Columns linked to Robert Carsen

Sir Bryn Terfel Stars as Falstaff at the Royal Opera House, Co...

Sam Smith

There are certain operas such as Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Handel’s Radamisto where one will forgive the odd piece of clunky or prosaic direction if the musical credentials underpinning the evening are strong. There are other pieces, however, such as Ravel’s L’heure espagnole and Shostakovich’s The Nose where, if the staging is not slick from start to finish, the evening is almost wholly undermined. There is actually something unfair about this, because it...


Warm your Winter with A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the London ...

Sam Smith

A Midsummer Night’s Dream of 1960 is Benjamin Britten’s operatic take on Shakespeare’s eponymous play. It follows the original story reasonably closely, although it focuses on certain aspects of the plot and downgrades the prominence of others. Robert Carsen’s classic production for English National Opera premiered in 1995. A new version by Christopher Alden was actually introduced in 2011, but Carsen’s was so impossible to keep down that it now returns to...


Farewells with Der Rosenkavalier

Ilana Walder-Biesanz

Der Rosenkavalier is an opera about the passing of time and the need to let go. It’s a particularly appropriate, then, that the current Metropolitan Opera production marks goodbyes for two singers. Superstar soprano Renée Fleming is leaving the opera stage (though she will continue to perform in concerts and on Broadway), while mezzo-soprano Elina Garança has announced her intention to give up trouser roles (including, of course, Octavian). Elina will be very much...


Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Like Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier is the story of an ageing man attempting to put himself between two young lovers. In addition, it features an older woman who is also capable of standing in the way of the couple, but who honourably chooses not to do so. Princess Marie Thérèse von Werdenberg, known as the Marschallin, enjoys a relationship with Octavian, despite the fact that she is...


La fanciulla del West at La Scala

Raffaele Mellace

With the current La Scala production of Puccini’s La fanciulla del West Robert Carsen reminds us where opera comes from and what it originally dealt with: myth. Not of course classical myth of late-Renaissance Florentine earliest operas, but rather the modern myth Puccini chose after Madama Butterfly to experiment a further path in the hey-day of his success: the myth of the Golden West – as the title of David Belasco’s original play calls it. A myth which has been able...


Capriccio at the Opéra National de Paris

Alain Duault

What a happy idea Stéphane Lissner had for his first season in reprising the last (and necessarily melancholy) production by Hugues Gall a little more than 10 years ago, when he left the Paris Opera:there is an implicit homage, and the sign of a desire for continuity in excellence.For the excellence is there, in the prodigious staging by Robert Carsen, perhaps one of his most successful:in this setting, which is an elegant mise en abyme of the Opéra Garnier, the...