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Opera North: The Magic Flute – The Lowry, Manchester

Writer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Director: James Brining Conductor: George Jackson Reviewer: Frances Scott The imaginative, operatic world of The Magic Fluteoriginally begins in the middle of a chase following the character Tamino as he is tailed through a forest by an oversized serpent. Here, director James Brining has opted to open the production at a dinner party where we watch an ...

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Roberto Devereux – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Music: Gaetano Donizetti Libretto: Salvadore Cammarano Director: Alessandro Talevi Reviewer: Barbara Michaels A stunning revival for Welsh National Opera’s take on Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux – one of the least known of the great composer’s operatic works (over seventy in total).  Definitely a case of “last is best” for WNO’s presentation of the third of the so-called ‘Tudor Trilogy’, despite being ...

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ENO: The Merry Widow – The Coliseum, London

Composer: Franz Lehar English Lyrics: Richard Thomas English Book: April de Angelis Director: Max Webster Conductor: Kristiina Poska Reviewer: Maryam Philpott In a show that purposefully sets out to celebrate the resourceful and determination of women, it is in the orchestra pit that the real star of Max Webster’s new take on The Merry Widow resides. Kristiina Poska is still that ...

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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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