Blog Archives

Prom 8, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Adès, Royal Albert Hall (Review)

Thomas AdèsDeath becomes him. Enter Thomas Adès, composer, conductor, and now grim reaper. The much-anticipated World Premiere of his Totentanz rolled into the Proms like a black juggernaut, an invitation to the dance that none could resist sitting out. And even the work’s dedicatee, Witold Lutoslawski, and kindred spirit, Benjamin Britten, were celebrated in this their … [Read More]

Posted on 18/07/2013
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Tchaikovsky “Eugene Onegin”, Royal Opera House (Review)

Simon Keenlyside as Eugene Onegin with dancer in Eugene Onegin © ROH / Bill Cooper 2013We begin where we will end – with Onegin and Tatyana closing the door on the life that was and the life that might have been. It’s one of the great “what ifs” of opera and Kasper Holten’s first production as Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House is a bold one – thoughtful, … [Read More]

Posted on 05/02/2013
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Posted in Opera, Reviews

Mendelssohn “Elijah”, Britten Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia Voices, Delfs, Barbican Hall

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]

Posted on 08/03/2012
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Posted in Reviews

Prom 58: Mendelssohn “Elijah”, Gabireli Consort & Players, McCreesh, Royal Albert Hall

When the fiery chariot finally arrived to transport Elijah aloft and the antiphonal trumpets and drums and assorted ophicleides of Paul McCreesh’s mightily augmented Gabrieli Players Consort and Players were rent asunder by the open-stopped thrust of the Royal Albert Hall organ you suddenly realised why the Victorians became damp with ecstasy at the very … [Read More]

Posted on 29/08/2011
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Posted in Reviews

Verdi “Macbeth”, Royal Opera House

Phyllida Lloyd’s 2002 staging of Verdi’s Macbeth is prematurely looking like a parody of itself – an exhibit in one of designer Anthony Ward’s gilded display cases. But it’s sounding rather terrific in this second revival and before we actually see the shrieking and cackling hags of Verdi’s prelude – a bizarrely choreographed red-turbaned chorus … [Read More]

Posted on 25/05/2011
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Posted in Reviews

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