Tag Archives: Barrie Kosky

Agrippina, Royal Opera, September 2019

This Handel opera centres on two strong women: Agrippina and Poppea, with Joyce DiDonato at the top of her game as a smoothly scheming Agrippina, and Lucy Crowe as a charmingly pretty Poppea. A very strong cast beautifully conducted from the harpsichord by Maxim Emelyanychev, but the self-indulgent production by Barrie Kosky was way over the …

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Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Bayreuth Festival, Bayreuther Festspiele, July 2018

In this revival of last year’s successful new Meistersinger director Barrie Kosky there seems to an excess of stage farce that rather weakens the overall effect. Too much mockery is expended on Beckmesser, rendering him not just a klutz but a pathetic creature shuffling over to Eva on his knees in Act 3 as his prize …

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Carmen, Royal Opera, ROH, Covent Garden, February 2018

Carmen as a musical is what the first part (Acts 1 and 2) felt like, but a musical needs better dance sequences, and the choreography was ineffective. Yet Barrie Kosky, whose production of Shostakovich’s Nose appeared at Covent Garden in late 2016, is ever a theatrical innovator. The orchestra starts without warning as the proscenium …

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Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Bayreuth Festival, July 2017

Wagner’s Nuremberg is a city of trials: Walther’s trial by the Mastersingers in Act 1, Beckmesser’s trial by Sachs as he delivers his serenade in Act 2, and their separate trials by the people in Act 3. Yet fifty years after Wagner’s death, Hitler took power and Nuremberg became the venue for those post-war Nazi …

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Saul, Glyndebourne, GFO, July 2015

When Handel first produced this oratorio in 1738 the audience would have been completely au fait with the Biblical story of Saul, the king of a people previously presided over by judges and prophets such as Samuel, who anointed him as their first king. He also anointed David as his successor, but in the oratorio …

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Castor and Pollux, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, October 2011

Originally composed in 1737 this opera was revised in 1754 and subsequently became Rameau’s most popular. Castor and Pollux are brothers, the former mortal, the latter immortal, and the start of the story is roughly that Castor is adored by Phoebe and her sister Telaira, who is betrothed to Pollux. He gives her up so …

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