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Adriana Lecouvreur at the Royal Opera House – 7th February to 2nd March 2017

 adraina-lec

Angela Gheorghiu and Hrachuhi Bassenz star in the first revival of David McVicar’s production of Cilea’s tragic opera.

The death of French actress Adrienne Lecouvreur inspired many plays and operas, of which Francesco Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur is one of the most enduring. The opera would become Cilea’s greatest success, renowned for his heroine’s arias ‘Io son l’umile ancilla’ in Act I and ‘Poveri fiori’ in Act IV .

David McVicar’s 2010 production recreates a Baroque theatre with lavish period costumes designed by Brigitte Reiffenstuel to create a spectacular production that delves into the love and life of the theatre.

The story centres around actress Adriana Lecouvreur who is adored by many admirers including stage manager Michonnet  but she loves Maurizio, Count of Saxony. Adriana suspects Maurizio still loves his ex-lover, the love triangle ends tragically when Adriana dies in Maurizio’s arms.

Running time

The performance lasts about 3 hours 25 minutes, including two intervals.

Language

Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

For more information , visit the Royal Opera House  website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Review : Le nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House – 15th September to 14th October 2015

Le nozze di Figaro at The Royal Opera House 2015. Photo by Mark Douet IMG_1795

Le nozze di Figaro at The Royal Opera House 2015. Photo by Mark Douet

Le nozze di Figaro was first performed in 1786 and was the first time Mozart had worked with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, the success of the partnership would eventually lead the creation of Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. Le nozze di Figaro was adapted from Pierre Beaumarchais’ controversial play Le Mariage de Figaro, which at the time was banned in Vienna due to its seditious content. Its controversial subject matter did not prevent the opera being well received on its premiere in Vienna and ‘Figaro’ quickly become one of the most popular operas and has been a firm favourite around the world ever since.

A major part of its appeal is the mixture of comedy and more serious matters and this confident and assured Leah Hausman directed revival of  David McVicar’s production, returning for a fifth time at the Royal Opera offers plenty of both. McVicar’s production sets the action in a French château in 1830 on the eve of revolution. In the opening scene, Tanya McCallin’s brilliantly designed set illustrates the opulence of the château whilst the servants indulge in horseplay on stage. In many ways this sets the tone for the first act where the comedy is mainly provided by Erwin Schrott as a lovable Figaro whose love for Anita Hartig’s Susanna is matched by his hatred for Count Almaviva who has his own designs on Figaro’s soon to be bride. For all of Figaro’s good humour, he shows he has a dark side with his controlled and vengeful “Se vuol ballare” sang with menace by the Uruguayan Schrott.

Erwin Schrott as Figaro and Anita Hartig as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at The Royal Opera House 2015. Photo by Mark Douet C31B6694

Erwin Schrott as Figaro and Anita Hartig as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro ROH 2015. Photo by Mark Douet 

In contrast to the opulence of the château, the dinginess of the servants’ quarters provides much of the action in the first act. Stéphane Degout’s Count Almaviva makes an appearance, a serial philanderer who begins to regret his recent renunciation of the feudal right for the master to bed any of his female servants on their wedding night.

Stéphane Degout as Count Almaviva and Anita Hartig as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at The Royal Opera House 2015. Photo by Mark Douet C31B7417

Stéphane Degout as Count Almaviva and Anita Hartig as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro ROH 2015. Photo by Mark Douet 

Stéphane Degout’s Count is an intriguing mix of aristocratic arrogance and repressed emotion who finds that Anita Hartig’s vivacious Susanna is not the pushover he believes her to be. We are also introduced to the scheming Marcellina (Ann Murray) , bumbling Doctor Bartelo (Carlo Lepore) who each have their own designs to act out and the excitable pageboy Cherubino.

Anita Hartig as Susanna and Kate Lindsey as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro at The Royal Opera House 2015. Photo by Mark Douet C31B7336

Anita Hartig as Susanna and Kate Lindsey as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro ROH 2015. Photo by Mark Douet

Kate Lindsey’s Cherubino adolescent passion for the Countess is delightfully played whilst providing a great deal of comedy in some farce like moments. For all the comedy, Ellie Dehn’s Countess provides evidence that love has its tragic side showing deep despair of her husband’s infidelity with a beautifully balanced interpretation of  ‘Dove sono i bei momenti’.

Ellie Dehn as Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at The Royal Opera House 2015. Photo by Mark Douet C31B8429

Ellie Dehn as Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro ROH 2015. Photo by Mark Douet

The frantic comedy of the first act only surfaces sporadically when the complex plot begins to unravel, sympathy for the Countess is tempered by her dalliances with the impressionable Cherubino, there is more testosterone flying when Figaro and the Count lock horns in the  battle for Susanna. For all the intricacies of the plot, the pace never slackens with Mozart’s wonderful score allowing conductor Ivor Bolton to provide the ideal pace for the drama to develop naturally.

Ellie Dehn as Countess Almaviva and Stéphane Degout as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro ROH 2015. Photo by Mark Douet 

Tanya McCallin’s grand and elegant sets take on a completely different character with the darker lighting in the last two Acts, the lengthening shadows were perhaps an indication that for all the power and prestige possessed, the days of the aristocracy were numbered. When the Count is found out in the final Act , his “Contessa perdono” pleads forgiveness but we begin to suspect that like the regime, the marriage is doomed.

This stunning David McVicar’s production of Le nozze di Figaro is one of the gems of the Royal Opera House that in its regular revivals are given a little more polish. The extremely strong cast seemed to revel in a production that draws the light and dark out of Mozart’s masterpiece. Erwin Schrott, Stéphane Degout, Anita Hartig and Ellie Dehn were outstanding in the main parts, ably assisted by the rest of the talented cast.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information about the production or to buy a ticket, Visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Le nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House – 15th September to 14th October 2015

figaro

Le nozze di Figaro was the first collaboration  of  Mozart  with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte; they would go on to create Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. For Figaro, Da Ponte adapted Pierre Beaumarchais’ controversial play Le Mariage de Figaro, which at the time was banned in Vienna due to its seditious content. The opera was well received in Vienna but had only nine performances; its revival soon after in Prague was a tremendous success, and led to the commission of Don Giovanni. Figaro quickly entered the international repertory and is now considered one of Mozart’s finest works

The story centres around Figaro and Susanna who are looking forward to their wedding day – but Figaro’s master Count Almaviva has his own feelings about Susanna. With the help of Almaviva’s wife the Countess and the page Cherubino, Susanna and Figaro finally outwit the Count. Humiliated and ashamed, the Count asks forgiveness from his wife – which she grants.

David McVicar’s acclaimed production sets the action in a French château in 1830 on the eve of revolution.  The entire household is drawn into the complex plot, which covers all depths of human emotion: from spirited playfulness (such as ‘Non più andrai’, when Figaro cheerfully sends Cherubino off to war), to deep despair (such as the Countess’s grief at her husband’s infidelity in ‘Dove sono i bei momenti’). But affection and fidelity prevail in this most warm-hearted of operas: the Count’s plea for forgiveness in the final act, ‘Contessa, perdono’, is an especially moving moment.

David McVicar’s production  stars Erwin Schrott and Anita Hartig with conductor Ivor Bolton.

Running times

About 3 hours 25 minutes | Including one interval.

Language

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

Die Zauberflöte at the Royal Opera House – 23 February to 11 March 2015

magic flute

Comedy and philosophy unite in Mozart’s  opera The Magic Flute, brought  to life in David McVicar’s production.

Mozart wrote Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) for a suburban theatre in Vienna, the Theater auf der Wieden, and drew on the magical spectacle and earthy comedy of popular Viennese theatre. As well as being a comedy, Die Zauberflöte is an expression of Mozart’s spiritual beliefs. Enlightenment concerns with the search for wisdom and virtue are at the heart of this enchanting tale. Die Zauberflöte was an instant success with audiences and even Mozart’s supposed rival Salieri described it as an ‘operone’ – a great opera.

The Opera tells the story of Prince Tamino who promises the Queen of the Night that he will rescue her daughter Pamina from the enchanter Sarastro. He begins his quest, accompanied by the bird-catcher Papageno, but all is not as it seems.

Tamino and Papageno discover Sarastro is a wise and kind leader and undergo three ordeals. By the end they are united with their true loves, Tamino with Pamina and Papageno with his Papagena.

David McVicar’s classic production embraces both the seriousness and comedy of Mozart’s work. The audience is transported to a fantastical world of dancing animals, flying machines and dazzlingly starry skies. The setting provides a wonderful backdrop for Mozart’s  score, from the Queen of the Night’s coloratura fireworks to Tamino and Pamina’s lyrical love duets and Papageno’s hearty, folksong-like arias.

Running time

About 3 hours 10 minutes | Including interval.

Language

Sung in German with English surtitles

For more information or to book tickets , visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Andrea Chenier at the Royal Opera House – 20 January to 6 February 2015

chenier

David McVicar directs a new production of Umberto Giordano’s passionate drama of liberty and love in the French Revolution.

The premiere of Andrea Chénier at La Scala, Milan, on 28 March 1896 propelled the young Umberto Giordano to the front rank of the up-and-coming group of young Italian composers that included Puccini and Mascagni.  The libretto by Luigi Illica (Puccini’s collaborator for Manon Lescaut, La bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly) was inspired by the real-life Romantic poet André Chénier, who was guillotined just three days before Robespierre’s execution.

Andrea Chénier has become celebrated for the lyrical music it offers, there are thrilling moments for the whole cast, including Maddalena’s ardent aria ‘La mamma morta’, Gérard’s ‘Nemico della patria!’ and a host of dramatic duets and characterful ensembles. David McVicar (whose productions for The Royal Opera include Le nozze di Figaro, Faust and Die Zauberflöte) directs The Royal Opera’s new production, moving from the opulence of pre-Revolutionary France to the horrors of the Reign of Terror.

For more information and book tickets, visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Rigoletto at the Royal Opera House – 12 September to 6 October 2014

rigoletto

Giuseppe Verdi wrote in 1855 that Rigoletto, based on Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse, was his ‘best opera’. He had to overcome state censorship to stage it – the censors objected to its depiction of an immoral ruler – but he was vindicated by the premiere’s huge success in 1851. Rigoletto was performed 250 times in the next 10 years and has remained one of the most popular of all operas.

David McVicar’s production highlights the cruelty and degeneracy at the heart of the court of Mantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage in brutal orgies and revelries to Verdi’s spirited dances. In contrast, Rigoletto lives in a rundown hovel and laments his unhappy existence in a powerful soliloquy. Along with this and Rigoletto’s Act II aria ‘Cortigiani, vil razza dannata!’, musical highlights include the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’, in which the Duke boasts of his disregard for women; Gilda’s exquisite duets with Rigoletto and the Duke; and the quartet in Act III that weaves the voices together as the story quickens to its shattering conclusion.

The performance lasts about 2 hours 50 minutes including two intervals

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

To find out more and book tickets  , visit the Royal Opera House Website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Royal Opera: Le Nozze Di Figaro by Mozart – 2, 6, 7, 10, and 15 May

figaro

Artists of The Royal Opera in Le nozze di Figaro © ROH / Mark Douet 2013

David McVicar’s acclaimed production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro returns for its sixth revival with The Royal Opera. David McVicar’s elegant staging sets the action in a French château in 1830 on the eve of revolution, amplifying the opera’s undercurrents of class tension. The opera is one of the greatest of all time, combining fast- paced drama and a sparkling libretto with much wonderful music, including beautiful arias and complex, witty ensembles.
Tanya McCallin’s ornate and realistic designs transport the audience to 19th-century France, with stylish, spacious sets and handsome period costumes.  The lighting design by Paule Constable adds both to the drama and to the elegance of the production, as does the lively movement direction by Leah Hausman .

FIGARO ©BC20060127250 FINLEY AS COUNT ALMAVIVA (C) BILL COOPER

GERALD FINLEY AS COUNT ALMAVIVA © BILL COOPER

Le nozze di Figaro had its premiere in 1786 at the Burgtheater in Vienna. Lorenzo da Ponte – with whom Mozart later collaborated on Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte – wrote the libretto. The opera was based on Pierre Beaumarchais’ controversial play Le Mariage de Figaro , which was banned in Vienna due to its seditious content.
Singing the role of Figaro is Italian bass Alex Esposito , who makes his role debut with The Royal Opera after triumphant performances as Leporello earlier in the Season. Susanna will be sung by Swedish soprano Camilla Tilling . Italian mezzo-soprano Anna Bonitatibus returns to The Royal Opera to sing the role of Cherubino, and Count and Countess Almaviva are sung by expert Mozartians Canadian baritone Gerald Finley and Welsh soprano Rebecca Evans respectively. David Syrus , Head of Music for The Royal Opera, conducts all performances.

Tickets £8 – £178

Find out more and Book Tickets Here

Opera : Faust at the Royal Opera House – 4, 7, 11, 14, 17, 22, 25 April

faust1

Faust at the Royal Opera House

Charles-François Gounod’s Faust was once one of the most famous and most performed of all operas: at Covent Garden it was heard every season between 1863 and 1911. Jules Barbier and Michel Carré’s libretto is a tale of romance, temptation, and the age-old battle between satanic powers and religion. It is based on Carré’s play Faust et Marguerite, which in turn is based on Part I of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s dramatic poem Faust, one of the great works of European literature.

faust2

David McVicar’s  large-scale production of Gounod’s Faust sets the action in Gounod’s Paris in the 1850s, and revels in the opera’s dark gothic elements.

The story of the opera centres on the eponymous character of Faust, who, after attempting suicide, sells his soul to the devil Méphistophélès in exchange for youth and the love of the beautiful Marguerite.

French and Italian opera specialist Maurizio Benini returns to conduct all performances, having conducted the
production when it was new in 2004 and again in 2006.

Singing the title role of Faust is Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, who recently performed the role to wide critical acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
The role of Marguerite will be shared by Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva and Greek soprano Alexia Voulgaridou.

Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and British baritone Simon Keenlyside, who both sang in the premiere of this production in 2004, will return to the roles of Méphistophélès and Valentin.
faust

Faust will be performed at the Royal Opera House on 4, 7, 11, 14, 17, 22, 25  April at 7pm.

To Book Tickets press here

Running time

About 3 hours 30 minutes | Including one interval. Acts One, Two and Three will last for about 1 hour 50 minutes, followed by a 30 minute interval. Acts Four and Five will last for about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Language

Sung in French with English surtitles