Category Archives: Opera

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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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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One for sorrow: Claus Guth directs a taut, dark Clemenza di Tito at Glyndebourne

Mozart: La clemenza di Tito *** Glyndebourne, 26th July 2017 A single magpie settles on a branch beside a lake. Two boys stalk through the long reeds. The older one hands the younger, fair-haired lad a slingshot and watches as … Continue reading

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Tangled plot, sensuous score: Cavalli’s Erismena illuminates the Jeu de Paume

Cavalli: Erismena *** Théâtre du Jeu de Paume, Aix-en-Provence You know you’re attending Baroque opera when the names of most of the characters (a) begin with a vowel and (b) are near anagrams of each other. With Erimante, Erismena, Orimeno … Continue reading

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