All stories by Steph Power on BroadwayStars

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Cunning Little Vixen review at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘witty, poignant and timely’ by Steph Power

Janacek was approaching 70 when he composed The Cunning Little Vixen, yet the opera brims with youthful vigour, optimism and music-dramatic innovation.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Rigoletto review at Wales Millennium Centre – ‘wonderfully sung and politically astute’ by Steph Power

Welsh National Opera first unveiled James Macdonald’s Rigoletto in 2002. At the time, set in a Kennedy-era White House, its portrayal of

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Dead Man Walking review at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘a performance of harrowing intensity’ by Steph Power

When Jake Heggie’s opera Dead Man Walking premiered in the US in 2000, it intensified the national debate about capital punishment. Based

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Don Pasquale review at Riverfront, Newport – ‘a gleefully anarchic production’ by Steph Power

“What’s occurrin’?” Director-librettist Daisy Evans brings a Barry Island vernacular style to her gleefully anarchic production for Welsh National Opera. She and

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Tosca review at Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon – ‘a handsome chamber staging’ by Steph Power

It’s 30 years since Mid Wales Opera first set out to bring fully staged chamber productions to small, rural communities – and

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Monday, March 4, 2019

Roberto Devereux review at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘heart-stopping performance’ by Steph Power

At his best, Donizetti is a wonderful exponent of the romanticism that emerged in early-1800s Italy, a particularly febrile period in operatic

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Un Ballo in Maschera review at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘spectacular, ghoulish flair’ by Steph Power

When censors forbade the onstage depiction of regicide, Verdi was forced to relocate his 1859 Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball)

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The Magic Flute review at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘moralising and mirth’ by Steph Power

Only Mozart could so deftly have celebrated the Age of Enlightenment through an opera spanning moral philosophy, high drama, fairytale romance –

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Spanish Hour review at Black Mountains Barns, Herefordshire – ‘comic fervour’ by Steph Power

There are many layers of wit and sophistication to Ravel’s 1911 first opera, L’heure Espagnole. Short but brilliantly inventive, on the one

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

La Cenerentola review at Wales Millennium Centre – ‘wit, warmth and vocal agility’ by Steph Power

When Stendhal heard La Cenerentola a few years after its 1817 premiere he branded it trivial and vulgar. Post-French Revolution, Rossini’s noisy

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Now the Hero/Nawr yr Arwr review at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea – ‘ambitious and incredibly powerful’ by Steph Power

A hundred years since the end of World War One – the war supposedly to end all wars – armed conflicts around

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Monday, September 24, 2018

La Traviata review at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘solidly performed’ by Steph Power

It’s hard to overstate the social radicalism for its time of Verdi’s La Traviata. Even today, over 160 years since its 1853

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Tide Whisperer review on Tenby beach – ‘thought-provoking stories’ by Steph Power

Under director Kully Thiarai, National Theatre Wales is sharpening its resolve to be a people’s theatre. Tide Whisperer, a new site-specific work

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War and Peace review at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘rendered with timely brilliance’ by Steph Power

Thanks to its gargantuan forces – with more than 60 named roles and a vast chorus reflecting its epic novel forbear –

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Rhondda Rips It Up! review at Riverfront, Newport – ‘a rip-roaring salute’ by Steph Power

It’s an understatement that Viscountess Rhondda, Margaret Haig Mackworth (née Thomas), has suffered historical neglect. A pioneering Welsh suffragette and businesswoman; a

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Five operas ‘bashing about’ the classic art form this summer by Steph Power

Opera may have a reputation in the UK for being ‘toffee-nosed and corporate’ but the genre is blossoming across the country. Steph

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Monday, March 19, 2018

The Barber of Seville review at Borough Theatre, Abergavenny – ‘zany and entertaining’ by Steph Power

With its mile-a-minute patter, and more visual gags than you can shake a tickling stick at – Imogen Garner’s Berta wields a

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Eugene Onegin review at Riverfront, Newport – ‘lacks depth and focus’ by Steph Power

When Eugene Onegin premiered in 1879, it was at the Moscow Conservatory rather than a prestigious opera house, and with a student

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Don Giovanni review at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘deft ensemble interplay’ by Steph Power

It’s ironic that Welsh National Opera have revived director John Caird’s Don Giovanni at this juncture in their history: in 2011, the

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Torch Theatre’s artistic director Peter Doran: ‘We’re looking outwards. Our work resonates beyond Wales’ by Steph Power

The Torch Theatre has been servicing west Wales and further afield with classic and new theatre for 40 years. Artistic director Peter

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Bear review at Abermule Community Centre – ‘piquantly satirical’ by Steph Power

It should be no surprise that Thomas Ades, arch modern-day composer of parody and social satire, has expressed deep admiration for the

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Monday, October 23, 2017

The World’s Wife review at Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea – ‘sensitively wrought’ by Steph Power

Ten years before she was finally appointed the first ever woman poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy turned myth and history on their

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Monday, October 9, 2017

From the House of the Dead review at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘stupendous’ by Steph Power

Notes from the House of the Dead, Dostoyevsky’s semi-autobiographical account of life in a Siberian prison camp, might seem the starkest of

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Eugene Onegin review, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘a magnificent Tatyana’ by Steph Power

“Something is weighing me down.” Pushkin’s final words, uttered from his deathbed following a catastrophic duel, might equally apply to his eponymous

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Monday, September 25, 2017

The Golden Dragon review at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff – ‘thought-provoking’ by Steph Power

How many frequenters of Chinese restaurants bother to think about the lives of the people preparing their food? In The Golden Dragon,

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Khovanshchina review at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘unmissable’ by Steph Power

Musorgsky’s mighty historical epic, Khovanshchina, is eloquent in the very sprawl of its design. Left unfinished at his untimely death, the opera

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Orfeo ed Euridice review at Longborough Festival Opera – ‘music conquers all’ by Steph Power

Gluck’s 1762 Orfeo ed Euridice offers a fascinating journey into the psychology of time – not least in that its composer looked

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Der Rosenkavalier review at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – ‘a stellar cast’ by Steph Power

Premiered in 1911, Der Rosenkavalier was a remarkable stylistic volte-face by Richard Strauss, eschewing previous dissonant extremes for a sumptuous romance steeped

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Die Fledermaus review at Wales Millennium Centre – ‘uproarious, vulgar aplomb’ by Steph Power

1870s Vienna was a city of contradictions: intoxicated yet bewildered by rapid financial enrichment, then outright destabilised by the ensuing 1873 stock

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Y Twr review at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff – ‘a landmark opera’ by Steph Power

The world premiere of a new opera featuring a Welsh-language libretto is a singular event, notwithstanding Wales’ reputation as the ‘land of

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Cardiff Theatrical Services: The Welsh opera scenic workshop that pays its own way by Steph Power

In the modern world, the staging of opera and theatre poses an increasingly complex challenge, often requiring large teams of specialist personnel.

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