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La Forza del Destino – Bristol Hippodrome

Director: David Pountney Conductor: Carlo Rizzi Set designer: Raymond Bauer Reviewer: Julia Beasley The force of destiny is not in Leonora’s favour. Against her father’s wishes, she plans to elope with a freedom fighter. It all goes wrong when he accidentally kills her dad. Her brother vows to avenge his father’s death. Leonora runs away and becomes a hermit. The ...

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Don Giovanni – Bristol Hippodrome

Director: Caroline Chaney Designer:  John Napier Conductor: James Southall Reviewer: Julia Beasley Sexual harassment allegations are not a modern phenomenon, as Mozart’s big-beast opera shows. The antics of the sex-addicted Don are an abuse of power: the women need to be heard and justice needs to be done.  The drama lies in how and when this will happen. Since its ...

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The Mikado – King’s Head Theatre, London

Music: Arthur Sullivan Book and Lyrics: W. S. Gilbert Director: John Savournin Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic operas can, in some productions, be susceptible to the same fate as Shakespeare’s comedies: produced with such reverent banality that all sense of humour blanches away, leaving nothing but dull, starchy worthiness. How refreshing, then, to find in the King’s Head ...

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Madama Butterfly – Bradford Alhambra

Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica Music: Giacomo Puccini Director: Ellen Kent Reviewer: Ray Taylor At its first performance in Milan in 1904, Madama Butterfly was a fiasco with the audience laughing and hissing. Now it is firmly established on the operatic repertoire and is loved by millions the world over for its wonderful heartfelt melodies and its tragic romantic ...

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Rigoletto – Bradford Alhambra

Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave Music: Giuseppe Verdi Director: Ellen Kent Reviewer: Ray Taylor It’s a sobering thought to learn that this considered masterpiece by Verdi was originally in danger of being banned and not performed at all because of its depiction of aristocratic immorality, sexual depravity and murder. It did in fact, receive its first performance on 11 March 1851 ...

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Opera North: Un Ballo In Maschera – The Lowry, Salford

Music: Giuseppe Verdi Director: Tim Albery Conductor: Richard Farnes Reviewer: Jo Beggs Having been distracted by the war, Gustavo, King of Sweden, returns home desperate to see the love of his life. Trouble is, the woman in question, Amelia, is his best friend’s wife. So begins the simple but powerful tale of a love triangle that is never going to ...

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Muso: Singing Museums to Life – Grant Museum of Zoology, London

Creators: The Cast Reviewer: Maryam Philpott With funding cuts across the arts and museum sector, it is the smaller, quirkier institutions that suffer the most. While reuniting Charles I’s art collection or the works of Modigliani may have crowds rushing to London’s biggest spaces, it is easy to forget the incredible collections of the less well-known museums. Impropera is changing ...

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Opera North: Don Giovani – The Lowry, Salford

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Director: Alessandro Talevi Conductor: Christoph Altstaedt Reviewer: Tate James Don Giovanni, lover and leaver extraordinaire, has arrived out of character at The Lowry in Salford. Mozart’s dark tale sees the famous scoundrel commit murder, provoke adultery and otherwise stir the pot before his inevitable comeuppance. Opera North’s latest incarnation paints the hero (is he actually the ...

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