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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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Madam Butterfly – Bristol Hippodrome

Composer: Giacomo Puccini Director: Joachim Herz Reviewer: Kris Hallett Welsh National Opera's Poisoned Chalice season ends with arguably its greatest hit, Joachim Herz's 1978 production of Puccini's Madam Butterfly. These themed seasons work well, both from a financial and artistic point of view, with two big hitters propping up a more obscure third title. So while La Vin Herbe may ...

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Orchestra of Opera North: Sibelius, Bruch and Strauss – Town Hall, Leeds

Conductor: Adrian Leaper Soloist: Jack Liebeck (violin) Reviewer: Ron Simpson The final concert of the Orchestra of Opera North’s Kirklees season was repeated at Leeds Town Hall as part of the Leeds International Orchestral Season. Three major pieces, all composed in the half century from 1880, explored in different ways the life and landscapes of the remoter and more rugged ...

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La bohème – Bristol Hippodrome

Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica Director: Annabel Arden Revival Director: Caroline Chaney Conductor: Manlio Benzi Reviewer: Claire Hayes Welsh National Opera (WNO)’s evocative 2012 production of Puccini’s La bohème returns to the stage for a well-deserved revival, as part of the company’s Love’s Poisoned Chalice season. Here, Annabel Arden’s original combination of strong vocal performances, atmospheric staging and clear ...

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Ulla’s Odyssey – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Edward Hughes, Flora McIntosh, Sarah Minns & Pamela Hay in Ulla's Odyssey

Composer: Anthony Young Libretto: Leanna Brodie Director: Valentina Ceschi Reviewer: Selwyn Knight OperaUpClose was founded in 2009 with the stated aim of making intimate and innovative opera. They have expanded to include an education and participation programme, of which Ulla’s Odyssey, aiming to introduce children as young as seven to opera, is a part. Loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey, Ulla’s Odyssey follows 14-year-old ...

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Welsh National Opera: La Vin Herbé – Bristol Hippodrome

Composer: Frank Martin English Translation: Hugh Macdonald Director: Polly Graham Conductor: James Southall Reviewer: Kris Hallett Love’s Poisoned Chalice is the theme of Welsh National Opera’s Spring Season and it doesn’t get much more literal than that in Frank Martin’s take on the love affair of Tristan and Iseult in La Vin Herbé. Here the poison is real, a potion ...

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Mozart and Salieri – Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

Composer/Libretto: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Musical Director: Andrew Charity Stage Director: Pamela Schermann Reviewer: John Kennedy Tonight’s performance, another first for the Old Joint Stock Theatre (OJS), reaffirms their ‘reverse-Tardis’ ethos - small on the inside/big thinking outside the box. London-based Time Zone Theatre, renowned for their eclectic and derring-do repertoire, premiere this seven venue tour at the OJS closing with an ...

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Madam Butterfly – Milton Keynes Theatre

Composer: Giacomo Puccini Director: Joachim Herz Conductor: Andrew Greenwood Reviewer: Maggie Constable Puccini’s much-beloved Madam Butterfly brings to a climatic end Welsh National Opera’s Love’s Poisoned Chalice season at Milton Keynes this week. Director Joachim Herz’s traditional staging was first seen almost 40 years ago and certainly stands the test of time. It retains Puccini’s original concept but cleverly demonstrates imperial power at ...

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