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The Girl of the Golden West, English National Opera, London Coliseum

Girl of the Golden West Susan BullockWell, there won’t be any complaints about performing this one in English – or should that be American. Thank heavens Richard Jones has made Puccini’s spaghetti western an operatic-home-counties-free-zone and got his cast delivering Kelley Rourke’s translation with enough of a trans-Atlantic drawl to affect a colloquial tang. Let’s face it, great swathes of this … [Read More]

Posted on 03/10/2014
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Posted in Opera, Reviews

Briefly… ENO’s Boheme revisited

ENO's La Boheme with Melody Moore credit Tristram KentonLike all the great music theatre pieces you only really see and feel their greatness when the acting is honest, true, and sure. In the case of Puccini’s La Boheme youth is a factor, too, and when that youth is largely home-grown there is double the cause for celebration. Jonathan Miller’s Brassai-inspired staging casts a … [Read More]

Posted on 30/04/2013
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Posted in Asides

Puccini “La Boheme”, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

More Basildon than Bastille, David McVicar’s grungy staging of La Boheme heralded the new millennium amidst concrete and steel, fire hazards and fire escapes, chavs and chav nots, bringing our “bohemians” into the here and now with a cynical nod or two at our own struggling youth culture and the slightly surreal sensation of stepping … [Read More]

Posted on 07/06/2012
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Posted in Reviews

Puccini “La Boheme”, Royal Opera House

Not just another revival of a venerable old staging but its 25th showing in the 50th year of director John Copley’s work at the Royal Opera House. They served up a cake and a vintage cast for the occasion – and the snow fell once more on the Latin Quarter swelling the Christmas Eve crowds … [Read More]

Posted on 01/05/2012
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Posted in Reviews

Puccini “Il Trittico”, Royal Opera House

The accepted wisdom on Puccini’s trio of one-acters, Il Trittico, is that Gianni Schicchi is the masterpiece, Suor Angelica of very particular and questionable taste, with Il Tabarro, all shadow and melodrama, bringing up the rear. But should we now, in the light of Richard Jones’ revelatory staging of the central “altarpiece”, be … [Read More]

Posted on 13/09/2011
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Posted in Reviews

Puccini “Tosca”, Royal Opera House

Bring together three of the most intuitive talents (and biggest stars) on the planet, meld them under the baton of Antonio Pappano whose command of every caress, swoon, and dramatic impulse of Puccini’s Tosca is not learned but instinctively felt and you have a recipe for the kind of evening that gives the Royal Opera … [Read More]

Posted on 15/07/2011
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Posted in Reviews

Puccini “Madama Butterfly”, Royal Opera House

One can only hope that the ill wind which strips away the cherry blossom at the close of Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser’s feeble 2003 production of Madama Butterfly might soon carry off the entire staging. I’ve seen some cheesy operatic moments over the years but the sight of poor Butterfly in her death throes … [Read More]

Posted on 30/06/2011
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Posted in Reviews


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