Can Haiku be improved by staging? Gyˆrgy Kurt·g’s Kafka-Fragmente (op. 24), is a masterpiece of zen-like purity.
Piotr Beczala: RomÈo et Juliette, Royal Opera
Charles Gounod’s RomÈo et Juliette is almost more musical than opera. Everyone knows the story, and it would be hard to compete with Shakespeare. Gounod wisely focused on music, rather than drama.
Technicolour Radamisto at ENO
Handel’s Radamisto came to the ENO at the Coliseum in glorious technicolour.
Florian Boesch, Wigmore Hall
At the Wigmore Hall, performers can chose daring repertoire, because audiences there are unusually receptive.
Michel van der Aa : After Life at the Barbican, London
“If you could take any one memory with you to eternity, which one would you choose?” In Michel van der Aa’s After Life several people meet in a waiting room.
La traviata in May, Royal Opera House, London
Richard Eyre’s production of La traviata is so beautiful that it can be watched repeatedly, yet still yield pleasure. But appearances, however splendid, aren’t quite enough to make a completely satisfying evening.
The Power of Powder: Thomas AdËs at the Royal Opera House, London
Thomas AdËs’s Powder Her Face is back at the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House. It’s a classic. Once again, Joan Rodgers sings the Duchess, supported by Alan Ewing, Iain Paton and the incomparable Rebecca Bottone, all in multiple roles.
Genoveva — Schumann at UCL Opera, London
Genoveva and Lohengrin both premiered in the summer of 1850. Wagner disparaged Schumann, as he disparaged Mendelssohn (Schumann’s hero). Wagner’s opinions were influential. Genoveva has been eclipsed, saddled with a reputation for being hard to stage.
Philip Glass: Satyagraha, ENO, London 2010
Philip Glass’s Satyagraha at the English National Opera, at the Coliseum, London, proves that modern minimalism can be extraordinarily moving. The secret is to open your soul, as Gandhi did, when he searched the Baghavad-Gita for inspiration.
Tamerlano: Handel at the Royal Opera House, London
Handel’s Tamerlano, in the production by Graham Vick, is well
known, but its run at the Royal Opera House is unusual because many of the cast
are creating the roles for the first time. It isn’t a live reprise of the DVD,
but more challenging.