OperaUpClose's Eugene Onegin at Arcola

This Eugene Onegin was my second opera from OperaUpClose and I clearly saw the trend on their productions: getting the theatrical part working for a contemporary audience. But here they didn’t “update” the music as they did with the Magic Flute to more modern instrumentation patterns, they just made a reduction for piano, violin, cello and clarinet. The libretto was not a translation of the original but a new one, reworking the original.

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OperaUpClose's Eugene Onegin at Arcola

This Eugene Onegin was my second opera from OperaUpClose and I clearly saw the trend on their productions: getting the theatrical part working for a contemporary audience. But here they didn’t “update” the music as they did with the Magic Flute to more modern instrumentation patterns, they just made a reduction for piano, violin, cello and clarinet. The libretto was not a translation of the original but a new one, reworking the original.

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Sanson et Dalila at Grimeborn

It wouldn’t be fair to say that Arcola’s production of Sanson et Dalila has been the best operatic production of the season because I have been only here for less than 4 months. But it is the best one I’ve seen so far (and I have seen 14 productions in this little time). All in this production was take care of with a lot of intelligence and love: costumes, lighting, make-up, on stage movements, acting… and everything at the service of the DRAMA.

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Armide at Grimeborn

I have to start this review standing how brave Ensemble OrQuesta guys are for accomplishing the enormous task of staging Lully’s Armide. It requires a big amount of work for musicians, singers, choir, staging… Second is to thank all of them (and Grimeborn and Arcola Theatre) for bringing us a baroque French opera to London. This repertoire is not popular at all in the UK (the next chance to see a French Baroque opera will be Rameau’s Dardanus by the English Touring Opera).

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The cunning little vixen at Grimeborn

An opera with animals talking and singing? Well, this is not the most unbelievable thing we have seen in an opera, is it? With Janacek… wait, I’m going to write it properly. Janáček. Now. Well, actually I copied & pasted it from wikipedia. Whatever, with the J composer operas you always expect a brutal drama directly to your guts, with oppressive music creating a dark atmosphere. But with The cunning little vixen (Příhody lišky bystroušky, I got a thing with these funny things on top of the characters) it’s different and music projects happiness, fun and light.

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Ey, that concert was fucking amazing. Expectations for Pygmalion’s debut in the Proms were quite high after their stunning recordings (Bach Lutheran masses and the Mozart Arias). But dude, they were short compared with the results. It’s really incredible that, nowadays, in 2017, there are still people finding new ways into music that has been there more than 500 years and has been re-re-discovered many times. Pichon approach to these Vespers (because his operatic Monteverdi could be different) is not in the path of the HIP pioneers in the sense of an objective performance.

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When I arrived to London I though that I was going to fill all my opera needs with the ROH Covent Garden and the English National Opera. No way. I am vicious and London has much more than traditional opera to offer. I discovered Opera Holland Park (I enjoyed there La Rondine, Katia Kabanová and Zazà) and then the Royal College of Music doing Chabrier’s Une éducation manquée and Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias in a double bill.

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Skate Art Guy

A guy who loves skate and arts

London