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Hamlet (Glyndebourne) – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director: Neil Armfield Composer: Brett Dean Librettist: Matthew Jocelyn Reviewer: Helen Tope Hamlet seems tailor-made for opera. A story of loyalty and revenge, it has all the core components. To amplify Shakespeare’s play into the larger-than-life dynamics needed for opera, nerves of steel are required. Too little, and the opera falls flat. Too much, and you lose the subtlety of ...

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Eugene Onegin – Arcola Theatre, London

Writer: Robin Norton-Hale Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Director: Lucy Bradley Reviewer: Karl O'Doherty Dedication to detail and a commitment to creative re-invention have marked out OperaUpClose’s productions over the last few years. The trait continues here - tackling Tchaikovsky’s grand-scale take on a Pushkin story. Robin Norton-Hale’s new version nips, tucks and tailors the original, leaving behind the essence of ...

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Hamlet – Milton Keynes Theatre

Libretto: Matthew Jocelyn  Music: Brett Dean Director: Neil Armfield Reviewer: Maggie Constable The disturbed, nay tormented, Hamlet, eponymous hero of Glyndebourne’s acclaimed opera, seeks revenge for his beloved father’s death and so begins one of the most infamous Shakespearean tragedies of all time at Milton Keynes Theatre tonight. It is worse still when poor, beleaguered Hamlet discovers the culprit of the King ...

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Die Fledermaus – Bristol Hippodrome

Music: Johann Strauss II Libretto: Carl Haffner & Richard Genee Director: John Copley Conductor: James Southall Reviewer: Kris Hallett The ball is back in fashion and never went away. Or at least so it appears at Bristol Hippodrome where Johann Strauss II Die Fledermaus is currently floating as light as meringue and as exquisite as syrup to be Welsh National ...

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From the House of the Dead – Bristol Hippodrome

Music & Libretto: Leoš Janáček (libretto from Dostoyevsky’s novel, English translation by David Pountney) Director: David Pountney Designer: Maria Bjornson Lighting: Chris Ellis Conductor: Tomáš Hanus Reviewer: Leah Tozer The curtain rises on an intricate, ramshackle construction of bricks, boards, and broken men cascading across a remarkable, multi-levelled recreation of a communal prison cell. We see in, through a literal ...

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Eugene Onegin – Bristol Hippodrome

Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Lyrics: Konstantin Shilovsky Reviewer: Julia Beasley As far as romantic heroes go, Eugene is a pretty sulky, selfish and vain chap. Dry as a twig and dressed like an undertaker, he is a young urbanite bored with society and himself.  The audience senses from the start that Eugene is short on empathy and it’s probably not ...

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Welsh National Opera: Die Fledermaus – Liverpool Empire

Composer: Johann Strauss II Director: John Copley Conductor:  James Southall Revival Director: Sarah Crisp Reviewer: Daryl Holden “This evening, we will have a boring domestic comedy”. With this particular joke arising midway through the second act of Welsh National Opera’s Die Fledermaus, you would be forgiven for thinking that they are indeed talking about their own show. For the most ...

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Tosca – Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Music: Giacomo Puccini Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica (with an English translation by Amanda Holden) Director/Designer: Richard Studer Conductor: Jonathan Lyness Reviewer: Leah Tozer  On its turn of the century debut, Puccini’s opera about death, desire and deception was termed a ‘shabby little shocker’ by the press, but there’s nothing shabby about Opera Project’s co-production with Tobacco Factory Theatres. ...

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