As the Royal Opera opens its new Don Giovanni, Jessica Duchen argues that its theme of moral vacuity is as relevant now as in Mozart's day
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Friday 13 February 2009
Elgar knew and enjoyed his Mozart with the rest of us but at the start of this well-balanced programme it was almost as if a little of his pomp and circumstance – or perhaps I should say “nobilmente” - had rubbed off on Sir Charles Mackerras’ account of Wolfgang Amadeus’ Overture in the Italian Style or Symphony No.32.
La Bohème, Robert Dornhelm, (115 mins)<br>The Full Monteverdi, John La Bouchardière, (60 mins)
Sunday 04 January 2009
Saturday 27 December 2008
When Vuyani Mlinde is on stage, you don't take your eyes off him: the timbre of voice and vividness of performance demand attention. Now recognised as a rising star among bass-baritones, this unassuming 28-year-old South African is making his mark with all the big baritone roles, from Leporello and the Commendatore in Don Giovanni to the philosopher Colline in La Bohème.
Friday 19 December 2008
For more than 30 years the English bass Richard Van Allan sang at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, English National Opera, the British regional companies and at various opera houses in Europe and North America. He had a wide repertory encompassing Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Strauss and Britten, and took part in several premieres of new operas.
Thursday 30 October 2008
Sunday 14 September 2008
Thursday 04 September 2008
Sunday 24 August 2008
Tuesday 19 August 2008
The conductor Nicola Rescigno is best remembered as co-founder of the Dallas Opera and as its artistic director for 33 years. He was also music director and, for a few years, general manager as well. His preference was for Italian opera, so Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini made up a large part of the repertory at Dallas; he also liked French opera, so Bizet and Massenet figured on the bill too. Rescigno was known as a "singers' conductor" and for 10 years he was a favourite of Maria Callas, with whom he worked in Chicago and in Europe, as well as at Dallas. However, he was no prima donnas' slave and always put the composer first.
Monday 04 August 2008
"Tell Me the Truth About Love": Zoë Wanamaker made the request on behalf of WH Auden at the start of this lively "journey through Mozart's operas" in the Barbican's Mostly Mozart festival. The responses were many and varied. The Auden, for instance, was met with anxious questions from Cherubino, the oversexed page-boy from The Marriage of Figaro. And speaking of raging hormones, Simon Russell Beale then proffered a letter from the young Mozart suggesting that infatuation and marriage were somewhat confused in his mind, prompting Papageno and Pamina to contemplate domestic bliss from their different perspectives in the delicious Act I duet from The Magic Flute.
Sunday 27 July 2008
Graceful, dynamic and surprising, Giuliano Carmignola's collaboration with Claudio Abbado and the Orchestra Mozart is a must-have recording.
Saturday 26 July 2008
Wednesday 23 July 2008
A season of performances from the Royal Opera House is to be screened live at cinemas in Britain and across Europe.
Monday 21 July 2008
"Myself I shall adore," sang Danielle de Niese at the Barbican, incarnating Handel's sexually voracious Semele. But this girl hardly needed to, so deafening is the chorus of approval in which she basks. She's the ultimate classical poster-girl, deployed to lethal effect by Glyndebourne, first in 2005 as the sexiest Cleopatra in living memory in Giulio Cesare, and now as a raunchy 21st-century version of Monteverdi's mixed-up Poppea.
Friday 06 June 2008
This is Tom Hawkes's eighth production of this opera in almost 40 years. He tells us that he has returned to it because he still finds something new to say, and Mozart never bores him. He goes on to prove his point by factoring in some deft, unexpected touches in his direction, right up to the last bars of the score.
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