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The Magic Flute – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Emanuel Schikaneder English translation: Jeremy Sams Director Dominic Cooke Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Mozart’s sardonic fairy-tale The Magic Flute, with its contending forces of good and evil, has more than a hint of the pantomimic, but is none the worse for that, consisting as it does of some of the composer’s most memorable arias and lyrical ...

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The Rite of Spring/ Gianni Schicchi – Leeds Grand

The Rite of Spring Music: Igor Stravinsky Choreographer: Jeanguy Saintus Gianni Schicchi Music: Giacomo Puccini Director: Christopher Alden Conductor: Garry Walker Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood This production marks the first-ever collaboration between Opera North and Phoenix Dance Company.  Garry Walker conducts both Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi in the company of Opera North’s orchestra.  In another first, The ...

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Carmen – King’s Head Theatre, London

Librettists: Mary Franklin, Ashley Pearson Director: Mary Franklin Musical Director: Juliane Gallant Reviewer: Karl O'Doherty All credit must go, once again, to the King’s Head for its mission to open opera up to those who see it as something for someone else. This version of Carmen from co-librettists Mary Franklin, Ashley Pearson takes the story of the Spanish gypsy and ...

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Un Ballo in Maschera – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Music: Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Antonio Somma  Director: David Pountney Reviewer: Barbara Michaels It would seem appropriate, give its close proximity to Valentine’s Day, for Welsh National Opera’s Spring Season to kick off with David Pountney’s new production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, although, possibly, the assassination of mine host at said ball could hardly be termed desirable. Based loosely ...

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Katya Kabanova – Leeds Grand

Music/Libretto: Leoš Janáček Director: Tim Albery Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Janáček’s Katya Kabanova returns to Opera North’s repertoire for the winter season after this production premiered in 2007. This three-act opera is based on V. Červinka’s translation of Ostrovsky’s The Storm which exposes the societal attitudes among the Russian’s merchant class. Set by the Volga River, the opera is about Katya ...

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The Magic Flute – Leeds Grand

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Emanuel Schikaneder Director: James Brining Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood This popular two-act opera makes a return after ten years, albeit a new production where James Brining, Leeds Playhouse’s artistic director, makes his opera directing debut. The Magic Flute premiered in 1791, set to Emanuel Schikaneder’s libretto - loosely linked to fairy stories written at the time.  Unlike ...

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La Bohème -The Coliseum, London

Composer: Giacomo Puccini Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica Director: Jonathan Miller Reviewer: Maryam Philpott If the thought of Christmas trees in November and another whole month of panto, adaptations of A Christmas Carol and tinsel fills you with dread then the English National Opera’s new production of La Bohèmemay be the respite you need. While technically this tragic love story ...

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Opera North: The Merry Widow – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Music by Franz Lehár Book/Lyrics: Victor Léon and Leo Stein  Adaptor: Kit Hesketh-Harvey and Giles Havergala Director: Giles Havergal Conductor: Martin Andre Reviewer: Dave Cunningham For their current visit to The Lowry opera North seem to have discovered relevance. A highly contemporary interpretation of Tosca is followed by a sharply up-to-date adaptation of Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow by Kit ...

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