Tag Archives: Stephen Gadd

Macbeth, Buxton Festival, July 2017

Last year the Buxton Festival put on a very successful Leonora, rather than its later version Fidelio, and this year sees the original 1847 version of Verdi’s Macbeth. Its directness and freshness are illuminated by Elijah Moshinsky’s minimal, darkly-lit, and very effective staging with excellent movement conveying the powers of hell embodied in the witches, …

Read more >


Tristan und Isolde, Grange Park Opera, July 2016

What a superb end to the season, their last at The Grange before moving to the Theatre in the Woods now being constructed at West Horsley Place in Surrey. This Company really knows how to do things, and when Anja Kampe as Isolde, and Clive Bayley as King Marke had to pull out, they found …

Read more >


Lucia di Lammermoor, Buxton Festival, July 2015

This interestingly minimalist production by theatre director Stephen Unwin sets the story in the 1940s with mafia overtones, particularly notable in the figure of Enrico’s retainer Normanno (Richard Roberts) a sleazy chain-smoker, tie-less and wearing a hat indoors even during the Act II wedding scene. ‘Tis he who writes the forged letter from Lucia’s beloved …

Read more >


Il Trittico, Opera Holland Park, OHP, June 2015

A terrific evening and superb start to Opera Holland Park’s 2015 season. Neil Irish’s designs were excellent, particularly for Il Tabarro in Martin Lloyd-Evans production where weary stevedores and noises of the quayside set the evening in motion. As captain of the barge, Stephen Gadd’s calm tension and eventual exasperation, as he pleads with his …

Read more >


Peter Grimes, Grange Park Opera, June 2014

Having heard negative comments from one friend about Jeremy Sams’s new production of Grimes, and from another that it was first rate, I was intrigued to see for myself. Sets and costumes were reliably authentic from a time somewhere in the late nineteenth/ early twentieth century, and the superb video illusion of the sea rippling to …

Read more >


Billy Budd, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, August 2013

This concert version of the Glyndebourne production, using the same singers, conductor, chorus and orchestra, added one glorious extra touch. At the end of the Epilogue, after Captain Vere has recalled his inaction that led to the hanging of Billy Budd in 1797, he walked slowly off the stage, and the only sound in the …

Read more >


Cavalleria Rusticana, and I Pagliacci, Opera Holland Park, OHP, June 2013

After an unusually long winter, walking across Holland Park for the opening of the OHP season it seemed that summer had really arrived. As the orchestra played the Prelude to Cavalleria Rusticana the set opened to reveal Turiddu in bed with Lola, and after the chorus entered to sing of orange blossom, over a dozen …

Read more >


La Wally, Opera Holland Park, OHP, August 2011

Act I of this opera is super, ending with Wally’s famous aria Ebben! Ne andrò lontana (Well then! I shall go far away) sung with great dramatic purpose by Gweneth-Ann Jeffers. Rather than sing this as a set piece aria, she alternated beautifully between pensive moments and real power. Her stubbornly narcissistic father Stromminger, well-portrayed by Stephen Richardson, …

Read more >


Tristan und Isolde, with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Festival Hall, September 2010

Esa-Pekka Salonen produced glorious sounds from the Philharmonia, giving us moments of explosive tension and of gentle lyricism.

Read more >