The must-see performancesby Neil Norman / November 17, 2016 / Leave a comment
Published in December 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
Royal Opera House, 17th December to 24th January 2017
When it was premiered in Dresden in 1911, Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss was an instant success and has rarely been absent from the repertoire since. The three terrific soprano roles must account for its popularity, in addition to the combination of romantic comedy and existential contemplation. After wheeling out John Schlesinger’s kitsch 1984 production one too many times, the Royal Opera finally delivers a new version by Richard Carsen that updates the mise en scene from 1740 to 1911. Renée Fleming plays the Marschallin.
Barbican, 4th December
When John Adams conducted El Niño at the Barbican in 2013, such was the response he is returning for one night only. The American composer’s singular vision of the Nativity was both provocative and pleasing—a rare combination. Derived from different sources, including the King James Bible and contemporary Latin American texts, it tells the story from different—largely female—perspectives, offering a sublime musical homage to the classical idiom.
St John Passion
ETO, Blackpool Citadel on 2nd December; St John’s Church, Workington on 3rd December; Lancaster Priory on 4th December
English Touring Opera concludes its tour of JS Bach’s St John Passion with three dates in December. In collaboration with local choirs and churches, the initiative also features new translations of the chorales by writers including AL Kennedy and Marina Warner.