Sunday, December 4

Tag: Stephen Richardson

Opera North: Parsifal – Bridgewater Hall
North West

Opera North: Parsifal – Bridgewater Hall

Opera North’s production of Wagner’s final work for the stage arrives in a blaze of glory from director Sam Brown’s theatrical staging in Leeds but what is served up at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester is much more muted in its dramatisation, and although the work was originally written with the orchestra below the stage to add acoustic and psychological drama, here it was very much centre and fore. Running at just over four hours stage time, Parsifal tells the story of the Knights of the Holy Grail, much of it narrated by a veteran knight, Gurnemanz (Brindley Sherratt). The castle of Monsalvat has been established by Titurel (Stephen Richardson) as a sanctuary for the Holy Grail and the Spear that pierced Christ’s side, before retiring in favour of his son, Amfortas (Robert Hayward), wh...
Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress –Liverpool Empire
North West

Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress –Liverpool Empire

The art historian in me jumped at the chance to see William Hogarth’s most-celebrated caricature brought to life in Stravinsky’s opera with a libretto by none other than celebrated poets WH Auden and Chester Kallman, and a classic cross-hatched set design from David Hockney providing a very fitting tribute to the original satire. Under the direction of John Cox, we open to our hero Tom Rakewell (Frederick Jones) with his very literal Anne Trulove (Soraya Mafi) in the garden of her father (Stephen Richardson). The devil makes work for idle hands and it’s the appearance of Nick Shadow (Sam Carl) who delivers a Faustian-like pact, but one very much of the devil’s making, that sees our rake’s progress well and truly begin as we move from the brothel education of Mother Goose (Fiona Kimm) t...