Columns linked to Hanna Hipp

An Entertaining and Worthwhile The Marriage of Figaro at the L...

Sam Smith

The Marriage of Figaro of 1786 is one of three operas on which Mozart collaborated with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte (the others being Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte). It is based on the second of Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaurmarchais’ trilogy of Figaro plays, while the first was later to be immortalised by Rossini in The Barber of Seville. It centres on the day on which Figaro, valet to Count Almaviva, tries to wed Susanna, maid to...


A New and Delightful Hänsel und Gretel at the Royal Opera Hous...

Sam Smith

Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, which premiered in 1893, is based on the eponymous fairytale that was recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. It follows the Grimm version of the story reasonably closely, although there are a few notable differences including the fact that the mother here is not intent on losing the children in the forest so that she and her husband might survive the hard times. She sends them there to collect berries as a punishment for...


Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Royal Opera House, Coven...

Sam Smith

Many Wagner fans will rank Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg as one of their favourite works of all time, but the real measure of its strength is that many an opera-goer who normally avoids Wagner like the plague will make a special exception for Die Meistersinger. Unlike virtually all of the composer’s other mature works, it is not about gods, grails, rings and potions, but rather flesh and blood human beings. By exposing all of the foibles and frailties of this strangest of...