What to make of the unannounced decision to open this concert with the Marseillaise? I am sure it was well intended, and perhaps should leave it at that.
Month: July 2016
La Cenerentola, Opera Holland Park
In a fairy-tale, it can sometimes feel as if one is living a dream but on the verge of being awoken to a shock. Such is life in these dark and uncertain days.
Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno in Aix
The tense, three hour knock-down-drag-out seduction of Beauty by Pleasure consumed our souls in this triumphal evening. Forget Time and Disillusion as destructors, they were the very constructors of the beauty and pleasure found in this miniature oratorio.
Pelleas et MÈlisande in Aix
Three parallel universes (before losing count) — the ephemeral Debussy/Maeterlinck masterpiece, the Debussy symphonic tone poem, and the twisted intricacies of a moldy, parochially English country estate.
Siegfried, Opera North
This, alas, was where I had to sign off. A weekend conference on Parsifal (including, on the Saturday, a showing of Hans-J¸rgen Syberberg’s Parsifal film) mean that I missed Gˆtterd‰mmerung, skipping straight to the sequel.
Gˆtterd‰mmerung, Opera North
The culmination of Opera North’s “Ring for Everyone”, this Gˆtterd‰mmerung showed the power of the condensed movement so necessary in a staged performance – each gesture of each character was perfectly judged – as well as the visceral power of having Wagner’s huge orchestra on stage as opposed to the pit.
Le nozze di Figaro, Glyndebourne
Michael Grandage’s production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, which was new in 2012, returned to Glyndebourne on 3 July 2016 revived by Ian Rutherford.
Cosi fan tutte at the Aix Festival
Said and done the audience roared its enjoyment of the performance, reserving even greater enthusiasm to greet stage director Christophe HonorÈ with applauding boos and whistles that bespoke enormous pleasure, complicity and befuddlement.
In Parenthesis, Welsh National Opera in London
‘A century after the Somme, who still stands with Britain?’ So read a headline in yesterday’s Evening Standard on the eve of the centenary of the first day of that battle which, 141 days later, would grind to a halt with 1,200,000 British, French, German and Allied soldiers dead or injured.
A New Opera Company with a True Story of Forbidden Love
Victory Hall Opera is a new company making its debut in Charlottesville Virginia on August 14, 2016. Its first presentation will be Richard Strauss’s and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Der Rosenkavalier.