Very occasionally you are lucky enough to encounter a performance in which a sort of mystical transformation takes place: when the music and the way it is performed simply embody the emotion that underlies it.
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Friday 27 March 2009
Doctor Atomic, Coliseum, London<br/>Der fliegende Holländer, Royal Opera House, London<br/>Five:15, Oran Mór, Glasgow
Sunday 01 March 2009
Thursday 26 February 2009
You knew from the palpable fizz of those open fifths in tremolando violins and the cut and thrust of the horns that conductor Marc Albrecht was very much at the helm of Wagner's Flying Dutchman and that he'd started exactly as he meant to go on. Add to that the flying Welshman, Bryn Terfel, weighing anchor in a performance of thrilling intensity more than matched on this occasion by a soprano, Anja Kampe, who simply knows no fear; throw in the Royal Opera Chorus on blistering form and a stage director, Tim Albery, for whom less is always more, and you have one of those rare evenings in the opera house that has you sitting so far forward in your seat that every muscle in your body is aching by close of play.
Tuesday 24 February 2009
You knew from the palpable fizz of those open fifths in tremolando violins and the cut and thrust of the horns that conductor Marc Albrecht was very much at the helm of Wagner’s Flying Dutchman and that he’d started exactly as he meant to go on.
Friday 20 February 2009
Wednesday 30 July 2008
Can there be a more charming and intimate chamber-music series anywhere in Britain than the Gower Festival? It takes place on the beautiful peninsula west of Swansea in the last fortnight of July, and has just completed its 32nd year. The concerts are all given in the local medieval churches and discovering these is a treat in itself: from Ilston, with its bat colony and kingfisher streams, to Oxwich, hidden in woods on a point almost out to sea.
Thursday 20 March 2008
When Bryn Terfel pulled out of Wagner's Ring cycle last year, the Royal Opera House issued an unusually terse statement, expressing "shock and surprise" at his decision.
Sunday 09 March 2008
Friday 07 March 2008
Even when it was new, 20 years ago, Peter Stein's staging of Verdi's last opera in the confined spaces of Cardiff's New Theatre was an oasis of clarity and good sense amid a sea of directorial postmodernism. Revived on Monday on the wider WMC stage, it had a faintly retro air, with the Globe-like balconies and arcades of Lucio Fanti's sets requiring lengthy scene-changes and two substantial intervals. No pacey modernism here, and not a Zimmer frame or an orange bowler hat to be seen. Moidele Bickel's costumes are about context, not subtext.
Wednesday 20 February 2008
Tuesday 21 February 2006
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- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile