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Greek – Arcola Theatre, London

Music: Mark-Anthony Turnage Director: Jonathan Moore Reviewer: Maryam Philpott In recent years, opera companies have worked hard to shake off their elitist image. Cheaper ticket prices, more work performed in the English language and initiatives such as opera up-close, taking shows to more intimate venues. Mark-Anthony Turnage and Jonathan Moore know that story and setting are half the battle, and ...

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The Rape Of Lucretia – Arcola Theatre

Writer: Ronald Duncan Composer: Benjamin Britten Director: Julia Burbach Reviewer: Karl O'Doherty It was a freak of nature, of course. But packing an audience into the Arcola’s sometimes starkly intimate space to experience a tightly told story of such violence in a heatwave produced an interesting effect. Everything feels closer, more physically imminent. The story laid out by director Julia ...

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Grindr: The Opera – Above the Stag, London

Book, Music and Lyrics: Erik Ransom  Director: Andrew Beckett  Reviewer: Scott Matthewman The most fundamental and accurate observation that Grindr: The Opera makes comes in its first number. The advent of the mobile smartphone, whose GPS technology allows for distance-based searching, transformed the online dating space – particularly for those who, far from looking for Mr Right, were looking for Mr ...

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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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