Opera

Culture can be a catalyst for real change in any city

Hull ranks as the third most deprived local authority in Britain and tops the lists of deprivation for education, skills and training. Just a month into its tenure, David Barnett asks what can culture do for the city and can the benefits be made to last?

Classical review: Orfeo, Academy of Ancient Music/Egarr

Britain’s first Academy of Ancient Music was founded in 1726 as a private club of singers meeting in a London tavern to entertain each other: ‘ancient’ meant anything not in the contemporary repertory. Britain’s second AAM was founded in 1973 by harpsichordist Christopher Hogwood, to perform what was now called ‘early music’ on original instruments. Over the past four decades they have helped revolutionise early-music performance, blazing a trail followed by Baroque ensembles everywhere.

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American Lulu, Edinburgh International Festival, Kings Theatre

Atonal opera is never the easiest performance to love. An atonal opera reconceived in the jazz style, about a charmless woman devoid of redeeming features, shoehorned into a clunky political setting, performed for almost two hours without an interval, has everything to do.

Classical review: Tosca - Adam Spreadbury-Maher's production doesn't

OperaUpClose specialises in bold transpositions, best exemplified by its witty setting of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera in an IKEA store. For Tosca their writer-director Adam Spreadbury-Maher has effected a different kind of transposition, but one which is entirely logical.