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English Touring Opera: Tosca – The Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Music: Giacomo Puccini Text: Luigi Illica & Guiseppe Giacosta Director: Blanche McIntyre Reviewer: Charlotte Robson Puccini's Tosca is one of the few texts whose imagery and symbolism transcend the relatively insular medium of opera. A tale of love, death, jealousy and regret set against the backdrop of Napoleon's conquest of Europe, the surprisingly simple story is defined by the power ...

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Die Fledermaus – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

A Male and Female in Masquerade costumes laughing

Music: Johann Straus II Libretto: Carl Haffner & Richard Genée Director: John Copley Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Fun and frolics in Die Fledermaus, one of the greatest of Viennese operettas. Last staged by Welsh National Opera six years ago, John Copley’s production keeps all the frills and frou-frou of the original first performed in Vienna in 1874. The plot, convoluted as ...

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Y Tŵr – Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

A couple relaxing together

Librettist: Gwyneth Glyn Composer: Guto Puw Director: Michael McCarthy Reviewer: Jacqui Onions Y Tŵr (The Tower) is a new Welsh-language opera based on the Gwenlyn Parry play of the same name. In three acts, we explore the seasons of life - summer, autumn and winter - each represented by a room in the tower. In a surreal yet evocative metaphor, ...

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The Magic Flute – The King’s Head, London

Man with blue Mahican headress

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Adaptation: John Savournin and David Eaton Director: John Savournin Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Opera companies have long sought ways to attract newcomers, pioneering the concept of live cinema screenings and finding ways to dissolve the boundaries between performers and audience with up-close shows in small venues. Mozart’s The Magic Flute is one of the most accessible with ...

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Ellen Kent’s Aida – Palace Theatre, Manchester.

Music: Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni. Director: Ellen Kent. Conductors: Nicolae Dohotaru and Vasyl Vasylenko. Reviewer: Sam Lowe. For 25 years, Ellen Kent has been producing and touring opera and ballet in the UK. Kent's productions have reached audience numbers of around five million people since 1995. In her own words, Kent attempts to make opera "entertaining and visually spectacular ...

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Swansea City Opera: Lakme – Harrogate Theatre

Painting of Asian woman

Composer: Leo Delibes Director/Set Designer: Brendan Wheatley Conductor: John Beswick Costume Designer: Gabriella Ingram Reviewer: Ron Simpson Leo Delibes’ 1883 opera Lakme soon took its place in the standard repertoire. However, recent decades have been less welcoming to it. Its problem is that it belongs to two genres that are not especially in favour these days. One of a series ...

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Turandot – Town Hall, Leeds

Music: Giacomo Puccini (Act III – Franco Alfano) Director: Annabel Arden Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Turandot is last of Puccini’s operas and is based on Carlo Gozzi’s play of the same name.  This season, Opera North is staging this new production in a concert format following the successful Wagner’s Ring Cycle last summer.  This is an opportunity to appreciate Puccini’s rich ...

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The English Concert: Messiah – Bristol Old Vic

Music/Lyrics: Handel Director: Tom Morris Director: Tom Morris Conductor: Harry Bicket Reviewer: E. Whitcroft  It was a night framed by history: the gold fixtures of the oldest working theatre in Britain encircling the performance of a semi-staged Handel’s Messiah. Before Tom Morris’ decision to dramatise Handel’s oratorio for the Bristol Proms in 2013, the Messiah had not been performed at ...

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