Can Haiku be improved by staging? Gyˆrgy Kurt·g’s Kafka-Fragmente (op. 24), is a masterpiece of zen-like purity.
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.
Handel’s Radamisto came to the ENO at the Coliseum in glorious technicolour.
At the Wigmore Hall, performers can chose daring repertoire, because audiences there are unusually receptive.
“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.
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.
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 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’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.
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.