Author: Mike Smith

Singers and orchestra save this show from being a ring of dire

21st November 2021

I sometimes wonder whether Wagner sets some sort of challenge from beyond the grave on the Ring Cycle to test its strength. The challenge being: who can make such a pig’s ear of a production to destroy the magnificence of the music and the impact of the story on audiences. This time it was down […]

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Jack Furness to produce Rusalka at Garsington

16th November 2021

Jack Furness is to take over from Michael Boyd to produce Garsington Opera’s 2022 Rusalka. Due to ill health, director Michael Boyd has had to withdraw from the production that was originally scheduled for summer 2020. Jack Furness will  make his Garsington Opera debut. The production will have designs by  Tom Piper. Douglas Boyd, Artistic […]

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Opera North announces winter season

16th November 2021

Questions of power and identity, love and loss, will be coming to theatres across the North of England in the new year as Opera North opens its winter season with two new productions, while also offering another chance to see its new production of Carmen which premiered in September. The Company’s eagerly-awaited concert staging of […]

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Opera Holland Park unleashes The Bear

1st November 2021

Opera Holland Park’s production of William Walton’s take on the Chekhov comedy The Bear is being screened online during November on a “pay what you feel” basis. Filmed and recorded live on location in Stone House over two days in April 2021, Walton’s witty one-act opera reunites the cast and creative team of Opera Holland […]

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Longborough announces details of 2022 season

27th October 2021

Longborough Festival Opera continues its Wagner voyage with Siegfried opening its 2022 season. Other works are Korngold Die tote Stadt, Bizet’s Carmen and a double bill of Waley-Cohen’s Spell Book and Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina. The new  Ring cycle began with critically acclaimed performances of Das Rheingold in 2019 and a concert staging of Die Walküre in 2021. “With Siegfried we return to […]

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David Collins appointed Opera North Executive Director / Deputy CEO

21st October 2021

Opera North has appointed David Collins to the new role of Executive Director / Deputy CEO.  The Company said its artistic, education and community work has grown exponentially over the last five years, and continues to develop in scope, ambition and diversity. The new role of Executive Director/ Deputy CEO reflects and supports this expansion, and […]

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Satyagraha, certainly gorgeous but a little of its time

19th October 2021

It may sound like sacrilege to make a negative comment about Philip Glass’ Satyagraha as it has achieved iconic status, but while this remains a glorious piece of music and stunning theatricality in the Phelim McDermott staging, the 40 plus year old opera seems dated. First staged by English National Opera back in 2007, this […]

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Unlike Butterfly, no yellow face concerns for WNO at Expo Dubai 2020

15th October 2021

A troupe of mainly British singers are off to the desert sunshine for Welsh National Opera’s collaboration with the United Arab Emirates on Al Wasl Opera, part of Expo 2020 Dubai. While in the UK and other countries producing theatres continue to be careful about ethnic casting, there are no such concerns with this production. The […]

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Nicholas Lester, from Adelaide to Barber via Amazon

30th September 2021

MS: You have had, and continue to have, a strong association with Wales. How did they come about and develop? NL: My first singing teacher as an adult was a Welsh baritone Jason Shute (originally from Swansea) who had emigrated to Australia with his wife. I met him through my involvement in the annual Adelaide […]

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Rosina takes control – on every level

30th September 2021

The auditorium might have been extremely lightly populated but those who had come along to see the show, masked or unmasked such is the confusing state of affairs in Wales, enjoyed a rare treat – an enjoyable production from Welsh National Opera without any psychobabble or a la mode gobbledegook. It was heartening to hear […]

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