Category Archives: Opera

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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A rake’s progress: Mozart’s Don Giovanni let loose in Aix

Mozart: Don Giovanni ***** Théâtre de l’Archevêché, Aix-en-Provence Less than 24 hours after Stravinsky’s Rake bounded his way across the stage of the Théâtre de l’Archevêché, it was the turn of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (whose complete title is The Rake Punished, or Don Giovanni) to face … Continue reading

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