Contentious Wagner, avant-garde Shakespeareby Neil Norman / February 10, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in March 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg
Wagner’s only mature comic opera is also one of his most contentious. With a final sequence that celebrates German nationalism, it can present a dilemma for modern observers. David McVicar’s Glyndebourne production was well sung but sidestepped the politics. One can assume that in his final production as Director of Opera at Covent Garden, Kasper Holten will be determined to explore every aspect of the story as well as its magnificent music. With Bryn Terfel as Sachs and Antonio Pappano wielding the baton, Holten’s production, which draws on London’s artisan guilds for inspiration, is not to be missed.
The Winter’s Tale
One of Shakespeare’s most avant-garde plays offers huge scope for interpretation. English National Opera’s composer-in-residence Ryan Wigglesworth has created a new opera that explores the quasi-mystical story of the eventual redemption of the jealous Leontes. Olivier Award-winning actor Rory Kinnear is in the director’s seat. With a cast including ENO luminaries Iain Paterson, Sophie Bevan, Leigh Melrose and Susan Bickley, this is one to watch.