Nabucco, Royal Opera, January 2022January 18, 2022
The eponymous character in Verdi’s third opera Nabucco is Nebuchadnezzar II, mighty king of Babylon. The opera calls for a colourful production, but without the slightest nod to Byron’s imagery about the Babylonian ‘cohorts gleaming in purple and gold’, here was a mid-twentieth century, third-rate dictatorship, with bare-chested guards in braces toting AK-47s. See my review …
Tosca, Royal Opera, December 2021December 13, 2021
This performance by the Royal Opera’s ‘B Cast’, Anna Pirozzi (Tosca), Freddie de Tommaso (Cavaradossi) and Claudio Sgura (Scarpia), showed them to be a serious A Team, with singing at its finest, characterisation at its most convincing, and musical performance at its greatest intensity under the baton of Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv. See my review …
Nutcracker, Royal Ballet, November 2021November 30, 2021
The genesis of Tchaikovsky’s ballet Nutcracker is due to Ivan Vsevolozhsky, director of the Imperial Russian Theatres, who persuaded Marius Petipa to create a scenario. The composer had reservations, since it could not fully represent the magical realism of the E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story, but the Royal Ballet’s version cleverly frames it in a way that respects …
The Valkyrie (Die Walküre), English National Opera, November 2021November 22, 2021
The first glimpse of what will be Richard Jones’ new production of Wagner’s Ring, for the English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, shows some intriguing imagery. Rheingold will appear in the 2021/22 season, with Siegfried and Götterämmerung in 2024 and 2025. See my review of Valkyrie in The Article.
Macbeth, Royal Opera, November 2021November 17, 2021
This latest revival of Verdi’s Macbeth is superb, with Anna Pirozzi as a hugely powerful and mendacious Lady Macbeth. The golden cage in which Macbeth and his wife live after murdering King Duncan is physically represented on stage, and Macbeth finds himself impaled on its bars at the end. See my review in The Article.
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