mon 15/08/2022

19th century

Eiffel review - sensuous secret history

This is a romantic historical epic with elan, giving sensual immediacy to a fanciful secret history of the Eiffel Tower, here inspired by a forbidden, rekindled romance between Gustave Eiffel (Romain Duris) and Arlette Bourgès (Sex Education’s Emma...

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Utopia, Limited, National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company review - bounded rapture

Joseph Heller grew tired of being told that he’d never written anything as good as Catch 22. ‘Who has?’, he'd retort. In the same spirit, it’s futile to compare Gilbert and Sullivan’s late flop Utopia, Limited to The Mikado, The Gondoliers,...

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Gillam, Brodsky Quartet, Manchester Camerata, Buxton International Festival 2022 review - a freshness in classic Elgar

It’s an ill heatwave that brings nobody any good, and Buxton International Festival’s decision to move its highlight concert, by Manchester Camerata with Jess Gillam and the Brodsky Quartet as their guests, from the Buxton Octagon to St John’s...

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La donna del lago, Buxton International Festival 2022 review - Rossini’s romanticism for today

Buxton International Festival’s opera scene is clearly back on track for 2022, and its most substantial production a taut and tension-filled presentation of Rossini’s La Donna del Lago.Jacopo Spirei’s production, with design by Madeleine Boyd, has...

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The Dance of Death, Arcola Theatre review - hate sustains a marriage in new version of Strindberg classic

Rebecca Lenkiewicz's adaptation of August Strindberg's 1900 paean to the power of loathing over loving uses the now familiar trick of dressing characters in period detail while giving them the full range of the 21st century's argot of disdain and...

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theartsdesk in Zurich - forging a brilliant new Ring

Could this be the summer Bayreuth finally sees a new Ring production that comes anywhere near its last great epic success, Harry Kupfer’s, which ran from 1988-92? If so, it’s been pipped to the post by a rather more comfortable and bijou opera house...

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Eugene Onegin, Opera Holland Park Young Artists review - intimacy and reflection

Sitting in a huge marquee on a June evening, with the sun peeking through every gap in the canopy, it is quite a stretch to imagine yourself in the remote countryside of rural Russia. But this new production of Eugene Onegin manages that, and with a...

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La bohème, Glyndebourne review - a masterpiece in monochrome

According to the programme, La bohème is (probably) the most performed opera, by the most performed operatic composer. Ever. So, what is it about this piece that continues to enthral, inspire and intrigue artists and audiences alike?Perhaps it’s...

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Maria Stuarda, Irish National Opera review – two queens sing for the crown, with spectacular results

You don’t plan a production of a Donizetti opera without having top voices in mind. For what, after all, is his simplification of Schiller’s Mary Stuart but bel canto business as usual with a bit of high drama attached? Internationally celebrated...

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Blu-ray: The Proposition

Commenting on Australia’s horrendous colonial history at the start of an audio commentary packaged with this BFI Blu-ray release of John Hillcoat’s impeccably directed, newly restored The Proposition (2005), Alexandra Heller-Nicholas declares, “It’s...

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Parsifal, Opera North review - full focus and a dream line-up

Wagner, in his medievalist, pan-European, 19th century way, wanted Parsifal to be a blend of abstract and religious experience for his audiences at Bayreuth, calling it a “festival play for a stage consecration”. Questions for those performing it...

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Siegfried, Longborough Festival review - happily concept-free but with 'Good Ideas'

With a lapse of three years between Das Rheingold and Siegfried, and with only a semi-staged Walküre in between, it’s been hard to stay tuned to Amy Lane’s Ring production at Longborough.Here, for instance, is Mime in his cave (rather well, if...

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