Tag Archives: Nicholas Hytner

Don Carlo, Royal Opera, ROH, Covent Garden, May 2017

That great playwright Schiller did not let historical facts get in the way of a good story, and his Don Karlos is a gripping stage tragedy. Traducung the close and loving relationship between Philip II and his third wife Elizabeth de Valois, step-mother to Don Carlo, it was perfect for Verdi, who added elements of …

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Xerxes, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, September 2014

This sixth ENO revival of Handel’s late opera Xerxes (aka Serse) is a testament to the huge charms of Nicholas Hytner’s 1985 production, which presents the complex story of amorous intrigues in a Persian court with glorious clarity. Elegant, even stunning, costumes for the main characters contrast with drab for the courtiers and striking black …

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Don Carlo, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, May 2013

What a privilege to witness such an outstanding performance of opera, with the incomparable Jonas Kaufmann in the title role. You want to stay and savour the applause, to recall the extraordinary soliloquy by Ferruccio Furlanetto as Philip II at the start of Act IV, when he expresses in words the emotional pain he has …

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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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Xerxes, English Touring Opera, ETO, Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, October 2011

Power and youthful passion are grist to the mill of Handel’s plots, and James Conway’s production is set on a World War II air base with Xerxes as the new ruler, whose enthusiasm for the Spitfire is matched by his infatuation for the lovely wartime nurse and singer Romilda. His brother, fighter pilot Arsamenes, is also …

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Don Carlo, Metropolitan Opera live relay, December 2010

It’s a human drama of huge proportions, and Ferruccio Furlanetto in the central role of Philip II of Spain showed to perfection the king’s isolated uncertainty and emotional distress.

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The Habit of Art, National Theatre, December 2009

… in the end [this is] a play about Auden, Britten and indeed Bennett himself, and as usual his dialogue is wonderfully effective.

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Don Carlo, Royal Opera, September 2009

Imagine a Christian Taliban in Spain, putting men, women and children in Flanders — all heretics — to the sword.

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Phèdre, National Theatre, June 2009

In this performance, Phèdre was played by Helen Mirren, portraying an insecure woman only too conscious of her own inadequacies.

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Magic Flute, English National Opera, January 2009

The star of the show was Roderick Williams as a wonderfully engaging Papageno in superb voice.

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