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Second Revival of Richard Jones’s La bohème at the Royal Opera...Sam Smith
Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 creation La bohème, which is almost cinematographic in its length and proportions, is one of the most frequently performed operas in the world today. Set in 1830s Paris, it focuses on six young adults and the love that four of them find with each other amidst the most impoverished of circumstances. One couple (Marcello and Musetta) have a stormy relationship but their frequent battles prove that their love actually has staying power. Rodolfo and...
Slow Pace but Strong Performances in La traviata at the Royal ...Sam Smith
Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata of 1853 is one of the most frequently performed operas in the world today. Based on Alexandre Dumas, fils’s play La Dame aux camélias, it tells of Violetta Valéry who is a famed Parisian courtesan. Beneath her apparently carefree exterior, however, she is suffering from tuberculosis and her world is shaken when she meets Alfredo with whom she falls in love. They run away together and live off the sale of her goods, but one day...
Find Yourself in The Lost Thing at the Royal Opera House, Cove...Sam Smith
The Lost Thing represents a collaboration between the Royal Opera, composer Jules Maxwell and Candoco Dance Company and its Artistic Co-Director Ben Wright. It is based on Shaun Tan’s eponymous book of 2000, which also spawned an Oscar-winning animation, and sees a boy (Shaun) discover a strange creature on the beach. He finds it impossible to describe it as anything other than The Thing, and since it seems to belong nowhere it is The Lost Thing. When Shaun tries to find a place...
Brilliant Performances in First Revival of Keith Warner’s Otel...Sam Smith
Like the Shakespeare play upon which it is based, Giuseppe Verdi’s penultimate opera Otello of 1887 is the story of a general in the Venetian military whose skills in managing political and personal affairs do not match those he has demonstrated in fighting. When his ensign Iago feels Otello has sidelined him for promotion, he lays a trap to make Otello believe his wife Desdemona has been unfaithful, and the general falls whole-heartedly for the deception with disastrous...
Cavalleria - Pagliacci: Alagna's Great Tour de ForceXavier Pujol
Christmas is coming and Liceu, like many other theatres, has decided once again to offer an attractive programme for the non-specialised audiences, who on these festive dates decide, perhaps for the only time in the season, to go for one night at the opera. On this occasion, the offer has consisted in the traditional double act integrated by Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, the famous pair of short verismo operas, which tradition has transformed into an unbreakable matrimony. In...
Excellent Singing and Staging in Death in Venice at the Royal ...Sam Smith
Death in Venice of 1973 is Benjamin Britten’s final opera. Based on Thomas Mann’s eponymous novella of 1912, it tells of a writer Gustav von Aschenbach who becomes obsessed to the point of madness with a youth who he repeatedly sees while in Venice. Given that the pair never speak to each other, it might not feel like obvious dramatic material but it has spawned a classic film (starring Dirk Bogarde) as well as Britten’s own masterpiece. It is possible to see the...