Posts Tagged ‘opera’

That looks interesting…

October 17, 2017

giselle

…things I ought to remember not to forget.

Antigone:  https://www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk/events/antigone

Pravda:  http://www.sbf.org.uk/_app/stbridefoundation/preview/theatreshows/pravda

The Slaves of Solitude: https://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/whats-on/2017/the-slaves-of-solitude/

Leningrad Symphony:  https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/96419-london-philharmonic-orchestra-leningrad-symphony-2017

La tragedie de Carmen: https://www.wiltons.org.uk/whatson/358-la-trag-die-de-carmen

Semiramide: http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/semiramide-by-david-alden

Giselle:  http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/giselle-by-peter-wright

Advertisements

Russian State Ballet and Opera House

October 12, 2017

171012rstate

The information on this outfit’s website (as above) leaves us in some doubt as to who exactly they are presenting to the British public. But if you buy a programme you don’t get to find out who is singing on a particular evening but you do learn that as regards the present season they belong to the Astrakhan State Opera and Ballet Theatre, whose repertoire contains a great deal that looks more interesting than Madam Butterfly and Tosca–but then I don’t have to try and make money from it…

171012gastroli

Happy opera company about to go on tour

The site has a photo of the opera company looking undaunted by the prospect of touring the length and breadth of Britain, and also some slightly vague geographical indications:

191012llan

The idea that Crewe is in North-West England is debatable, but putting Llandudno there is really going too far

From The House Of The Dead, WMC Cardiff 08 October

October 9, 2017

****

wnohod

This was certainly very impressive as music, but didn’t really make a personal impact on me, which I think was the point. This was really a matter of the production I think, though more of a lyrical-romantic inflection in the playing (which I think is possible) would have been welcome.

Perhaps the prisoners should have been more individualised and less spread out, while the pantomime of Don Giovanni and Kedril just seemed pointless here–with neither a point of its own nor in reactions from the prisoners. At the end we did not have an eagle flying to freedom but rather a projection of a shadow, which didn’t really cut it.

And surely Shishkov’s narration as the final one of the prisoners’ stories ought to both be affecting and to sum up or exemplify what has gone before–the senseless random murderous cruelty and the spark of God within each one also. Unless that was just meant to stay with Dostoevsky…

Khovanshchina, Cardiff WMC 07 October

October 8, 2017

***

171008khovanshchina

Photograph from WNO site

The choral singing here was wonderful, and on a different plane from what I had heard in some 350 previous evenings at the opera. On the other hand, the attempt to universalise the action by setting it in the early Soviet period while adding in Samurai warriors and a gas chamber did little to clarify the action, centring as it did on the attempts of various groups to appose the accession of Tsar Peter I (or Peter the Great).

Musorgsky suffered from various difficulties with the scenario, such as being dead drunk much of the time, not being able to finish it, and not being able to portray any members of the Romanov dynasty on stage. Still, one should attempt to make things more rather than less clear. The scenario does at least give a coherent and probably accurate picture of Old (Pre-Petrine!) Russia as violent, lascivious and God-haunted, which doesn’t really fit with the early Bolshevik period.

Apart from the choruses, it was Shaklovitsky’s patriotic peroration that made an impact, but we were left with no clear idea whether he was meant to be Edmund or the Duke of Kent. So why did Khovansky take a bath in his (albeit bloodied) trousers while the Persian Slave ended up naked? (Probably because she constituted an allusion to Hella from The Master and Margarita.)

Probably Dosifei came off rather too sympathetically in the absence of any real competition, while it was far from clear what his Old Believer followers were up to in the end, in terms of burning themselves to death or indeed anything else…

Perhaps the main interest was in comparing the Welsh surtitles with the English ones and with what was being sung in something (occasionally) like Russian. I was gratified to find that А ты in Russian was ‘A ti’ in Welsh, and interested by all of the Latin words in Welsh–a legacy of the lost Romano-British culture or (more probably) of deliberate language planning in more recent times.

Aida, ENO 3 October

October 5, 2017

****

DK2O9K8W4AAkDRN

Photo acquired from Twitter at about the right angle

While the reviews from the first night were rather lukewarm, and there were also half-hearted bag checks to negotiate on entering the building, this proved to be a worthwhile investment of £30 at the Leicester Square ticket booth.

Latonia Moore’s Aida reminded me that it seemed to be a long time since I last heard a heavyweight operatic role dealt with so masterfully and the conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson really got on with things.  From where I was sitting, Ms Moore and Ms Wilson often seemed to be roaring each other on, determined to triumph in spite of every obstacle, and generally they did.  Gwyn Hughes Jones had a real tenor ring as Radames and Eleanor Dennis was simply outstanding as the High Priestess.

The production was…strange.  There were some striking stage pictures that really might evoke an alien civilisation.  There were also many occasions that recalled illustrations of opera in years gone  by, with hero and heroine centre stage facing the conductor, embarrassed in strange costumes, her bending his eyes toward him as the only acting allowed.  Michelle DeYoung’s Amneris ended up looking like a toilet roll holder, quite possibly a pregnant toilet roll holder, and also sounding a lot like Aida’s Mum and not at all like her bitter rival.  The quite long period where she was downstage facing the audience and addressing Radames who was in a cage behind her was not a very good piece of direction.

As with many operas, Aida has scenes of climactic emotional conflict (which is what opera is really there for), scenes of grand public display, and scenes that advance the plot.  In this production, the first two worked pretty well and the third didn’t.  The translation also offered up some embarrassing feminine rhymes plain for all to see in the surtitles.

I would certainly recommend a visit–there’s plenty to think about even where it doesn’t exactly work.

Mozart & Salieri (Rimsky-Korsakov in Catford)

June 1, 2016

mozsal

We are informed:

Following a successful run at Phoenix Artist Club, Time Zone Theatre‘s immersive take on Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera MOZART & SALIERI comes to the Broadway Theatre Catford for two performances only on 13th & 14th July – info and booking here

Jason, English Touring Opera/RCM 04 October

October 6, 2013

****

Picture from ETO's Facebook page

Picture from ETO’s Facebook page.  (That set makes it look as though everything is happening indoors…)

This blog and its pals thoroughly enjoyed their outing to the wilderness that is SW7 for this opera by Francisco Cavalli, dating from 1649.  The important thing is that the music is really very, very good.  Since Cavalli had moved some way towards giving important characters nice cantabile arias by comparison with Monteverdi, it’s also more accessible and immediately appealing than you might think.  The orchestra–identified as the Old Street Band, which seems to be ETO’s period instrument group–played divinely under conductor Joseph McHardy, and I have never seen an opera orchestra looking so happy either.  The singers were uniformly very good as well–there was a cast change announced, which I think came down to Demus/Apollo being sung by a student cover from RCM–it certainly didn’t detract from anything.

The story is that of Jason and Medea (obviously enough) turned into a tale of amorous entanglements and happy endings, which was the kind of thing that happened to Classical plots in those days.  My only criticism would be that the opera was surely aiming at a sharp contrast between knockabout farce and the romantic-tragical-dramatic, but the farce was not really in evidence here and many jokes went missing.  On the other hand, the full-on treatment of the Royal Academy of Music’s 2010 production with self-propelled stage props and the like would have been difficult for a touring production.

Go see!–that music really is extremely lovely.

Peking Opera cancelled at Lyceum Theatre

April 16, 2013

peking_opera_6v

We have received the following email from ATG:

I am emailing to inform you that, unfortunately, the performance of Peking Opera which you have booked for with us on 22nd April will now no longer be taking place. At the request of the producers the performances at The Lyceum have been cancelled. I tried to call from our box office phones but did not get a reply, so this email is to let you know of the cancellation, as well as to inform you that a full refund has been made to your card for the ticket. This refund should show up on your card in the next few days. I apologise for the inconvenience caused.

The shows at other venues on the tour seem to be going ahead as planned, so what’s going on here is a bit of a mystery.  Perhaps the promoters found dealing with ATG just too painful, something I can well understand.  And I had the ‘we tried to call you’ thing that time as well.

Cheap Tickets for Opera Holland Park (booking opens 15 April)

April 11, 2013

gioielli

We have received the following email from Opera Holland Park, about their INSPIRE scheme that offers seats round the edges for £ 12:

£12 INSPIRE ticket booking opens
Monday 15 April
online only

 
Having taken into account the feedback from patrons in 2012, we have decided to keep the way you acquire INSPIRE tickets the same as last season. They will be available online only via our website and will be the first to go on sale to the general public. By putting them on sale before general bookings to the public begin, we will be able to monitor and control the traffic online and ensure the system runs as smoothly as possible. Further it will mean we can ensure the fairest possible distribution. The online system features a virtual waiting room so there will be a time element involved but hopefully far less frustrating than the engaged tones of 2011!
 
The booking opens next week, on Monday 15 April at 10am.
 
Tickets will be limited per patron to 6 for the season and 2 per production.Visit our website and follow the links. Online booking will open at 10am and there will continue to be no booking fees on the INSPIRE tickets.
 
We hope you can join us for what promises to be a thrilling season!
 

We understand that some have difficulty accessing online services. If you know of individuals who are in this position but would like to have the opportunity to book INSPIRE seats, please email us with their details to inspire@operahollandpark.com.

See here for what I know about opera/classical music bargains in general.

La Boheme Special Ticket Offer at the Coliseum‏

April 11, 2013

cheapboheme

We have received an email about this.  It says:

Valid on shows 24th May to 29th June 2013
Top price seats Mon -Thu : was £83.00 now £41.50
2nd price seats Mon -Thu : was £50.00 now £25.00
Top price seats Fri -Sat : was £86.00 now £43.00
2nd price seats Fri -Sat : was £55.00 now £27.50

Offer available for 48 hours – book by 2.30pm Fri 12 April 2013 at

CLICK HERE FOR OFFER

Yes the link seems to work anyway…See here for what I know about opera/classical music bargains in general.