It's been one of those mad glorious weeks that tend to roll around once or twice a year, filled with goodies of every kind. Thursday week ago I saw a fab concert performance of Rameau's Dardanus by the English Touring Opera at the Sheldonian. As it happens, this is my only opera this autumn - … Continue reading Lately
This is a tough one - what could I possibly write about Sarah Connolly that was neither too personal nor too fawning, nor like a slightly creepy love letter? It wasn't always quite like that - my first conscious memory of Sarah (if I may) is hearing her sing Dido's lament on ClassicFM (my landlady's … Continue reading In praise of… Sarah Connolly
As luck and coincidence would have it, I'm seeing two operas based on a Shakespeare play back to back this summer. This past Saturday, I went to Glyndebourne to see the Australian composer Brett Dean's Hamlet, and on Sunday, I'm seeing Verdi's Otello (yes, with That Tenor) at the Royal Opera. The Glyndebourne trip was … Continue reading Tonight at the opera: Shakespeare edition, vol. 1
I have a thing for 20th/21st century opera - the first opera I consciously remember choosing to see was Giancarlo Menotti's The Consul, and I have found myself loving Turnage's Anna Nicole, Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites and pretty much everything by Benjamin Britten. Thomas Adés' The Exterminating Angel (which premiered last year in Salzburg Festspiele, … Continue reading Last night at the opera
I saw Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, directed by James Macdonald at the Harold Pinter Theatre, during the last week of previews, and have a ticket to see it again in April; I'd like to say that I'm sophisticated enough to pick such dates so that I can compare the performances etc. but … Continue reading Lately, or Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf
I made several attempts at getting everything I saw in one mosaic. Turns out that I don't have an pictures from the Ariadne auf Naxos I saw in the spring, and only a curtain photo of Boris Godunov. And quite possibly nothing at all from Nabucco (either that, or I'm blind). The two recitals that … Continue reading It was a very good year. In some respects.
This past Sunday I went to Salisbury Cathedral for their famous Advent service. This is the Church of England at its ceremonial grandest, a procession of clergy and choirs, with the staffs and crosses, even the embroidery on the gonfalons* sparkling in the candlelit darkness, designed for maximum impact. As the clock struck, the lights … Continue reading It was a very cultured week
It just so happens that this summer I'm going to the opera a lot. I'm pretty much seeing every other thing they have on - I have a Nabucco ticket for Saturday next week, and both Werther and Il Trovatore coming up in July. Last Saturday, all dressed up in my fancy new silver loafers, … Continue reading My mad summer of opera, Part 1: Oedipe