La Clemenza di Tito – Opera North
Feb21

La Clemenza di Tito – Opera North

A week of four operas came to a close last night with Mozart’s final opera La Clemenza di Tito. This is a a delve into the Roman world, which gladly had received an update in setting from people wandering around in togas! I had read a number of reviews of this work before we went, most praising the performances and music but derising the setting, so I was ready to experience the opera with little attention on the set. However at...

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La Voix Humaine/Dido and Aeneas – Opera North
Feb17

La Voix Humaine/Dido and Aeneas – Opera North

A Sunday afternoon treat today with a double-bill of operas. Both of these I’d never listened to or seen so they were a bit of a mystery.  La Voix Humaine by Poulenc was first performed in 1959 and is a 40 minute ‘tragedy lyrique’ for a single voice. Lesley Garrett returned to Opera North, a Company she was part of in their early days, to perform Elle. The synopsis from the Opera North web site: A woman is sprawled...

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Verdi: Otello – Opera North
Feb16

Verdi: Otello – Opera North

After a pretty long break since the autumn, we had the first of four operas in a week last Wednesday; a new production of Verdi’s Otello. Based on Shakepeare’s play (not unusual for Verdi) it was set in a naval base in the 40s-50s. The set really worked! To summarise the plot, taken from the Opera North website: Iago, an ensign in the Venetian army, is a man who bears a grudge. When his general, Otello, passes him over for...

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Murder on the Nile
Jul20

Murder on the Nile

Last night we went to our annual production by the Agatha Christie Theatre Company, “Murder on the Nile”. Dame Agatha wrote the scripts for her plays and often altered books to suit the stage, often with subtle changes to the plot. “Murder on the Nile” is obviously a version of the famous Poirot novel “Death on the Nile”. The first notable alteration is that Poirot isn’t in the stage play! The...

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Die Walküre – Opera North
Jun17

Die Walküre – Opera North

We had been waiting a year with great anticipation since the first of the Ring Cycle operas, Das Rheingold, last year at Leeds Town Hall. The success of last year’s ‘preliminary evening’ to the three main operas, as Richard Mantle the Director General of Opera North put it, was a success in ways they’d not even dreamt of. The staging again was the full Wagnerian orchestra of over 100, with all-sorts of...

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Giulio Cesare – Opera North, 10th February 2012
Feb11

Giulio Cesare – Opera North, 10th February 2012

Giulio Cesare is our first Handel opera we’ve seen, and it won’t be our last. This review could be very short; Handel is brilliant!! The synopsis courtesy of Opera North goes as follows: Egypt, ancient times. Cleopatra uses all her considerable wiles to persuade Caesar to join her in an alliance against her brutish brother Ptolemy, with whom she rules the country. Plots and counter-plots ensue before Caesar and Cleopatra...

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