Angela Denoke

A magical Parsifal

Curtain Call at Parsifal

Curtain call at Parsifal, showing the basic set with woodland surrounding a geometric playing space and the Grail ‘cube’.

I’m not sure Parsifal has ever quite worked this spell on me. It’s entirely possible I was just ‘in that zone’ and receptive to its very special charms. However, I also think that this was one of the most successful new productions Covent Garden has had for some time. Whilst Stephen Langridge’s production is not without flaws, in comparison to a number of recent new productions on London’s stages, it is something of a triumph. With a very strong cast – and some notably outstanding and character-redefining performances – it was a special evening indeed. (more…)

Salome dances again

Caught the last night of the run of Salome at the ROH.  A good outing for the production, a strong cast and some fantastic orchestral playing and conducting.  And a lot of blood.

(Sir) David McVicar’s production continues to deliver the full-on decadence-and-gore experience, with a bit of titillation thrown in from the thoroughly-muscled naked executioner. Some of its flaws became a little more evident.  In particular, the Dance of the Seven Veils is imaginatively done, and for the most part effective, but it doesn’t end confidently, rather it just fizzles out, particularly noticeable given that the music has that fabulous scurrying flourish at the close.

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Modernism in all its glory

This week, as if to lighten the January gloom, I had the chance to experience two sharp doses of modernism.  Both were performances of the very highest quality, and in different ways they both left their mark.

Firstly, back on Sunday evening I managed to score two tickets to The Waste Land at Wilton’s Music Hall.  The production has quite a pedigree, having toured the world and having marked the reopening of Wilton’s Music Hall back in 1996 when the venue was starting out on the road to recovery and was in a more parlous state even than it is now.  For these purposes, however, the venue is perfect, and the air of decayed splendour seems to suit the stifled atmosphere of the poem.

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