Columns linked to Nicholas Folwell

The Truth about Satyagraha at the London Coliseum

Sam Smith

Philip Glass is recognised as one of the leading figures in minimalism today. He has written over twenty-five operas, and three of these form a trilogy that focus on pivotal figures in the fields of science, politics and religion respectively. Einstein on the Beach premiered in 1976 before the triptych was completed eight years later with Akhnaten. In between these came Satyagraha in 1980, which explores the early active life of Mahatma Gandhi. It focuses on political struggle as it...

Rigoletto at the London Coliseum

Sam Smith

Based on Victor Hugo’s play Le roi s’amuse, Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto was a triumph when it premiered at La Fenice in Venice in 1851, and has remained one of the composer’s most frequently performed operas ever since. Its popularity is thoroughly deserved but might still be deemed interesting, given that it is a contender for the cruellest opera in the mainstream repertoire. While many works see the innocent suffer and die, there is usually a sense in which...