Medium cool

A riddle, inside a mystery, wrapped in cashmere.

It’s a common criticism of Manon Lescaut , whether in the hands of Massenet or Puccini, that it’s hard to feel a lot of sympathy for the heroine in the light of her actions. How much harder, then, is the task Nico Muhly has set himself in presenting Winston Graham’s elusive heroine Marnie (and this is very definitely an adaptation of Graham,not Hitchcock) on the operatic stage?  Read more »

Ed ora come faccio?… Così!

In another one of those ideas that might go brilliant or bonehead, “English National Opera is staging a modern-day version of La bohème in which the lead female character is a heroin user rather than a consumptive.” (Though of course, in reality the situation is hardly either/or.)

Feel the early morning madness

Glenn Close‘s Norma Desmond is back. The actress will reprise her Tony-winning role as a faded silent movie star in London next year in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard, the second musical theatre production in the English National Opera’s partnership with the GradeLinnit Company.” [Hollywood Reporter]

“My work is done”

John Berry, artistic director of the English National Opera, has announced he intends to step down from his role after 20 years with the Company.

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Talking headspace

Our Own JJ (pictured) joins in the debate over the Düsseldorf Tannhäuser with Anne Midgette and John Berry.

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“Where was Liam Joshua?”

Anyone looking for orgiastic obscenity in Calixto Bieito‘s production of Carmen at the London Coliseum, will be bitterly disappointed, writes Rupert Christiansen.

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Provocative ad provokes, surprisingly

But not everyone is amused.

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Closet drama

I have a confession to make about Britten’s opera Billy Budd: I don’t like it very much.”

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ENO is enough

The repertory for the upcoming season of the English National Opera (also known as “Peter Gelb‘s shopping list”) boasts the world premiere of a new opera by Philip Glass, The Perfect American, which imagines the last days of Walt Disney.

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Two ghosts

The ENO was filled with ghosts last week. Spectral, possibly illusory figures fleetingly materialized in the Internet chatrooms that provide the setting for much of Nico Muhly’s new opera Two Boys, and brutal boarding school memories came back to troubled life in director Christopher Alden’s dark take on Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

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