Home / Opera (page 3)

Opera

Cabildo – Arcola, London

Composer: Amy Beach  Libretto: Nan Bagby Stephens Director: Emma Jude Harris Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty At only an hour long, and contained within the Arcola’s Studio 2, Cabildo is not that big, but it certainly is clever. Composed in 1932, and first performed in 1947, it’s received a few contemporary touches in the production to bring it right up to date ...

Read More »

Hotspur/Pierrot Lunaire – Arcola, London

Music: Gillian Whitehead (Hotspur), Arnold Schoenberg (Pierrot Lunaire) Libretto: Fleur Adcock (Hotspur), Albert Giraud (Pierrot Lunaire) Reviewer: Scott Matthewman At first glance, the two one-act pieces presented by formidAbility and Signdance Collective International, and performed as part of the Arcola’s 2019 Grimeborn opera season, do not have much in common with one another. The first, Hotspur, relates the story of ...

Read More »

Treemonisha – Arcola, London

Music and Libretto: Scott Joplin Director: Cecilia Stinton Musical Director: Matthew Lynch Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty A heady mix of musical styles and tempos swirl around this 1911 opera – breaking expectations and provoking a dive into deeper meaning beyond the seemingly simple plot. Scott Joplin’s switching from spiritual sounding songs, to folky dances to something resembling ragtime – all the ...

Read More »

Musical Confusion – Leeds Town Hall

Director: Elizabeth Freestone Conductor: Helen Harrison Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Northern Opera Group is never afraid to take on the unusual in its pleasingly varied small-scale festival, the Leeds Opera Festival. This year the theme was Shakespeare, but not in anything like a predictable way. The major production, Stanford’s Much Ado about Nothing, while short of a masterpiece, was certainly ...

Read More »

A Hand Of Bridge/The Sands of Time/Le 66 – Arcola, London

Writer: Samuel Barber, Peter Reynolds and Jacques Offenbach Director: Paula Chitty Reviewer: Miriam Sallon Owing to the fact that three operettas are performed within an hour, it seems unfair to ask that any of them pack a real punch- there just isn’t time. That being said, there is plenty of time for light entertainment and a little comedy. And with ...

Read More »

Much Ado about Nothing – Morley Town Hall

Composer: Charles Villiers Stanford Libretto: Julian Sturgis (after Shakespeare) Director: David Ward Conductor: Christopher Pelly Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Northern Opera Group deserves enormous credit for giving two performances of Charles Villiers Stanford’s Much Ado about Nothing as the major work in its imaginative five-day Leeds Opera Festival, themed around Shakespeare in opera. There has probably been only one professional ...

Read More »

La Traviata – Waterstones, Sheffield

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Ashley Pearson Director: Ashley Pearson Musical Director: Juliane Gallant Reviewer: Brendan James Everything about Verdi’s La Traviata appears to demand the full ‘operatic’ treatment. An incredibly rich score, both orchestrally and chorally. An epic love story that spans early flutterings of attraction to love then despair. Life, death, love, joy, everything that says, this is not ...

Read More »

Hippolyte et Aricie – Arcola Theatre, London

Composer: Jean-Philippe Rameau Libretto: Abbe Simon-Joseph Pellegrin Music and Stage Director: Marcio da Silva Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Being the mortal offspring, lover or interlocutor of a Greek God never turns out well and Prince Hippolyte is doubly damned – not only the grandson of Neptune with a famous father, but also a devotee of Diane to whom he pledged early ...

Read More »