Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Judas Kiss, Richmond Theatre, October 2012

This David Hare play focuses on two moments in Oscar Wilde’s relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas (Bosie). One is at the Cadogan Hotel during the day leading up to his arrest, the other in Naples after his release from prison. The audience found several of Wilde’s lines amusingly witty, and some of Bosie’s breathtakingly narcissistic. …

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Paris Alexandros, by Euripides, Actors of Dionysus, October 2012

This was a theatrical reading at Europe House in London on 25th October 2012. Euripides’ play The Women of Troy starts two days after the Greeks have taken the city, and ends with Queen Hekabe stepping forward into slavery. It is the final part of a Trojan Trilogy whose first two parts are largely lost, but inspired …

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Otello, Metropolitan Opera live cinema relay, 27th October 2012

Wonderful costumes by Peter J. Hall, excellent sets by Michael Yeargan, all beautifully lit by Duane Schuler help bring this Elijah Moshinsky production to life, along with deeply expressive music from the orchestra under the direction of Semyon Bychkov. The star of the show was Renée Fleming as Desdemona, always beautiful and coming through in …

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Grand Tour/ Faster/ The Dream, Birmingham Royal Ballet, BRB, Sadler’s Wells, October 2012

The Grand Tour, a charming ballet by Joe Layton based on Noël Coward’s 1930s transatlantic trip on a liner, is to music by Coward himself, adapted and orchestrated by Hershy Kay. It’s a colourful ballet with lovely designs by John Conklin, well lit by Peter Teigen, and in this cast the most striking performer was …

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Grosse Fuge/ Lyric Pieces/ Take Five, Birmingham Royal Ballet, BRB, Sadler’s Wells, October 2012

This triple bill, titled Opposites Attract, concludes with Hans van Manen’s fine 1971 ballet Grosse Fuge to orchestral music by Beethoven, but in the meantime we are treated to two more recent works with music of a lighter texture. The programme starts with David Bintley’s Take Five to jazz music created by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. This is fun. Lighting …

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Don Giovanni, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, October 2012

The revival of this production by Rufus Norris has a cast very similar to its opening run in 2010 and works rather well this time. Paul Anderson’s excellent lighting helps create a sense of dark forces at work, and is particularly effective in Act II for the scene featuring Donna Elvira, and again towards the end …

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Julius Caesar, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, October 2012

As a great fan of recent ENO productions I was hoping for better despite the many negative comments I had heard about this one. Julius Caesar, which deals with Caesar’s visit to Egypt in 47 BC when he was chasing Pompey and met the twenty-one-year old Cleopatra, is one of Handel’s great operas, full of rich …

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Bastien and Bastienne, Mozart and Salieri, Royal Opera House, Linbury Studio, October 2012

This double bill by the Jette Parker Young Artists was a delight. Bastien and Bastienne is a singspiel written by Mozart in 1768 when he was just 12 years old. It is based on a one-act opera Le devin du village by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and deals with two lovers who are brought together by the local devin (soothsayer). Rousseau’s work …

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The Handyman, Richmond Theatre, October 2012

In the mid-late 1990s at my son’s high school in America, the janitor was accused of having been a Ukrainian concentration camp guard in World War II. Most of the students wanted to excuse him, because like the title character in this play, written about the same time, he was a nice guy who wouldn’t harm …

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L’Elisir d’Amore, Metropolitan Opera New York, live cinema relay, October 2012

The Met’s 2012/13 cinema season starts with a romantic comedy, but have no fear, some serious Shakespeare is on the way. In two and four weeks time they will broadcast Verdi’s Otello and Thomas Adès’s The Tempest. In the meantime this was a super L’elisir with Anna Netrebko as a sparkling Adina, and Mariusz Kwiecien as a charmingly forceful Belcore, producing …

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