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Medea – ENO at the Coliseum, London

Composer: Marc-Antoine Charpentier Libretto: Thomas Corneille Director: David McVicar Reviewer: Jonathan Baz [rating:4.5] The English National Opera’s production of Charpentier’s Medea has been eagerly awaited and David McVicar’s heavily stylised interpretation played to a packed Coliseum. This mythical Greek tragedy, with its horrific climax so well known in the canon, proving to be a fable that when told by such ...

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Welsh National Opera: Madam Butterfly – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Music: Giacomo Puccini Libretto: Luigi Illica &Giuseppe Giacosa Original Director: Joachim Herz Reviewer: Chris Williams [Rating:5] This production of Welsh National Opera’s Madame Butterfly was first performed in 1978 and apart from a refurbishment in 1998; this is the same production today. As the old saying goes, if it’s not broke don’t fix it and this production definitely isn’t ‘broke’. ...

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Carmen – Oxford New Theatre

Composer: Bizet Director: Ellen Kent Reviewer: Tom Finch [Rating:3.5] Arguably one of the most well-known operas, Carmen is big, bold and often very beautiful. This production, which recently opened and is touring the nation, seeks to bring all of the spectacle and grandeur of the opera but at a slightly more affordable price than a ticket at the Royal Opera ...

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L’Elisir D’Amore – OperaUpClose at King’s Head, London

Composer: Donizetti Director: Valentina Ceschi Reviewer: Emily Pearce [rating:3.5] OperaUpClose is a relatively new venture that has garnered quite a reputation in London and the UK for producing modern and intimate adaptations of famous operas, always in informal, lively settings. L’Elisir D’Amore is the first production of their 2013 season, adapting Donizetti’s light yet sumptuous score into English, as well ...

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Welsh National Opera: Lulu – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Music &Libretto: Alban Berg Director: David Pountney Reviewer: Chris Williams [Rating:4.5] David Pountney hasn’t been long in the job as Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the WNO but he is already making his mark, not least with directing this production of Alban Berg’s Lulu – an opera that WNO call “total theatre.” Berg’s second, and last opera was left ...

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La Traviata – The London Coliseum

Composer: Guiseppe Verdi Librettist: Francesco Maria Piave Original book: Alexandre Dumas, fils Director: Peter Konwitschny Conductor: Michael Hofsteter Reviewer: Ann Bawtree [rating:4] Dumas’ “La Dame au Camélias”, written in 1852, was such an appealing story with so much scope for beautiful settings, it was promptly turned into an opera by Guiseppe Verdi with libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Unfortunately its ...

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La Boheme – The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Writer: Giacomo Puccini, this English version by Robin Norton-Hale Director: Robin Norton-Hale Reviewer: James Garrington [rating:4] Opera Up Close have had an amazing journey from their foundation in the tiny 35-seat Cock Tavern theatre late in 2009, where they were established to experiment with producing a modern version of a classic opera. Three years and one Olivier Award later, they ...

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Barbershopera: The Three Musketeers – Drum Theatre, Theatre Royal Plymouth

Music &Lyrics: Rob Castell &Tom Sadler Director: Sarah Tipple Musical Director: Rob Castell Reviewer: Marina Spark [Rating:4.5] Astounding a cappella and rhythmic revelry are abound in Barbershopera Productions’ Christmas run. Barbershopera: The Three Musketeers is a novel and tongue in cheek take on the classic tale by Alexandre Dumas. The traditional story is pulled apart and hilariously reconstructed in a ...

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