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Opera

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 ...

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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 ...

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Count Ory – Arcola Theatre, London

Musical Director and Translation: Lindsay Bramley Artistic Director: Benjamin Newhouse-Smith  Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty Considering the eponymous hero of our story, the Count himself, the main question is whether he is actually a cad, or a bounder. That an audience will like him almost immediately is beyond doubt, as is the issue of liking the whole of this glorious, silly, musically ...

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The Pirates of Penzance – Royal Hall, Harrogate

Libretto: William Schwenk Gilbert Composer: Arthur Sullivan Director: Richard Gauntlett Musical Director: Andrew Nicklin Choreographer: Jackie O’Brien Reviewer: Ron Simpson The International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival follows up six days at Buxton Opera House with nearly two weeks at Harrogate’s Royal Hall, with a comprehensive fringe programme in Harrogate International Centre, one of the halls converted into a social centre ...

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The Yeomen of the Guard – Royal Hall, Harrogate

Libretto: William Schwenk Gilbert Composer: Arthur Sullivan Director: Andrew Nicklin Musical Director: Timothy Burke Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Yeomen of the Guard is an oddity in the Gilbert and Sullivan canon and, partly because of that, has enjoyed a fluctuating reputation, at times over-rated (perhaps by Sullivan himself), at others unreasonably neglected. Often thought of a G&S take on grand ...

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Grimeborn: Sane and Sound – Arcola Theatre, London

Music and Libretto: Matt Geer Director: Katie Bunting Reviewer: Maryam Philpott The Grimeborn Opera Festival at the Arcola Theatre often proves a revelatory showcase for new writers and musicians, but it’s hard to imagine a more personal composition than Matt Geer’s Sane and Sound, performing for only the second time. Based on Geer’s notebooks from a period of hospitalisation for ...

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Grimeborn: Die Fledermaus – Arcola Theatre, London

Music: Johann Strauss II, adapted by Leo Geyer Libretto: Joanna Turner Director: Joanna Turner Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Even the most ardent operagoer would admit that, while the genre has a reputation for productions’ long-running times, they aren’t exactly packed with plotting. Hence Baseless Fabric Theatre’s modern-day adaptation of Strauss’ comic operetta Die Fledermaus, playing for two nights as part of ...

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Violetta – Arcola Theatre, London

Composer: Giuseppi Verdi  Director: Ashley Pearson Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty For an opera that seeks to examine the life of a single woman and the man who claims he loves her, La Traviata contains an awful lot of extra stuff – people, story, bombast. Violetta presents a gem of an idea – why not actually focus on Violetta for the duration, ...

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