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Photo: David Monteith-Hodge/Photographise

Guildhall School of Music Drama – Respighi opera double bill – Maria egiziaca & La bella dormente nel bosco

As the programme notes for Victoria Newlyn’s production of this double bill of Respighi stage works points out, neither of these works were originally created as conventional operas. His version of the sleeping beauty story La bella dormente nel bosco was first a puppet opera (premiered 1922 in that guise), and Maria egiziaca (1932) a ‘concert opera’ like a […]

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Joe Chalmers – Savitri © Guildhall School David Monteith-Hodge (Photographise) June 2023

Guildhall School of Music & Drama – Opera Double Bill – Gustav Holst’s Sāvitri & Judith Weir’s Blond Eckbert

Two chamber operas, both concerning encounters with death and set within a forest with all the symbolism that that entails, but with rather different conclusions, though a moral may be drawn from both. Gustav Holst’s Sāvitri is a more philosophical story (based on an episode from the Sanskrit epic Mahābhārata) about love triumphing over mortality as the eponymous

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Photo: David Monteith-Hodge

Guildhall School of Music & Drama – Opera Triple Bill – Massenet, Smyth & Rota

A 1920s cinema (amusingly called here La Scala Picturehouse) serves effectively as the common setting in Rodula Gaitanou clever amalgamation of these three rare one-Act operas, which are otherwise unrelated except for their shared theme of tormented love. That requires some reinterpretation of who exactly the characters are in each, but without damage to the

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Photo credit: Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Summer Opera: Kurt Weill & Monteverdi Mihaela Bodlovic, 2022.

 Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s Summer Opera – Monteverdi and Weill

Despite being separated by three centuries, and their rather different compositional and theatrical aesthetics, Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (1624) and Weill’s Der Zar lässt sich photographieren (1927) share as themes a comical, even mordant, slant on the battle games of love, and would-be assassination. The unsettled, revolutionary era after World War One (in which Weill’s opera

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