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Tag Archives: Welsh National Opera

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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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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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 ...

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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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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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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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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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The Merchant of Venice – Bristol Hippodrome

Composer: André Tchaikowsky Libretto : John O’Brien after William Shakespeare Conductor: Lionel Friend Director: Keith Warner Reviewer: Claire Hayes WNO’s English premiere of André Tchaikowsky’s opera The Merchant of Venice powerfully illuminates the story’s original themes of prejudice, tribalism and anti-Semitism. Keith Warner’s production, first performed at the Bregenz Festival in Austria in 2013, forms part of WNO’s 2016 Autumn ...

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