sun 26/05/2024

19th century

Hallé, Wong, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - meeting a musical communicator

Kahchun Wong, the Hallé’s principal conductor from the coming autumn season, presided in the Bridgewater Hall for the first time yesterday since the announcement of his appointment.It was in the last of the four “Rush Hour” concerts recently...

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Marco Bellocchio - the last maestro

The last of the old maestros is standing tall. Marco Bellocchio was a Marxist firebrand when he made his iconoclastic debut with Fists in the Pocket (1965). Now aged 84, he makes intellectually and emotionally muscular, hit epics about abused...

Read more...

Špaček, BBC Philharmonic, Bihlmaier, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - three flavours of Vienna

Billed as a “Viennese Whirl”, this programme showed that there are different kinds of music that may be known to the orchestral canon as coming from Vienna.For a start, there’s the classical tradition of Mozart, Beethoven and those who aimed to be...

Read more...

Simon Boccanegra, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - thrilling, magnificent exploration

If ever more evidence were needed of Sir Mark Elder’s untiring zest for exploration and love of the thrill of live opera performance, it was this ground-breaking collaborative event with Opera Rara – a performance coupled to a new studio recording...

Read more...

Carmen, Royal Opera review - strong women, no sexual chemistry and little stage focus

When will the Royal Opera give us a totally electrifying Carmen, rather than just a vocally perfect Carmen (as Aighul Akhmetshina surely is)? Supposed firebrand Damiano Michieletto’s production is mostly tepid after Barrie Kosky’s half-brilliant...

Read more...

Underdog: the Other, Other Brontë, National Theatre review - enjoyably comic if caricatured sibling rivalry

The Brontë sisters and their ne'er-do-well brother will always make good copy. The brilliance of the women constrained by life in a Yorkshire parsonage contrasts dramatically with the wild moors around their home, while their early deaths lend...

Read more...

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, Marylebone Theatre review - from Russia with love

Like all great literature, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s final, eccentric, playfully wondrous short story seems to have been written just for us – across two centuries and on the other side of the world. It’s a resonance that ripples through Laurence Boswell’...

Read more...

La scala di seta, RNCM review - going heavy on the absinthe?

The overture to Rossini’s La scala di seta is a frequent and familiar concert piece – not so the opera itself.It’s a light and frothy one-acter from 1812, just under two hours long including an interval, a farsa in Italian opera terms, and designed...

Read more...

Gillam, Hallé, Poska, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - an experience of colour and fun

There was a common factor in the superficially disparate elements of this Hallé concert, and it wasn’t just the fact that both soloist and conductor were female. It was an experience of the colours of the music and a sense of enjoyment of what...

Read more...

Osborne, BBC Philharmonic, Bihlmaier, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - an orchestra at the top of its game

Just a few days after the Hallé’s Bruckner 8, the BBC Philharmonic weighed in with his Seventh Symphony for its Manchester audience. We’re all getting a lot of Bruckner in his 200th anniversary year, and this was a wise choice, being one of his...

Read more...

Sargent and Fashion, Tate Britain review - portraiture as a performance

At the turn of the 20th century, London’s smart set queued up to get their portraits painted by American-born artist John Singer Sargent. Sitting for him was a performance, a way to show the world just how rich, glamorous, clever or important you...

Read more...

Cavalleria Rusticana/Aleko, Opera North review - a new foil for Mascagni

Opera North have a new pairing for Mascagni’s popular but clichéd Cavalleria Rusticana in this double bill: an early Rachmaninov one-acter, written when he was 19. The production of the former is a revival of the one seen in 2017 in their Little...

Read more...
Subscribe to 19th century