Norma – Opera North – 28th January 2011

Our latest opera at the Grand Theatre in Leeds was Bellini’s Norma. This has probably one of the most popular arias in opera (Casta Diva) and was the role Maria Callas sang the most, and who gave us arguably the best recording off the opera. It is Bellini bel canto at it’s height, with wonderful ‘tunes’, including a lot of duets, but which takes the genre to its absolute peak.The synopsis from the Opera North...

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Top Hat, Leeds Grand Theatre
Dec03

Top Hat, Leeds Grand Theatre

Not got much time for a big blog post but just had to mention the superb Top Hat musical we saw this evening. It is the first time the famous Fred and Ginger film has been presented on stage, and it is currently touring before going to the West End. Starring was Tom Chambers, who won Strictly in 2008. His dancing was brilliant and the whole show was great. The dancing routines were in the 30s style with a big nod to the original...

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Tchaikovsky, The Queen of Spades, Opera North
Oct26

Tchaikovsky, The Queen of Spades, Opera North

Last night was a real treat. Never seen a Tchaikovsky opera live before and Opera North has been very bold this season in taking on The Queen of Spades. The scale in terms of production, cast and orchestra is huge and we were not disappointed! The Queen of Spades is based on a story by Pushkin, and is well summarised here from the Opera North web site: Herman is a man desperate for money. Constantly losing at the gambling table, he...

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Ruddigore
Oct06

Ruddigore

Just got around to posting a review of Opera North’s 2011 revival of last year’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore. This was actually the first Gilbert and Sullivan I’d seen, and I must say I was much impressed! The story is pretty complicated but involves a cursed family whose Baron at the time has to commit a crime a day, and of course the Baron has difficulty finding a wife! From the Opera North web site: Sir Despard...

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Agatha Christie’s ‘Verdict’
Aug23

Agatha Christie’s ‘Verdict’

After a holiday of Agatha Christie goodness, it was very exciting to return to the now annual visit of the Agatha Christie Theatre Company to Leeds Grand Theatre. Verdict is not the typical Christie ‘whodunnit’ but more of a psychological study into the effects of a murder and the relationships between the characters. This is an aspect of Christie which goes through all her books and the root of all the solutions (though the clues are...

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Wagner–Das Rheingold–Saturday 18th June 2011
Jun24

Wagner–Das Rheingold–Saturday 18th June 2011

It’s taken a while to get a review written of this since last Saturday, been rather a busy week! Anyway, Das Rheingold is the ‘preliminary evening’ to the three much longer operas in the Ring Cycle. A bit like Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the Ring Cycle involves a golden ring which holds magical powers and different groups of mythical beings e.g. gods, giants and dwarves. The opera was staged in Leeds Town Hall, a wonderful...

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