"The Renaissance has rarely looked—or sounded—so profound, dark and compelling"by Neil Norman / April 11, 2017 / Leave a comment
Royal Opera House, 12th to 29th May
Inspired by Schiller’s 1787 dramatic poem, Verdi’s masterpiece went through a number of revisions. When Luchino Visconti directed the five-act version at Covent Garden in 1958, it was considered unbeatable. Nicholas Hytner’s version (below) made its debut in 2008 and has become a Royal Opera stalwart. Although the auto-da-fé sequence still troubles some, it is a worthy successor to the Visconti. The Renaissance has rarely looked—or sounded—so profound, dark and compelling. US tenor Bryan Hymel takes on the challenging title role.
Ravi Shankar’s Sukanya
Curve, Leicester, 12th May then touring
Legendary sitar-player Ravi Shankar began composing his only opera at the age of 90. Now the Royal Opera and London Philharmonic join forces to produce a semi-staged touring production which begins in Leicester and ends at the Royal Festival Hall. Named after Shankar’s wife, it tells of Princess Sukanya in a tale derived from the Mahabarata. Shankar employs both Indian and western classical music in a fusion of dance, music and myth. Susanna Hurrell takes the title role and the Aakash Odedra Company choreograph.
The Magic Flute
Charles Court Opera, King’s Head, London, 4th May to 3rd June
The King’s Head plays host to the Charles Court Opera company, whose “boutique” productions of Gilbert & Sullivan have established it as punching well above its weight. Their pared-down version of The Magic Flute has already had critics reaching for superlatives after its debut at Ilford Arts Opera Festival last year. Sung in a new version by John Savournin and David Eaton, this beautiful production includes puppetry, magic and witty surprises.