Author Archives: Mark Pullinger

Gold-plated Don Carlos cast compensates for Warlikowski’s frosty Paris staging

Verdi: Don Carlos *** Opéra Bastille, 28th October 2017 Stéphane Lissner, director of the Opéra de Paris, had one of his greatest successes as general manager at the Théâtre du Châtelet with Luc Bondy’s staging of the original French version of … Continue reading

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No moonlight, no magic: Richard Jones directs a vanilla Bohème for the Royal Opera

Puccini: La bohème *** The Royal Opera, 11th September 2017 New productions of La bohème don’t come around that often at the Royal Opera. John Copley’s venerable staging lasted for 43 years and the one before that – Peter Brook … Continue reading

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Prom 29: Twilight of the Old Believers as Semyon Bychkov leads a majestic Khovanshchina

Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina **** Prom 29, Royal Albert Hall, 6th August 2017 At the end of Götterdämmerung, Brünnhilde rides her horse onto a pyre. Although his opera’s not quite as long, Mussorgsky trumps Wagner by sending a whole chorus to their immolation as Act … Continue reading

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Tolstoy speed read: Ratmansky’s Anna Karenina with the Mariinsky Ballet

Shchedrin: Anna Karenina *** Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Opera House, 3rd August 2017 How does one condense a Tolstoy epic for the stage? Prokofiev squeezed War and Peace down to a four hour opera, although it still contains some 70 named characters in … Continue reading

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Tears before bedtime: El-Khoury transcends Cairns’ chilly Glyndebourne Traviata

Verdi: La traviata **** Glyndebourne, 1st August 2017 Glyndebourne’s production of operatic weepy La traviata left me dry-eyed when I saw it on tour back in 2014. I found the abstract setting cold and austere, the performances bland. Thankfully, I employed a caveat … Continue reading

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