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Tag Archives: Opera North

Opera North Christmas Concert – Dewsbury Town Hall

Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Choirs: Chorus of Opera North & Opera North Youth Chorus Conductor: Garry Walker Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Orchestra of Opera North’s Christmas Concert in Dewsbury Town Hall is now an annual institution, never following quite the same format, but always combining carols with instrumental pieces and mixing the predictable with the unfamiliar. This year’s concert, ...

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Opera North: The Greek Passion- The Lowry, Salford

Composer and Librettist: Bohuslav Martinu Director: Christopher Alden Designer: Charles Edwards Reviewer: Dave Cunningham The Greek Passion is not a conventional opera. For one thing, the narration and a few key speeches are spoken not sung. This is, however, typical for a production where director Christopher Alden sets out to leave the audience feeling uncomfortable at having their preconceptions challenged. ...

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Opera North: Giulio Cesare – The Lowry, Salford

Music: George Frideric Handel Director: Tim Albery Conductor: Christian Curnyn Reviewer: Jo Beggs Broken and weary from a long civil war, and having followed his rival Pompey to Egypt, Julius Caesar is about to find out that his troubles are far from over. For a start, Egypt is ruled by the odious sex-pest Ptolemy and his ruthless sister Cleopatra, both ...

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Opera North’s La Bohème – Leeds Grand Theatre, Leeds

Music: Giacomo Puccini Director: Phyllida Lloyd Conductor: Renato Balsadonna Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood This Opera North’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème returns since its last showing in 2014.  This tragic opera, set to Guiseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica’s text, is based on Henry Murger’s Scènes de la vie de bohème and also his play, La Vie de bohème – collaborated with ...

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Giulio Cesare – Grand Theatre, Leeds

Composer: George Frideric Handel Libretto: Nicola Francesco Haym Director: Tim Albery Conductor: Christian Curnyn Designer: Leslie Travers Reviewer: Ron Simpson Handel’s Julius Caesar is not an early example of an opera based on Shakespeare. The full title is Giulio Cesare in Egitto and the knives out for Caesar are not in the hands of Cassius and Brutus, but of Ptolemy ...

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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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Byrd-Cage: The Shape of Sound – Leeds Art Gallery

Choir: Chorus of Opera North Conductor: Oliver Rundell Reviewer: Ron Simpson There are many ways in which different art forms can merge and identify with each other, from the Wagnerian concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk to people who sense music in terms of colour. So to programme a short concert by the Chorus of Opera North to fit into the Yorkshire ...

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Aida – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Composer: Guiseppe Verdi Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni Director: Annabel Arden Conductor: Sir Richard Armstrong Reviewer: Tim Harding It’s easy to think of Verdi’s Aida in grandiose terms: extravagant sets, large choruses of soldiers and priests, dancers, horses and chariots.  But is that what this opera is all about?  True, the Triumphal March in Act 2 traditionally contains all these elements, but there is ...

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