Tag Archives: Sam Furness

Boris Godunov, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, June 2019

This production uses Musorgsky’s vibrant, original version, with several singers returning to the roles they performed when this production was new in 2016. Again Bryn Terfel was magnificent as a powerfully sympathetic and well-nuanced Boris, with David Butt Philip giving a mean performance as the novice Grigory (Dmitri the pretender). New to the role of …

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Billy Budd, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, April 2019

A hugely moving performance of Deborah Warner’s new production under the baton of Ivor Bolton, with Toby Spence superb as Captain Vere, with Brindley Sherratt a vivid Claggart, and Jacques Imbrailo conveying the fatal charm and blinding honesty of Billy himself. See my review in The Article.

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Tristan und Isolde, Longborough Festival Opera, LFO, June 2017

Since this opened in 2015 celebrating sesqui-centenary of the opera, I have attended two other productions plus a terrific concert performance at Grange Park last summer, and one thing is clear. Less is more. While Bayreuth’s 2015 production abandoned their previous directorial absurdities the English National Opera went in the other direction with pretentious fussiness …

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The Tales of Hoffmann, English Touring Opera, ETO, Britten Theatre, RCM, October 2015

Offenbach’s greatest work, which he regarded as a last chance for recognition as a composer of serious opera, remained incomplete at his death in autumn 1880. Its main character Hoffmann — jurist, composer, critic, cartoonist, and author of fantastic tales that form the basis for Nutcracker, Coppelia and Schumann’s Kreisleriana — himself became a character …

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