Blog Archives

Strauss “Der Rosenkavalier”, English National Opera

For those of us who believe (and don’t we all) that Octavian should end up with his true love – as opposed to his “fairy tale” romance – and live out his days with the Feldmarschallin, Maria Thérèse, David McVicar’s richly detailed 2008 staging of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier offers more hope than most. A moment … [Read More]

Posted on 29/01/2012
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Wagner “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”, Royal Opera House

The years have undoubtedly taken their toll and what seemed so fresh and new in 1993 – the pristine abstractions of Richard Hudson’s design, the washes of orange and gold light, the assertively jolly Brueghelesque costumes – now looks a little pantomimic. And yet the Shakespearian artifice of Graham Vick’s thoughtful and much-admired staging of … [Read More]

Posted on 20/12/2011
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Philharmonia Orchestra, Salonen, Royal Festival Hall

Sometimes the most disturbing images exist only in our imaginations – and so the questions posed in the preface to Bartok’s operatic masterpiece Duke Bluebeard’s Castle become especially pertinent: “Where did this happen – outside or within? Where is the stage – outside or within?” The answers, surely, lie “within”, making the prospect of a … [Read More]

Posted on 04/11/2011
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Wagner “Parsifal”, English National Opera, London Coliseum

One of the great operatic images of the last two decades or so comes in the final act of Nikolaus Lehnhoff’s 1999 staging of Wagner’s last opera Parsifal. It is journey’s end for the fool made wise through pity and at the end of the line – quite literally here a disused railway track … [Read More]

Posted on 17/02/2011
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