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Toutes ses chroniques . 137
Best Revival Yet of Jan Philipp Gloger’s Così fan tutte at the...Sam Smith
Così fan tutte of 1790 is the third and final opera (after Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni) on which Mozart collaborated with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte. Originally set in Naples, it sees the philosopher Don Alfonso challenge two soldiers, Ferrando and Guglielmo, to prove that their respective fiancées, the sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi, are faithful. He is certain that no woman ever is, but the younger men are so convinced of their own lovers’...
Opera North’s Parsifal Brings a Touch of the Divine to London’...Sam Smith
Premiering in 1882 at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, Parsifal is Richard Wagner’s final opera and widely regarded as one of his greatest achievements. It is loosely based on Wolfram von Eschenbach’s epic poem Parzival, written in the first quarter of the thirteenth century, which recounts the story of the Arthurian knight Parzival and his quest for the Holy Grail. Set in Monsalvat, it sees the title character attempt to retrieve the Holy Spear that pierced Christ’s side...
First Rate Cast in Excellent Revival of Madama Butterfly at th...Sam Smith
Set in Nagasaki, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly of 1904-07, with a libretto by Giuseppe Giacoso and Luigi Illica, explores the relationship between the American naval officer Pinkerton and Cio-Cio-San from the city’s Omara district. Cio-Cio-San, whom Pinkerton both affectionately and patronisingly addresses as Madam Butterfly, takes their love so seriously that she converts to Christianity, and is consequently ostracised by her family. He, on the other hand, sees their...
Samson et Dalila is a Production of Two Halves at the Royal Op...Sam Smith
Camille Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila, which premiered in Weimar in 1877, is the only one of the composer’s operas to be regularly performed today. In describing how the Israelite Samson is duped by the Philistine Dalila into divulging the secret of his strength, thus enabling him to be weakened and blinded, the story comes from Chapter 16 of the Book of Judges. However, it concentrates on certain elements and downplays others, ignoring the heroic deeds that earned...
Nothing to Frighten the Horses in My Fair Lady at the London C...Sam Smith
Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s 1956 Broadway musical My Fair Lady is based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion of 1913. Set in Edwardian London, it sees phonetician Professor Henry Higgins make a bet with one Colonel Pickering that he cannot pass off Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl, as a lady. He intends to do so by giving her intensive speech lessons with the test being whether she can fool everyone at an Embassy Ball. She succeeds when a rival phonetician...
Mavra and Pierrot lunaire Make an Effective Double Bill at the...Sam Smith
On the surface, there may not seem to be much in common between Igor Stravinsky’s one-act comic opera Mavra of 1922 and Arnold Schönberg’s groundbreaking Pierrot lunaire written a decade earlier. However, in this double bill from the Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, which represents its first full production in the intimate Linbury Theatre since Susanna in March 2020, synergies are implied between the two works without any suggested parallels...