Tag Archives: Bruno Poet

Carmen, Bregenz lake-stage, July 2017

The opening night of the Bregenz Festival saw a spectacular production of Carmen in the pouring rain. The performers got soaked, but no matter because Carmen escapes at the end of Act I by leaping into the lake, and in the final moments Don Jose drowns her — see my review in the Telegraph on …

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Otello, Royal Opera, ROH, Covent Garden, June 2017

Putting Shakespeare on stage demands theatricality, which Keith Warner’s new production delivers right at the start with Iago spotlighted on a dark stage, an image repeated at the start of Act III with Otello himself. The massive ship in Act I, and actors creating merry havoc in the fight that Iago provokes between Cassio and …

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Akhnaten, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, March 2016

This final opera in Philip Glass’s trilogy on men who changed history — Einstein, Gandhi, Akhnaten — last seen here in 1987, well deserves Phelim McDermott’s spectacular new production. Akhnaten may not be a household name like the other two, but this eighteenth dynasty Egyptian king who temporarily overturned the Egyptian religion with his monotheistic …

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Carmen, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, May 2015

The energy and insight of Richard Armstrong’s conducting carries all before it in this revival of Calixto Bieito’s production, first seen two and a half years ago. That and the excellent portrayal of Don José by American tenor Eric Cutler, whose voice and stage presence carry a nobility at odds with the rough machismo of …

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The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Royal Opera, ROH, Covent Garden, March 2015.

This is not an easy work to stage, emerging as it does from two slightly incompatible attitudes, by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, as to its eventual form. Its genesis lay in a series of songs — the Mahagonny Gesänge — published by Brecht in April 1927, which inspired Weill to fulfil a commission he …

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I due Foscari, Royal Opera, ROH, Covent Garden, October 2014

Revenge is a dish best eaten cold, and at the end of this opera, Loredano, one of the Venetian decemviri (ten men who govern Venice) gladly consumes the knowledge that the two Foscari are dead. Noble men both, gone to their graves in agony. Placido Domingo showed the anguish of the elder Foscari — Doge …

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Royal Ballet Triple: The Dream/ Connectome/ The Concert, May 2014

The clever mockery in the first and third items in this excellent triple bill contrasted well with the brilliant new ballet by Alastair Marriott that lay between them. Connectome is named after a scientific term referring to the neural connections of a brain — in other words its ‘wiring diagram’ — and though only that …

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Don Giovanni, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, February 2014

After his controversial Eugene Onegin in February last year, Kasper Holten has come out with a corker. This intriguing new production ends with Giovanni, a man defined by his conquests and interactions with others, condemned to the hell of being alone. The set went slowly blank as the writing on the walls disappeared, the auditorium …

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Carmen, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, November 2012

The ENO’s new production of Carmen by Calixto Bieito is a stunner. No romantic gypsies here, but a bunch of nasty crooks who don’t bother to tie up Zuniga when he appears in Act II, but simply kick the hell out of him behind their Mercedes. And in Act III after Micaëla, beautifully sung by Elizabeth Llewellyn, …

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Timon of Athens, National Theatre, NT Olivier, August 2012

Timon is a tragic figure who fails utterly to understand himself, and therefore cannot come close to understanding others. His vast wealth is from lands he owns and mortgages, and he spends it eagerly on his acquaintances along with others come to him for help. When there is no more left he abandons the city, and then chances …

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Cause Célèbre, The Old Vic, London, March 2011

Anne-Marie Duff as Alma Rattenbury was utterly convincing as a charmingly batty woman who lived life to the full.

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