wed 19/06/2024

Spain

Rocio Molina, Sadler's Wells Flamenco Festival review - mystery and dark magic, with a giggle

Success in running a large and expanding dance-house enterprise requires knowing when to play safe and when to play with fire, trusting that your audience will come with you. Sadler’s Wells’ annual Flamenco Festival is now such an established...

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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...

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Carmen, English National Ballet review - lots of energy, even violence, but nothing new to say

The story of Carmen is catnip to choreographers. No matter how many times this 180-year-old narrative has been tweaked and reframed in art, theatre, opera, dance and film, they keep coming back for more – which is curious when you consider that...

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Out of Season, Hampstead Theatre review - banter as bullying

One island off the coast of Spain has more cultural oomph than all the rest put together. I’m talking about Ibiza, the sun-soaked, music-happy and drug-friendly paradise for anyone in their roaring luved-up twenties who wants a break that will fry...

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First Person: Ten Years On - Flamenco guitarist Paco Peña pays tribute to his friend, the late, great Paco de Lucía

There are moments that forever remain imprinted in our consciousness, engraved on the general map of our lives. I cannot forget the excitement of seeing snow for the first time in Córdoba, aged three or four, rushing to walk on it only to slip...

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Sánchez, National Symphony Orchestra, Martín, National Concert Hall, Dublin review - Spanish panache

Ravel’s Boléro, however well you think you know it, usually wows in concert with its disconcerting mix of sensuality, fun and violence. Context can make it even more powerful: in this case as the culmination of NSO Chief Conductor Jaime Martín’s...

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20,000 Species of Bees review - a marvel of a debut

Are we all getting older, or are film award-winners getting younger? Sofía Otero won the Silver Bear for best lead performance at the Berlin Film Festival this year at the age of just nine. To achieve that, it surely needs to be one of the best...

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Ainadamar, Welsh National Opera review - hits hard without breaking ground

I find it hard to know quite what to make of Ainadamar, Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov’s one-act opera about the life and death of the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who was murdered in unknown circumstances – probably by Nationalist...

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Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras, Sadler's Wells - a roaring start to the Flamenco Festival

When flamenco first came out of the shadows and started to fill big theatres, it was like something out of a historical pageant. The shows that played London in the early 1990s harked back to an imagined gypsy past where old men hammered rhythms on...

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Don Carlo, Royal Opera review - Lise Davidsen soars above routine

Not a good start. The tenor (Brian Jagde) walks downstage and sings loudly, if securely, to the audience: hardly a characterisation of an idealistic young Infante meditating on love. The next voice, the Page’s, is barely heard (Ella Taylor gets...

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Concerto 1700, L’Apothéose, St John's Smith Square review - rare Spanish treasures

Escapees from Eurovision in Westminster on Saturday night might have discovered that a continent-wide enthusiasm for crowd-pleasing international styles arose long before the age of glitzy pop. Two accomplished Spanish groups performed at St John’s...

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Life is a Dream, Cheek by Jowl, Barbican Theatre review - savouring the Spanish of a singular masterpiece

Dream versus reality, fate and free will, love and death, nature versus nurture: they’re all here in Calderón de la Barca’ s ever-startling baroque panopticon, a play so precociously meta that every theatrical game from Pirandello onwards deserves...

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