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Tag Archives: John Savournin

Opera North’s The Greek Passion – Leeds Grand Theatre, Leeds

Composer: Bohuslav Martinů Director: Christopher Alden Conductor: Garry Walker Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Martinů’s The Greek Passion, a new production, marks the opening of Opera North’s autumn season.  Based on Nikos Kazantzakis’ text, it was written over 60 years ago and its score, albeit heavily revised, made its debut in Switzerland in 1961.  However, due to the themes’ relevance, Aleš Březina’s ...

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H.M.S. Pinafore – Kings Head Theatre, London

Writer: W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan Director: John Savournin Reviewer: Karl O'Doherty There’s a bounce and bit of mischief running through this colourful production that makes it impossible not to love. From Buttercup’s sweet sassiness to the jolly-sailor patter of the crew, it’s all just hugely entertaining - highlighting the ridiculousness of the situation even more than other productions that ...

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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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Buttons: A Cinderella Story – The King’s Head Theatre, London

Writer and Director: John Savournin Music and Lyrics: David Eaton Reviewer: Maryam Philpott All little girls are told to dream of their Prince Charming, handsome, chivalrous and brave, destined to ride in one day and rescue us from sweeping fireplaces and making friends with woodland creatures. But as we grow up, and especially in the last year, we have realised ...

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Tosca – The Grand, Leeds

Music: Giacomo Puccini Libretto: Giuseppe Giacoso and Luigi Illica Director: Edward Dick Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Tosca marks the start of Opera North’s autumn season, a special time as the company will have been founded exactly 40 years ago this November.  Tosca is a popular opera that made its very first performance in Rome back in 1900, while Opera North first ...

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Kiss Me Kate – London Coliseum

Music and lyrics: Cole Porter Book: Bella and Samuel Spewack Director: Jo Davies Reviewer: Stephen Bates Is it possible that what can no longer be spoken can still be sung? The Taming of the Shrew, once one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, is now rarely seen in our theatres, seemingly swept away on a tide of political correctness. On the ...

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Kiss Me Kate – The Grand, Leeds

Writer: Bella and Samuel Spewack  Music and Lyrics: Cole Porter     Directors: Jo Davies/Ed Goggin Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Opera North’s Kiss Me Kate returns to the Leeds Grand Theatre after its successful revival back in 2015.  This acclaimed production, in collaboration with Welsh National Opera, makes a short stop in Leeds before transferring to the London Coliseum.  Kiss Me Kate premiered ...

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The Mikado – King’s Head Theatre, London

Music: Arthur Sullivan Book and Lyrics: W. S. Gilbert Director: John Savournin Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic operas can, in some productions, be susceptible to the same fate as Shakespeare’s comedies: produced with such reverent banality that all sense of humour blanches away, leaving nothing but dull, starchy worthiness. How refreshing, then, to find in the King’s Head ...

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