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History as bunk (or maybe not)

It inevitably comes with the territory that dramatic depictions of historical figures and events have a tenuous relationship with the actualité. On several levels there is nothing particularly bizarre in that statement if you think about it. Let’s begin with the fact that virtually all dramatic [...]

January 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

Biopics – the complexities of a difficult art form

Today I take the risk of venturing into territory upon which I am no expert – movies, and a particular genre at that – without any justification for doing so other than, like any observer travelling upon the time-honoured proverbial (legal) Clapham omnibus, I am entitled to hold opinions and [...]

October 24, 2018 // 0 Comments

La Traviata/Glyndebourne

Glyndebourne on tour is a less expensive version of the summer festival where the opera is put on the conveyor belt for the eventual production in the festival. There is quite a bit of fine tuning to be done to this La Traviata. The story based on Alexandre Dumas’ Lady of the Camelias is powerful [...]

October 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

Madame Butterfly /Glyndebourne

I had seen this Madame Butterfly 2 years ago in gestation as part of the autumn repertory and last night Puccini’s masterpiece made a powerful impression as the story is as magnificent as the music despite some tinkering by director Annilese Mackinnon. I imagine most readers know the story [...]

July 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

Der Rosenkavalier /Glyndebourne

Daffers recenty reviewed her Orient Express trip in terms of an experience and I would apply the same description to Glyndebourne. It’s expensive, it’s well run, to have a picnic by the lake on a summer’s day is wondrous, but I don’t know if it’s for the real Opera buff. Added to this the [...]

June 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

Gender equality revisited

At the risk of becoming the Rust’s ‘gender equality’ correspondent I return today to this subject. I’m minded to do so for two reasons. Firstly, earlier this week we were treated to the news that actress Sierra Boggess – someone whose existence I was previously unware of – has withdrawn [...]

April 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

The future is already here, as well as in the future

When it comes to the relationship between audiences and movies or television programmes, the different sectors in the entertainment industry are split into quite simple divisions. Firstly, the production – the process of deciding what to make, whom to hire to make it (e.g. scriptwriters, [...]

September 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

Clemenza di Tito & Don Pasquale/ Glyndebourne Festival

The Glyndebourne Festival ends this Sunday. I have seen four productions but the two I have not reviewed which I saw this week were Clemenza di Tito and Don Pasquale. Clemenza di Tito is the last opera Mozart wrote on the occasion of the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor. It’s not one of [...]

August 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

La Traviata

The role of Violetta the tart with a heart in La Traviata is one of the most demanding in opera. She is on stage virtually the whole opera first as a good time girl, then as a the responsible lover of Alfredo – but initially deemed not worthy enough by his family – and finally the [...]

August 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

Ariadne auf Naxos / Glyndebourne

This innovative production with significant changes of location and period from the original Richard Strauss Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s comedy does not entirely work but fine singing, stage sets and orchestration saved it from disaster. In brief, the first story is a troupe of Commedia del arte [...]

June 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

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