Donald Runnicles

A run of success

Fresh from the rather disappointing performance at the rather special Bayreuth Festspielhaus, it was back into Proms season and a run of tremendous performances in the dismal Royal Albert Hall… it would seem that the Albert Hall has a message for Bayreuth: you can have a special and well-designed theatre, but it ain’t much use if what you put on isn’t up to scratch. It goes without saying that all of these performances would have been that much more special in a better acoustic, but they still achieved rare levels of intensity in Kensington’s cavernous barn. (more…)

Berlin Regietheater x2

A weekend in Berlin and two operas, both exhibiting similar highlights and flaws: the Komische Oper’s Der Freischütz and the Deutsche Oper’s Tristan und Isolde. In common, they were musically strong. Equally, their Regietheater tendencies both misfired at crucial moments. What follows may come across as a reactionary opposition to Regietheater but in fact it is more a reaction to it being done badly and inconsistently. Overall, both performances were thoroughly enjoyable with much to think about. (more…)