Monday, February 26

Tag: Keel Watson

Madam Butterfly – Birmingham Hippodrome
West Midlands

Madam Butterfly – Birmingham Hippodrome

With all the characteristic style and élan we usually associate with Welsh National Opera, “Madam Butterfly” wafted decorously and gracefully into the Birmingham Hippodrome last night, alighted with panache and, once her work was done, flitted off on the thermal undercurrents of a warm and adoring audience and was seen no more. It was a delight. A crowded, expectant and semi-masked audience sat entranced as the tale unfurled of Captain Pinkerton’s child-bride, Madam Butterfly who, after providing him with a home life and a child, is deceived and betrayed by her thoughtless husband and commits the act which all deceived and betrayed wives seem to commit in opera, but I’ll not inflict a plot-spoiler so early in proceedings suffice to say the denouement arrives inevitably but shockingly a...
Othello – Birmingham Opera Company
West Midlands

Othello – Birmingham Opera Company

Shakespeare’s Othello is a tragedy which explores timeless themes of race, trust and fidelity and Verdi’s operatic version adds a mesmerising backdrop of powerful music. Birmingham Opera Company’s production is a unique modern interpretation which immersed its original audience within the action of the story and exposes the darkest elements of the story in shocking detail. The opera is sung in English, with occasional subtitles which turn on and off at seemingly random intervals. The opera is performed in a warehouse, with bare brick walls and a blood red carpet, with a live orchestra conducted by Stephen Barlow. As part of the broadcast we see the bewildered and shoeless audience enter the performance space and merge into the Chorus made up of 250 people. It was clearly the intention ...