has done his legacy a service by bringing it to the stage this year, and it completes the trilogy of early Verdi operas performed there...

Read more...

La Traviata, Longborough Festival review - muddled director, vocal mixed bag

One wearies of quarrelling with opera directors’ concepts. But what’s the alternative? To ignore or acquiesce in crude, approximate reimaginings that, like Daisy Evans's new La Traviata at Longborough, stuff a work any old how into some snappy,...

Read more...

Falstaff, Garsington Opera review - Sir John under pressure

All those pranks, set-ups, fake letters and disguises, they just keep coming thick and fast in Verdi’s Falstaff. The score has irresistible energy and momentum. The composer made sure in his last opera that when the fantasies, schemes and hopes of...

Read more...

La traviata, English National Opera review - into a vortex of ineptitude

You don't have to be a good director to manage the artistic side of an opera house. Daniel Kramer arrived at ENO and boosted morale at a time when company relations with then-CEO Cressida Pollock had hit rock bottom, and his repertoire choices for...

Read more...

Un ballo in maschera, Opera North review - decent, no more

You’d expect a degree of mischief and bafflement in an opera about mistaken identity, closing with a scene set at a masked ball. But Tim Albery’s new Opera North Un ballo in maschera is confusing for the wrong reasons, its shortcomings all the more...

Read more...

La forza del destino, Welsh National Opera review - rambling drama, fine music

David Pountney’s tenure at WNO has been an almost unqualified success, despite some eccentricities of repertoire and a certain obstinacy in the matter of new commissions. His own productions have included at least three of unforgettable quality. He...

Read more...

Having a Verdi ball: conductor Richard Farnes on Opera North's upcoming production

Commentators have, over the years, variously described Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) as all things to all people: Verdi’s Tristan und Isolde, Verdi’s masterpiece, Verdi’s Don Giovanni, a pure love poem, and much more. It seems to me to be one...

Read more...

Classical CDs Weekly Special: Callas Live

Remastered they may be, but the 20 live operas recorded here between 1949 and 1964 vary soundwise from clean at best to atrocious, with all the caprices of stage noise and audience participation seemingly acceptable at the time (so often there's the...

Read more...

Falstaff, RLPO, Petrenko, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall review - Bryn Terfel leads a merry dance

Even seemingly immortal singers grow old. Sir Bryn is closer to the "Martinmas summer" of Shakespeare's and Verdi's Sir John than when first he put on the fat suit at the Royal Opera 18 years ago. Even if he walks the gouty walk that matches the...

Read more...

Jonas Kaufmann: Tenor for the Ages, BBC Four review - a musical megastar with sword and shortbread

Now we know who sent Jonas Kaufmann the Union Jack boxer shorts for the Last Night of the Proms. Whether the sender’s identity is the bigger surprise, or the hint of ambiguity over whether the "Greatest Tenor in the World" had previously heard of...

Read more...

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, V&A review - seven cities, seven masterpieces

There's something here for everyone, as a "roll up!" slogan for one of the greatest shows in town might put it. Even opera buffs don't seem to have found much to fault with the cornucopia of sounds, moving pictures, objects, paintings, drawings and...

Read more...

Aida, English National Opera review - heroine almost saves a dismal day

If the best is the enemy of the good, then the excellent is also the enemy of the "meh". And if you can stomach Verdi's Aida, go and see English National Opera’s new production for its central performance by Latonia Moore. In what’s become her...

Read more...
Subscribe to Verdi