New 'national economic strategy' could see institutions such as the British Museum and the Royal Opera House moved away from London and the South East
The Royal Opera
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Tuesday 08 December 2009
John Schlesinger’s venerable 1984 staging of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier slips ever more ungraciously into the realms of regional pantomime.
Thursday 12 November 2009
Wednesday 04 November 2009
Only in 18th century opera could a man/woman fitted up by his own father for a murder he did not commit be at one and the same time mourned and disowned by his father, sister, best friend, and lover.
Thursday 15 October 2009
Four talented Jette Parker Young Artists, three song cycles, one very familiar canvas – life, love, loss. The devisor and director of this somewhat overcooked confection, Jose Dario Innella, subtitled it “Dramatic ruminations over Schumann, Britten, and Ebel song cycles” and therein lay the problem: too much rumination. Directed to within an inch of its life, the title – The Truth About Love - is drawn from the most familiar of Britten’s Cabaret Songs whose stanzas are scattered like discarded one-liners throughout the evening.
Wednesday 30 September 2009
After his starkly minimalist Lulu one might have anticipated that director Christof Loy would deliver a Tristan und Isolde of unforgiving austerity.
Thursday 17 September 2009
The heat generated by this scorching revival of Verdi's Don Carlo had little to do with burning heretics or indeed any aspect of Nicholas Hytner's lucid if rather passive staging, but rather the conducting of Semyon Bychkov whose drive and patience ensured that both the urgency and weight of history defining this great score were magnificently served.
Wednesday 16 September 2009
The heat generated by this scorching revival of Verdi’s Don Carlo had little to do with burning heretics or indeed any aspect of Nicholas Hytner’s lucid if rather passive staging but rather the conducting of Semyon Bychkov whose drive and patience ensured that both the urgency and weight of history defining this great score were magnificently served.
Tuesday 15 September 2009
The prospect of four solid hours of un-staged opera is enough to strike fear into the hearts of even the most zealous of opera-fans, yet the Royal Opera House’s brief two-performance fling this week with Donizetti’s lesser known masterpiece is an absolute delight.
Thursday 30 July 2009
The overture to 'Das Rheingold' is one of classical music's boldest strokes, as a single bass note slowly expands upwards into a vast major chord, whose eddying ramifications remain static and unchanged for 136 bars. Under Valery Gergiev's febrile beat, the Mariinsky orchestra beautifully realises this effect, and for the next 150 minutes faithfully reflects every colour-shift in this opera's majestic musical journey.
Wednesday 15 July 2009
Wednesday 15 July 2009
Ted Downes had a formidable love and knowledge of opera – particularly Russian opera – and his pebbly glasses made him look like Shostakovich, who was one of Ted's great heroes. He was a huge Verdi man and was instrumental in creating the Verdi festival in London's Covent Garden in the 1990s. I remember when he and David McVicar came for the 2001 production of Rigoletto. I had to introduce them to each other and wondered how they would get on. But Ted was marvellous with younger people and very interested in their ideas, and this senior conductor and rising director got on fantastically well. The revival of this production of Rigoletto in 2005 was one of the last things Ted was able to conduct.
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