Blog Archives

Prom 59, “Elektra”, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bychkov, Royal Albert Hall

Christine Goerke and Gun-Brit Barkmin BBC Proms 2014.How much familial dysfunction and lust – whether for sexual gratification or revenge – can one take in a single weekend? Salome and Elektra back-to back may on paper seem like a feast of divine decadence but no sooner had one become accustomed to the sickly sweet air of the former when the putrefaction of … [Read More]

Posted on 01/09/2014
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Die Frau ohne Schatten, Royal Opera House

Emily Magee in Die Frau ohne Schatten - ROH - Clive Barda 2014Die Frau ohne Schatten is an opera awash with high-flown symbolism and dubious, if not downright dodgy, sub-Freudian psychology. It peddles ludicrous notions about the inherent conflict between spiritual and physical love, frowning at the sex that does not lead to results – i.e. procreation – and worst of all daring to suggest that a … [Read More]

Posted on 15/03/2014
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Posted in Opera, 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

BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Bychkov, Barbican Hall

Ask not for whom the bell tolls. Rachmaninov didn’t: he knew. Or rather he was convinced that they all tolled for him. His splendid choral symphony The Bells is full of ominous premonition with even the “Silver Sleigh Bells” of a lost youth – scintillating with some of the composer’s most expensive orchestration – promising … [Read More]

Posted on 20/03/2011
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Posted in Reviews

Wagner “Tannhäuser”, Royal Opera House

To ravish the senses or feed the soul? That is the question. And although Wagner posed it knowing full well that its significance would resonate through the ages – and no more so than now – he also knew, as a man of the theatre, that in the right hands we his audiences might have … [Read More]

Posted on 12/12/2010
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Posted in Reviews

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