Opera

Opera past and present in guises old and new.

Friday 23 March 2007

Children of Adam

Royal Opera House, London

Marriott loses sight of the thing that really unites poetry and classical dance. In a word, form. Instead he plumbs for a degraded notion of both poetry and dance as a sopping wet melodrama of emotion - it’s the ‘let-it-all-hang-out-and-feel-my-pain’ school of art.

Shirley Dent in • MusicOpera
Thursday 1 March 2007

Agrippina

ENO, Coliseum, London

In many respects, Handel’s Agrippina becomes a woman’s opera under McVicar’s direction. The plot and its intricacies are driven by Agrippina (Part I) and Poppea (Part II). Power and cruelty, love and lust gravitate around Agrippina and Poppea respectively. McVicar’s staging is a symbiosis of musical and literary genres.

Friday 23 June 2006

Nixon in China

English National Opera, Coliseum, London

This is a opera that celebrates heroic failure; it’s not whether you win or lose, but the fact that you play the game. As Chou says ‘We fight, we die, and if we do not fight we die’. Nothing about either Adams’ opera or this ENO performance smacks of failure, however.

Gerard Lynch in • MusicOpera
Sunday 1 December 2002

Wozzeck

Royal Opera House, London

‘Man is an abyss’ - Keith Warner seems to have taken this as the defining phrase for his production of Berg’s dark opera about the hapless Wozzeck, victim turned murderer.

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Resources

English National Opera
Royal Opera
Glyndebourne
Streetwise Opera

Opera, dead or alive? Relevance and value in the arts today
Audio recording of a Battle of Ideas Satellite debate at the Folkoperan in Stockholm, 16 October 2010
(Debate in English, with short introductions in Swedish)

Worth three tenors? The value of opera
Video recording of a session at the Battle of Ideas festival in London, 30 October 2010