Saturday, April 13

Tag: Antonio Pappano

Das Rheingold – Royal Opera House (Live Transmission)
REVIEWS

Das Rheingold – Royal Opera House (Live Transmission)

When you put two geniuses together there is no guarantee that what they create will match the expectation; there is no such concern here as Antonio Pappano conducts Barrie Kosky’s bold new imagining of Wagner’s Das Rheingold with the musical brilliance of the orchestra matched by an outstanding cast. This production marks the start of a new Ring Cycle for The Royal Opera and this is undoubtedly a prelude of exciting things to come from the wonderful pairing of Pappano and Kosky. Any new production of Wagner’s Ring has to remain faithful to its mythical origins but also needs to find a way to connect to its modern audience, but that balance is achieved and some in this vibrant theatrical production set at the beginning of time and of life. Rufus Didwiszus’s simple yet symbolic monoch...
The Marriage of Figaro – Royal Opera House
London

The Marriage of Figaro – Royal Opera House

Mozart’s classic four-act comic opera, an adaptation with Da Ponte of Beaumarchais’ banned 1778 play about warring masters and servants, is delightfully brought to life in director David McVicar’s own revival of his 2006 production, again conducted by Antonio Pappano, of this satirical and deeply human drama. As the day of Figaro (Riccardo Fassi) and Susanna’s (Giulia Semenzato) wedding arrives, it becomes clear that their master, Count Almaviva (Davide Luciano), is keen to exercise his ‘droit du seigneur’ – his right to bed a servant girl on her wedding night – and they conspire with the forsaken Countess (Federica Lombardi) to outwit her husband and teach him a lesson in fidelity. Plans however are thrown awry when Bartolo (Henry Waddington), seeking revenge against Figaro for thwart...
Madama Butterfly – Royal Opera House
London

Madama Butterfly – Royal Opera House

A staple of the operatic repertoire around the world, this was my third Madama Butterfly this year although in contrast to the first two live productions, this was a televised performance of ROH’s 2017 offering, directed by Moishe Leiser and Patrice Caurier. We open with marriage broker Goro (Carlo Bosi) showing US naval lieutenant Pinkerton (Marcelo Puente) round the home he will share with his Butterfly bride-to-be. Pinkerton is obsessed about possessing her even if he crushes her fragile wings, whilst American Consul Sharpless (Scott Hendricks) warns him of the tragic consequences his game could have. The Butterfly duly lands in the form of young Japanese girl Cio-Cio-San (Ermonela Jaho) supported by maid Suzuki (Elizabeth DeShong), and they are married by the Commissioner (Gyula Na...
Beethoven’s Fidelio – Royal Opera House
London

Beethoven’s Fidelio – Royal Opera House

Recorded just prior to lockdown and largely unedited, conductor Antonio Pappano introduces a new production of Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, from the Royal Opera House, a story of risk and triumph against a backdrop of revolution, with Tobias Kratzer’s new staging, including some dialogue changes, bringing together the dark reality of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution and the conflicts of the modern age to illuminate Fidelio’s inspiring message of a common humanity. This is very much an opera of two halves with Act One in period as Leonore (Lise Davidsen) attempts to locate her husband, Florestan (David Butt Philip) who is a political prisoner incarcerated in a secret dungeon and subject to torture from the governor of the prison, Don Pizarro (Simon Neal). To secure a...
La Bohème – Royal Opera House
London

La Bohème – Royal Opera House

By the time it was retired in 2015, the Royal Opera’s previous production of La Bohème, directed by John Copley, had notched up 25 revivals in its 41-year history, so the pressure was on for its 2017 replacement, directed by Richard Jones and with sets and costumes by Stewart Laing, for what is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide. The play is set in the Latin Quarter of Paris in about 1830 where on Christmas Eve we meet four struggling bohemians living in a garret: a poet, Rodolfo (Michael Fabiano); a painter, Marcello (Mariusz Kwiecień); a philosopher, Colline (Luca Trittoto); and a musician, Schaunard (Florian Sempes), who arrives having had some good fortune and they agree to celebrate by dining at Café Momus. They are interrupted by their landlord, Benoît (Jeremy ...