Tag Archives: John Andrews

The Dancing Master, Buxton Festival, July 2021

Matthew Arnold was a highly talented composer let down by his mental health and a predilection for drink. This opera followed a previously abandoned collaboration on a great opera to rival both Boris Godunov and Otello, with the same librettist, but this time they went to the opposite extreme, turning a Restoration comedy into a …

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Pia de’ Tolomei, English Touring Opera, ETO, Hackney Empire, March 2016

While working on the Siege of Calais, performed by the ETO this time last year, Donizetti and his librettist wanted to duplicate their great success with Lucia di Lammermoor. Casting around for another gentle and loving heroine, whose death would evoke huge pathos, they settled on Pia de’ Tolomei from Dante’s Purgatorio, and in James …

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