Coming to Terms with History

How Barrie Kosky’s new Meistersinger at Bayreuth is helping the Wagner Festival to come to terms with the past. Standpoint magazine, September 2017, p. 54.

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Country cousins show how to do it

Private festivals avoid the absurd interpretations of classic operas that shame the subsidised sector. Standpoint magazine, October 2016, p. 71.

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New Parsifal at Bayreuth — a triumph

A vision of Christians, Jews and Muslims living in harmony in the Middle East is the redemptive message of this new production from the opening night of the 2016 festival, Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2016.

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A marvellous lost Hamlet opera, rediscovered

A review of the opening night production of Franco Faccio’s Hamlet at the Bregenz Festival. Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2016.

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Meistersinger, Staatsoper Berlin, review: ‘marvellous’

The new season opened on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Reunification Day with Acts 1 and 2 of Meistersinger, Act 3 following next day. Daily Telegraph, 5 Oct 2015.

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Adriano in Siria, by Pergolesi, Cadogan Hall, review

In this remarkable 1734 opera, soprano Erica Eloff showed marvellous expressiveness and musical embellishments, Daily Telegraph, 17 Sept 2015.

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Glorious Summer

Compares the success of Britain’s privately funded opera festivals, with the ready acceptance of failure at publicly funded Covent Garden, Standpoint magazine, September 2015, p. 6.

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Tristan und Isolde, Bayreuth Festival, review: ‘hugely moving’

Will a Wagnerian triumph keep Bayreuth in the family? Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2015, p. B15

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Fiddler and the proof

A connection between the Yiddish world of Fiddler on the Roof and one of the great quests in modern mathematics. Standpoint Magazine, July/Aug 2015, p. 89.

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Revenge not redemption is message of new Parsifal in Berlin

Wagner’s Parsifal is about redemption and renewal, but this new production by Russian director Dmitri Tcherniakov adds a jarring note — revenge. Telegraph, 29 March 2015.

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Music of Resignation

Turbulence, trauma and transformation in the life of composer Richard Strauss. History Today, January 2015, pp. 4, 5.

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Reconstructing Baroque Opera

This year marks an intriguing step forward in the revival of baroque opera — a realistic performance space in the new candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Theatre. History Today, 1 July 2014

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High pressure

David Haig’s riveting new play Pressure about the weather forecasting for D-Day opened at Chichester and should move to the West End. Standpoint Magazine, July/Aug 2014, p. 14

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Wagner: A Long-Running Cycle of Triumph and Despair

A brief history of the Bayreuth Festival, and discussion of the new 2013 Ring production for Wagner’s bicentenary, History Today, December 2013, pp.3,4

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Donizetti’s Three Queens at Welsh National Opera

A review of Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux in new productions at the WNO, New Statesman, 1–7 November 2013, pp.58,59.

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One Ring to rule them all

Compares four Wagner Rings from this bicentenary year: concert performances at the BBC Proms, and staged performances at Longborough Festival Opera, Staatsoper Berlin, and Bayreuth. New Statesman 4–10 October 2013, pp.52,53.

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Wotan’s trolley

In Berlin to review Wagner’s Ring, my request to pay for a shopping trolley was refused. Can the Eurozone survive even stronger differences, and does the Ring hold a warning for us? Standpoint Magazine, May 2013, p. 12.

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Wagner’s Ring, Staatsoper Berlin, review

After tenor Lance Ryan failed to turn up for Act 1 of Siegfried, the hero of this performance of Wagner’s Ring cycle was conductor Daniel Barenboim, Daily Telegraph, 12 April 2013.

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Flying Dutchman, Bayreuth Festival, review

In this new production at the 2012 Bayreuth Festival, conductor Christian Thielemann gave the music of the Flying Dutchman huge excitement. Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2012

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Eurodämmerung

As the Eurozone countries wrestle with the fate of the single currency, we examine parallels in Wagner’s Ring cycle. History Today, July 2012, p. 5.

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Euro soap opera

Describes the new Bayreuth production of Tannhäuser in relation to the Euro Crisis, Standpoint Magazine, September 2011, p. 13.

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Tannhäuser, Bayreuth Festival, review

Wagner’s Tannhäuser was greeted by boos on the opening night of this year’s Bayreuth Festival. Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2011.

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Lighting Design for Ballet

Essay in Focus, The Journal for the Association of Lighting Designers, April/May 2011, p. 28–32.

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Die Walküre, La Scala, Milan, review

This was opera magic where Daniel Barenboim brought out the full depth and passion of Wagner’s music. Daily Telegraph, 21 December 2010

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Facing the Music

A review of Ronald Harwood’s plays Collaboration and Taking Sides, which deal with music and the Nazis, Standpoint Magazine, June 2009, p. 83.

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