Distressed and decaying amidst crumbling masonry Michael Vale’s brutalist set tilts and turns towards catastrophe like some sort of post-modernist installation. The Court of Mantua is a world off its axis in David McVicar’s much-revived staging of Verdi’s Rigoletto and as this world fornicates its way to extinction it’s as if the roaring boys from … [Read More]
When you are arguably the greatest violinist in the world a four-year “time out” from the public arena can seem like an eternity. But it’s a time for renewal, too, and though absence makes audiences’ hearts grow fonder (and nowhere more so than in London), expectations grow higher, too. Which is perhaps why – on … [Read More]
Miss Fortune in name and deed. Sad to say but Judith Weir’s sixth opera is an embarrassment. Sad because Weir’s folk inspired fables have won many friends, sad because she is a composerly composer whose luminous orchestral backdrops and singable vocal lines display an honest talent that never hides behind overworked technique. But Miss Fortune … [Read More]
The Victorians have a lot to answer for. Their appetite for the Old Testament blood and thunder of Mendelssohn’s Elijah knew no bounds – and they liked it big. Size mattered and that big-is-better, choir-of-thousands, communal approach to the piece – as exemplified by Paul McCreesh’ stonking performance at last year’s Proms – has prevailed. … [Read More]
Alfie Boe – affectionately known as the nation’s favourite tenor – is the latest in a distinguished line of big voices to swagger into the role of Jean Valjean in Boublil and Schönberg’s epic musical Les Misérables.
Cameron Mackintosh chose him to front the 25th Anniversary concert at London’s O2 Arena and the title track … [Read More]