Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Theatre

Lessons in Love and Violence Review – Soaring Tale of a Brutal Royal Downfall

George Benjamin’s first fully fledged opera, Written on Skin, has been performed widely since its premiere at the Aix-en-Provence festival six years ago and it is no surprise that his second has been co-commissioned by seven opera...

Opera’s Roads not Taken: two Rarities in Italy

Opera houses are increasingly loth to take artistic risks these days, for frustrating but wholly understandable reasons. With financial subsidies tight, familiar works and famous singers will shift tickets in a way that neglected...

A Pleasant Last Première of the Season at the Metropolitan Opera

Laurent Pelly’s production of Massenet’s Cendrillon, first seen in Santa Fé in 2006, finally made its way to New York, after detours taking this charming and ironical mise-en-scène to major European opera houses (including Covent Garden in...

High Cs to burn: Netrebko stars in The Met’s new, hot-blooded Tosca

The Metropolitan Opera needed a new production of Tosca: Peter Gelb’s decision in 2009 to get rid of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1985, audience favorite, stunningly hyper-realistic “You-are-in-Rome!” production with the ugly, grimy prostitute-filled Luc Bondy production that...

Eugene Onegin Review – a Grand Production of Tchaikovsky’s Masterpiece

Eugene Onegin is the exception to the rule that great operas have lives of their own, independent of their literary sources. It is a masterpiece, but impossible to detach from Alexander Pushkin’s verse novel on which it...

An Unexpected Met Debut in Roméo et Juliette

The distinction of season première tonight belonged to Bartlett Sher’s production of Roméo et Juliette. Apart from his once symbolic prop, the oversize sheet, which by any other name, will have its uses – canopy,...

Marriage of Figaro Review – Ireland’s New Opera

Aproduction of the greatest of all operatic comedies is as good a way as any of launching a new opera company. Irish National Opera was created last year at the behest of the Arts Council of...

Tell Me the Truth About Love Review – Streetwise Opera’s Wedding Party Packs a...

The room is covered in confetti. There’s a huge wedding cake. Royal Northern Sinfonia make a superior wedding band. Guests are milling around in their finery – and suddenly start to sing the cabaret song by...

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk Review – Searing and Unsparing Shostakovich

It’s one of the great if-onlys of opera: if Stalin hadn’t found Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk so objectionable when he saw it in 1936, we might now have a trilogy of Shostakovich operas about...

Maid in Heaven: Odyssey Opera’s Giovanna d’Arco

Odyssey Opera comes full circle closing its season “Trial By Fire“ with another opera rooted in Schiller’s Die Jungfrau von Orléans, Giovanna d’Arco. Verdi’s seventh opera is an uneven, retrograde effort which fails to...

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