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Photo: Camilla Greenwell

The Royal Opera – Sarah Angliss’s Giant – Karim Sulayman, Jonathan Gunthorpe & Galina Averina; directed by Sarah Fahie; conducted by Ben Smith

Many people know the story of the human curiosity or ‘freak of nature’ Joseph Merrick, if only because of John Hurt’s depiction of him in the film The Elephant Man (memorably using Barber’s Adagio). Perhaps not much less remembered is the case of the 18th century ‘Irish Giant’ Charles Byrne, who voluntarily displayed himself and entertained the public on […]

The Royal Opera – Sarah Angliss’s Giant – Karim Sulayman, Jonathan Gunthorpe & Galina Averina; directed by Sarah Fahie; conducted by Ben Smith Read More »

Photo: Tristram Kenton

The Royal Opera – Richard Strauss’s Elektra – Nina Stemme, Karita Mattila & Sara Jakubiak; directed by Christof Loy; conducted by Antonio Pappano

The Royal Opera House’s first new production of the year is also the last that will be conducted by its outgoing music director, Sir Antonio Pappano – a collaboration with director Christof Loy and Nina Stemme in Strauss’s Elektra (1909) which was originally programmed for 2020 before falling victim to the pandemic. The febrile world of the

The Royal Opera – Richard Strauss’s Elektra – Nina Stemme, Karita Mattila & Sara Jakubiak; directed by Christof Loy; conducted by Antonio Pappano Read More »

(Jephtha) ALLAN CLAYTON (Iphis) JENNIFER FRANCE ROH Jephtha © Marc Brenner

Royal Opera House – Handel’s Jephtha – Allan Clayton, Jennifer France & Alice Coote; directed by Oliver Mears; conducted by Laurence Cummings

A staging of Handel’s last original oratorio Jephtha (1752), whose narrative is set against an epic backdrop of the ancient Israelites fighting their way to victory, could have stirred sensitivities in the context of the present war in Gaza. But Oliver Mears’s new production puts aside any specific religious and national confrontations, making it a drama about Jephtha’s internal

Royal Opera House – Handel’s Jephtha – Allan Clayton, Jennifer France & Alice Coote; directed by Oliver Mears; conducted by Laurence Cummings Read More »

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO performed at the Royal Opera House. Photo: Camilla Greenwell

Royal Opera House – Verdi’s La forza del destino – with Sondra Radvanovsky, Brian Jagde & Etienne Dupuis; directed by Christof Loy; conducted by Mark Elder

Three tableaux on stage during the Overture provide the backstory of the Calatrava family in this first revival of Christof Loy’s production of La forza del destino, at early stages in their history, and taken back to the early 20th century rather than the 18th. In a large dining room, the stern father leaves his three children

Royal Opera House – Verdi’s La forza del destino – with Sondra Radvanovsky, Brian Jagde & Etienne Dupuis; directed by Christof Loy; conducted by Mark Elder Read More »

Photo: Monika Rittershaus

Royal Opera House – Wagner’s Das Rheingold – with Christopher Maltman, Christopher Purves & Sean Panikkar; directed by Barrie Kosky; conducted by Antonio Pappano

The Royal Opera House’s 2023-24 season opens with this first instalment of Barrie Kosky’s new Ring, which will unfold over the next four years. In this same year that London also saw another new Das Rheingold (Richard Jones’s for English National Opera) it’s hard not to draw comparisons between the two, especially as some similarities are important and more

Royal Opera House – Wagner’s Das Rheingold – with Christopher Maltman, Christopher Purves & Sean Panikkar; directed by Barrie Kosky; conducted by Antonio Pappano Read More »

Photo: Camilla Greenwell

The Royal Opera – Verdi’s Il trovatore – Riccardo Massi, Marina Rebeka, Ludovic Tézier & Jamie Barton; directed by Adele Thomas; conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano

The Royal Opera House has jettisoned Barrie Kosky’s cabaret-style Carmen in favour of a new production next season. But its basic conception of a staircase with the ensemble slinking over it incessantly reappears now for Adele Thomas’s new Il trovatore (presented jointly with Zurich Opera). Inspired by the ghoulish visions of Hieronymus Bosch and Jan Mandijn (though the unworldly

The Royal Opera – Verdi’s Il trovatore – Riccardo Massi, Marina Rebeka, Ludovic Tézier & Jamie Barton; directed by Adele Thomas; conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano Read More »

Photo: Tristram Kenton

Royal Opera House – Berg’s Wozzeck – with Christian Gerhaher, Anja Kempe & Peter Hoare; directed by Deborah Warner; conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano

Following her acclaimed production of Peter Grimes for the Royal Opera House, as well as two other Britten operas before that with similarly troubled protagonists, Deborah Warner now turns her attention to Wozzeck, perhaps the seminal and still most modern treatment of the subject of the outsider in the operatic repertoire. Although Georg Büchner’s original play Woyzeck (unfinished at his

Royal Opera House – Berg’s Wozzeck – with Christian Gerhaher, Anja Kempe & Peter Hoare; directed by Deborah Warner; conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano Read More »

Photo: Marc Brenner

Royal Opera House – Handel’s Arminio – Gabrielė Kupšytė, Sarah Dufresne, Josef Jeongmeen Ahn; directed by Mathilda du Tillieul McNicol; conducted by André Callegaro

Mathilda du Tillieul McNicol’s new production of this rarity continues Royal Opera’s presentation of various stage-works by Handel that were premiered at its eighteenth-century predecessor at Covent Garden. The 1736-37 season was a busy one for the composer as he tried to shore up the flagging fortunes of his opera company in the face of

Royal Opera House – Handel’s Arminio – Gabrielė Kupšytė, Sarah Dufresne, Josef Jeongmeen Ahn; directed by Mathilda du Tillieul McNicol; conducted by André Callegaro Read More »

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