All stories by George Hall on BroadwayStars

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Breaking the Waves review at King’s Theatre, Edinburgh – ‘troubling opera based on Lars von Trier’s film’ by George Hall

Lars von Trier’s 1996 film Breaking the Waves remains a controversial work. The narrative, and in particular its treatment of the central

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Caccia Lontana review at Bridewell Theatre, London – ‘little drama, though the music is undeniably lyrical’ by George Hall

Opera in the City Festival opens its third season with what must be a UK premiere, and a great rarity anywhere: a

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Friday, August 9, 2019

Rinaldo review at Glyndebourne, Lewes – ‘exceptional cast and conductor’ by George Hall

We no longer view the events of the First Crusade (1095-99) in the way Handel and his audiences did. Set during that

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Magic Flute review at Waterperry Opera Festival, Oxfordshire – ‘thoughtful and engaging’ by George Hall

Mozart and his librettist Schikaneder’s 1791 opera is a defence of their shared involvement with freemasonry. Its unique blend of the fantastical,

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Lucia di Lammermoor review at Dorset Festival Opera – ‘unpardonably silly’ by George Hall

In Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary, the unhappily married heroine is inspired by a performance of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor to reflect on

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Nabucco review at Dorset Opera Festival – ‘a mystifyingly vague staging’ by George Hall

The printed synopsis of Verdi’s Nabucco as staged by Peter Relton for Dorset Opera is unusually imprecise in terms of both period

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Il Segreto di Susanna / Iolanta review at Opera Holland Park – ‘an exceptional double bill’ by George Hall

The last of Opera Holland Park’s stagings this summer is this double bill of unusual titles: Wolf-Ferrari’s clever little comedy of marital

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Monday, July 22, 2019

Opera della Luna’s Jeff Clarke: ‘If you try to be funny in comic opera, you’ll fall flat on your face; play the truth in it, then it’ll be fun by George Hall

Jeff Clarke set up Opera della Luna in 1994 to stage the neglected repertoire of comic operas and operettas. He tells George

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Die Zauberflöte review at Glyndebourne, Lewes – ‘a trivial staging of Mozart’s comedy’ by George Hall

An Enlightenment tract, Mozart’s The Magic Flute is equally a reminder of the limitations of that movement in terms of its views

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Friday, July 12, 2019

La Fille du Régiment review at Royal Opera House, London – ‘takes a while to warm up’ by George Hall

First seen in 2007 and here revived for the fourth time, Laurent Pelly’s amiable production of Donizetti’s light comedy The Daughter of

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Lucio Papirio Dittatore review at Opera House, Buxton – ‘rare revival of Caldara’s opera’ by George Hall

Even at a time when Baroque operas are being endlessly revived, the 40 surviving examples by Antonio Caldara haven’t had much of

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Georgiana review at Opera House, Buxton – ‘celebratory pasticcio’ by George Hall

The Italian word pasticcio can mean a number of things, but to 18th-century audiences it meant a sort of musical pudding made

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Eugene Onegin review at Opera House, Buxton – ‘musically impassioned’ by George Hall

Buxton’s new regime launches with a visually intriguing and musically impassioned account of Tchaikovsky’s opera, set in mid-19th-century Russia and sung in

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Noye’s Fludde review at Theatre Royal Stratford East , London – ‘enchanting’ by George Hall

Written in 1958, Britten’s opera brings together professionals and amateurs, adults and children to tell the tale of Noah’s Flood – to

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Monday, July 1, 2019

Le Nozze di Figaro review at Royal Opera House, London – ‘a lively and imaginative revival’ by George Hall

David McVicar’s 2006 production comes up vividly in this imaginative revival overseen by Thomas Guthrie. This is a Marriage of Figaro moved

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Friday, June 28, 2019

The Cunning Little Vixen review at Barbican Hall, London – ‘enchanting and sumptuous’ by George Hall

The London Symphony Orchestra closes its Barbican season with this semi-staging of Janacek’s opera about the relationship between humans and the animal

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Cosi Fan Tutte review at Nevill Holt Opera – ‘stylish and entertaining’ by George Hall

Director Adele Thomas’ grandfather was a film projectionist in the 1930s, she tells us, and her formative years were spent watching the

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Monday, June 24, 2019

Hansel und Gretel review at Grange Park opera, West Horsley – ‘musically strong, with some puzzling staging’ by George Hall

Immediately the ENO and Regent’s Park co-production of Humperdinck’s fairytale opera closes, Grange Park opens its own version. There are a number

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Belshazzar review at the Grange Festival, Hampshire – ‘rarely comes to life’ by George Hall

When Handel wanted to produce his oratorio Esther in London in 1732, the Bishop of London responded with a ban on staged

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Bryn Terfel in Boris Godunov review at Royal Opera House, London – ‘extraordinary and thrilling’ by George Hall

Richard Jones’ production of Musorgsky’s psychologically probing study of the individual at the centre of a troubled epoch in Russian history plays

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Hansel and Gretel review at Open Air Theatre, London – ‘an energetic, feel-good production’ by George Hall

In Operaland, Hansel and Gretel is not just for Christmas – hence this midsummer co-production by English National Opera at Regent’s Park,

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Friday, June 14, 2019

A Midsummer Night’s Dream review at Nevill Holt Opera – ‘an enchanting evening’ by George Hall

Thus far, the 2019 country-house season has been partially stymied by the weather, which remains doggedly uncongenial for pastoral picnics or parkland

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Le Nozze di Figaro review at The Grange, Northington – ‘a visually elegant and clearly directed production’ by George Hall

It’s refreshing to encounter a Marriage of Figaro set in period and – even more precisely – in Seville. Designer Tim Reed

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Cendrillon review at Glyndebourne, Lewes – ‘a performance of pure magic’ by George Hall

Massenet’s fairytale opera entered Glyndebourne via the company’s 2018 tour. Fiona Shaw’s production didn’t quite work on that occasion, and is now

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Diary of One Who Disappeared review at Linbury Theatre, London – ‘frustratingly glacial’ by George Hall

Czech composer Janacek began The Diary of One Who Disappeared in August 1917, shortly after his fateful meeting with Kamila Stosslova, a

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Don Giovanni review at Garsington Opera – ‘a vague staging of Mozart’s dark comedy’ by George Hall

Former Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Michael Boyd has collaborated with Garsington’s artistic director, conductor Douglas Boyd (no relation) before, though this

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Bartered Bride review at Garsington Opera – ‘the festival at the top of its game’ by George Hall

The opening production of Garsington Opera’s 30th-anniversary season finds the festival at the top of its game. The Philharmonia – one of

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn: ‘A conductor once told me I have tears in the sound of my voice’ by George Hall

A mystery illness almost put paid to her promising operatic career before it had started. Now, as the British soprano takes on

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Donnerstag aus Licht review at Royal Festival Hall, London – ‘an unforgettable spiritual journey’ by George Hall

Forget Wagner’s Ring: the largest of operatic cycles is Stockhausen’s Licht (Light), its seven parts each named after a day of the

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

How do you train to become an opera singer? by George Hall

If you believe you have a voice strong enough to be heard at the back of a concert hall while delivering a

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Andrea Chenier review at Royal Opera House, London – ‘thrilling singing hits the dramatic heights’ by George Hall

Umberto Giordano’s French Revolution drama focuses on a poet whose views prove unwelcome to both sides. Moreover, the allegiance of his rival

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