Home / Tag Archives: Welsh National Opera

Tag Archives: Welsh National Opera

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 ...

Read More »

Tosca – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director / Revival Director: Michael Blakemore / Benjamin Davis Music: Giacomo Puccini Text: Giuseppe Giacosa / Luigi Illica Reviewer: Helen Tope Lust, greed, violence and corruption. As a mission statement, Tosca certainly meets every one of its objectives; the 1900 classic retains an edge a century on. With librettists Giacosa and Illica (the dream team behind La Boheme and Madame Butterfly), Puccini has crafted an opera ...

Read More »

Don Giovanni – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Opera: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Lorenzo de Ponte Original Director: John Caird Revival Director: Caroline Chaney Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Welsh National Opera’s production of Don Giovanni was damned with faint praise when it was brought to the stage seven years ago. The main issue at that time – as has happened all too frequently with other productions of this musically ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

Madam Butterfly – Birmingham Hippodrome

Composer: Giacomo Puccini Director: Joachim Herz Reviewer: John Kennedy A Marxist/Leninist rationale might have Madam Butterfly’s libretto seen as a retro-appropriated allegory of US colonial cultural and patriarchal exploitation. But then, opera never did really catch on in the Gulags. Meanwhile,  feminist critiques might suggest cynical, gender-bias hegemony. Ergo: in a Man’s world - things never change - tutti gli uomini ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »