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Il Tabarro/Gianni Schicchi – Theatre Royal, York

Music: Giacomo Puccini Text: Giuseppe Adami (Tabarro), Giovacchino Forzano (Schicchi) Director: James Conway (Tabarro), Liam Steel (Schicchi) Conductor: Michael Rosewell Designer: Neil Irish Reviewer: Ron Simpson Puccini’s Il Trittico consists of three short operas, each coming in at just short of an hour, which provide a contrasting evening in the theatre: a realistic and tragic drama, a study of religious ...

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The Marriage of Figaro – Theatre Royal, York

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Text: Lorenzo da Ponte, after Beaumarchais’ play Director: Blanche McIntyre Conductor: Christopher Stark Designer: Neil Irish Reviewer: Ron Simpson One of the many reasons The Marriage of Figaro is, for many of us, incomparably the greatest of comic operas is that the libretto is based on a great comic play. Thus, whilst there are plenty of ...

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Trioperas – Peacock Theatre, London

Music and Lyrics: Pamela Tan-Nicholson, based on the operas by Giacomo Puccini and Georges Bizet Director: Pamela Tan-Nicholson Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Making opera more accessible to newcomers who may be intimidated by the traditions of the form – long shows, often sung in a foreign language, plots that manage to be simultaneously labyrinthine and simplistic – is a laudable goal. ...

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Kiss Me Kate – The Grand, Leeds

Writer: Bella and Samuel Spewack  Music and Lyrics: Cole Porter     Directors: Jo Davies/Ed Goggin Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Opera North’s Kiss Me Kate returns to the Leeds Grand Theatre after its successful revival back in 2015.  This acclaimed production, in collaboration with Welsh National Opera, makes a short stop in Leeds before transferring to the London Coliseum.  Kiss Me Kate premiered ...

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Effigies of Wickedness – Gate Theatre, London

Director: Ellen McDougall Reviewer: Stephen Bates News that Chinese television did not broadcast the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, because the authorities there objected to two seemingly gay dancers and a few tattoos, reminds us that state censorship has never gone away completely and gives weight to this revue made up of songs banned in Germany by the Nazis. The 85-minute ...

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The Magic Flute – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Librettist: Glyn Maxwell Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Director: Valentina Ceschi Reviewer: James Garrington Opera Up Close may have moved on from their roots performing in tiny pub theatres, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve distanced themselves from their audience. They pride themselves on producing accessible new versions of classic opera, and The Magic Flute is certainly no exception. Forget any ideas you ...

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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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