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H.M.S. Pinafore – Cast, Doncaster

Writer: William Schwenk Gilbert Composer: Arthur Sullivan Director: Jeff Clarke Musical Director: Michael Waldron Designer (Set): Graham Wynne Designer (Costume): Nigel Howard Reviewer: Ron Simpson In its 25 year history Opera della Luna has become celebrated for versions of comic operas and operettas, notably Gilbert and Sullivan, which reflect the originality and (sometimes) eccentricity of director Jeff Clarke. They are ...

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Opera North’s La Bohème – Leeds Grand Theatre, Leeds

Music: Giacomo Puccini Director: Phyllida Lloyd Conductor: Renato Balsadonna Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood This Opera North’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème returns since its last showing in 2014.  This tragic opera, set to Guiseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica’s text, is based on Henry Murger’s Scènes de la vie de bohème and also his play, La Vie de bohème – collaborated with ...

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Rigoletto – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Opera: Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave Director: James Macdonald Revival director: Caroline Chaney Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Set in the White House during the Kennedy era, James Macdonald’s revival of Verdi’s Rigoletto was first staged by Welsh National Opera seventeen years ago.  There have been a few adjustments since, and, given our present political state, the production keeps pace with ...

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Carmen – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Composer: Georges Bizet Libretto: Henri Melham and Ludovic Haley Director: Jo Davies Reviewer: Barbara Michaels A new production of Bizet’s iconic operatic sizzler Carmen rightly arouses much interest. The wonderful music is a given, with much of it familiar even to non-opera goers. So – like the emperor’s new clothes – the question must be: What does it bring to ...

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Elixir of Love – Kings Head Theatre, London

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti Writers: Chris Harris and David Eaton Director: Hannah Noone Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty Updated in many ways, the new version from Chris Harris and David Eaton sets out to prove sincerity still triumphs, even in (fairly) contemporary times. It’s quirky, interesting, and, under direction from Hannah Noone, a lot of fun. Transported from Italian fields to Wales’ Barry ...

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Giulio Cesare – Grand Theatre, Leeds

Composer: George Frideric Handel Libretto: Nicola Francesco Haym Director: Tim Albery Conductor: Christian Curnyn Designer: Leslie Travers Reviewer: Ron Simpson Handel’s Julius Caesar is not an early example of an opera based on Shakespeare. The full title is Giulio Cesare in Egitto and the knives out for Caesar are not in the hands of Cassius and Brutus, but of Ptolemy ...

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Opera North’s The Greek Passion – Leeds Grand Theatre, Leeds

Composer: Bohuslav Martinů Director: Christopher Alden Conductor: Garry Walker Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Martinů’s The Greek Passion, a new production, marks the opening of Opera North’s autumn season.  Based on Nikos Kazantzakis’ text, it was written over 60 years ago and its score, albeit heavily revised, made its debut in Switzerland in 1961.  However, due to the themes’ relevance, Aleš Březina’s ...

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Looking At You – HERE Arts Center, New York City

Music: Kamala Sankaram Libretto: Rob Handel Developer and Director: Kristin Marting Music Director: Samuel McCoy Reviewer: Maridee Slater In an age where the cognitive distance between humans and our screens is diminishing, it is inevitable that theatrical liveness and the definition of immersive theatre will deconstruct itself, re-examine its role, and (hopefully) take strides towards a new actionable interface. In ...

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