Tag Archives: Ashley Riches

The Damnation of Faust, BBC Prom 31, Royal Albert Hall, RAH, August 2017

Opera at the Proms is one of the glories of the summer season, allowing music and singers to communicate directly, with no director’s vision getting in the way. Two nights ago, Khovanshchina helped lay bare the soul of Russia, and now Berlioz’s magnificent musical evocation on the Faust myth, where the brilliant scholar veers into …

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Pirates of Penzance, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, February 2017

What a pleasure to welcome back Mike Leigh’s Pirates, which played to packed houses on its first run two years ago. Leigh, the director of that 1999 film Topsy-Turvy about Gilbert and Sullivan’s collaboration, retains the hard edge of Gilbert’s genius while not stinting on the colour. Indeed the bold colours and central circle of …

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La Bohème, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, October 2015

Bohemia in Murger’s Scènes de la vie de bohème is a state of mind, rather than a Central European province, so setting it in modern times rather than mid-nineteenth century Paris could work very well. But Benedict Andrews, who made his name as a theatre and film director, has created a staging that seems to …

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Robert le Diable, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, December 2012

Before the first night of this hugely theatrical opera the ROH sent out a dramatic announcement saying they were “extremely grateful to Patrizia Ciofi, who has taken over the part of Isabelle at extremely short notice and will sing the role for the first four performances”. In the event she was wonderful, having sung the …

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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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