Reviews

Remarkable Manon from Elin Pritchard at the Grange Festival

25th July 2021

Soprano Elin Pritchard will remember this final performance of Manon Lescaut at the Grange Festival for the rest of her career. In fact, so too will the entire ensemble, such as was the emotion and sense of achievement in having delivered this performance, the conclusion of a unique season somehow created and performed in the […]

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A young and vibrant Figaro at Opera Holland Park

17th July 2021

Adversity sometimes brings unexpected opportunity. In this case the requirements of social distancing was overcome by Opera Holland Park by borrowing free standing chairs from other companies and creating a very relaxed, informal setting for the audience to enjoy the Young Artists’ performance of Figaro. Of course, it means far smaller audiences than usual but […]

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Glorious singing in Onegin at Garsington

17th July 2021

Michael Boyd’s production makes excellent use of the glass pavilion at Garsington with peasants visible as they approach the stage and similarly the pairs of lovers (or not lovers in Onegin and Tatyana’s case) walking around the outside of the auditorium. However, it was distracting having some scenes overshadowed by unnecessary although stylish additions such […]

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Cosi under the big top at Longborough

17th July 2021

It would have probably been too obvious to cast Don Alfonso as a ring master in the big top seeing we were indeed watching and listening to Cosi in a circus tent at Longborough Festival Opera. Instead, he is a card shark, playing on Guglielomo and Ferrando presumably slightly nouveau twit gullibility to firstly part […]

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Pountney’s take on Ivan the Terrible at Grange Park Opera

17th July 2021

David Pountney production of Ivan the Terrible for Grange Park Opera is an uncharacteristically sedate affair, lacking in the excesses of violence or sex, psychological acrobatics or quirkiness – and for once it could actually have done with some of this. With the pretty obvious exception of making Ivan the Terrible a Stalin figure (some may […]

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Amadigi weaves modern magic at Garsington Opera

16th July 2021

This glorious production of Handel’s Amadigi is both a splendid, spirits (literally) raising experience and why our independent festivals are the shining stars of opera as they have struggled and overcome Covid restrictions. While most of our state funded opera houses and arts companies remained the domain of tumbleweed, Garsington and others have kept opera […]

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Les vêpres siciliennes, Welsh National Opera

11th February 2020

The prospect of WNO staging Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes is an exciting one. The last time it was performed by WNO was in 1954. Further, this staging (a joint production with Theater Bonn) is of the French grand opéra version, the full five acts sung in French with the ballet section included, not the revised […]

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The Cunning Little Vixen , Welsh National Opera, WMC

27th October 2019

This revived production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen is another triumph for WNO. Born in Moravia in 1854 it was only in 1924 that Janáček first staged his opera. Inspired by the illustrated tales of ‘Vixen Sharp-Ears’ the opera tells the story of the life and death of the Vixen, captured by the Forester […]

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Rigoletto, Welsh National Opera, Wales Millennium Centre

1st October 2019

This production of Verdi’s Rigoletto is a winning return to form for WNO. The story of the jester Rigoletto’s attempted revenge on his master the Duke for the seduction of his daughter Gilda, the action is transposed to Washington DC in the sixties, evoked by the costumes and design, such as Gilda’s hairband and bobby […]

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Un ballo in maschera, Welsh National Opera, Venue Cymru  

26th April 2019

  My opera education continues in the capable hands of Welsh National Opera with Guiseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, only my third WNO production. Riccardo (Gwyn Hughes Jones) is a leader who has stepped on too many toes, collecting a few enemies hell bent on revenge for the wrongs they feel he has done […]

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