Johan Reuter

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…)

Fabulous Frau

Having attended the Royal Opera’s Die Frau ohne Schatten twice, on Sunday, 23 March and Saturday, 29 March, I’m still at something of a loss to lay out my thoughts. I was captivated by it – Claus Guth’s production, the score and the performance of it – and still find myself going back to reflect on elements of the staging, and calling to mind snippets of the gorgeous orchestral swell of the score. (more…)

The Minotaur’s impenetrable labyrinth

It is to my eternal shame that the suggestion of ‘new’ opera fills me with a slight sinking feeling. When the Royal Opera announced a raft of new commissions for the coming years I was pleased at their vote of confidence in the currency of the artform, but I wasn’t filled with eager excitement for the respective evenings in the theatre. When it came to this revival of The Minotaur then, not having seen it the first time around and in response to a chorus of general approval, I thought I should get myself along. I must say I came out of the theatre at the end with more of a feeling of having done A Good Thing than of pure enjoyment. (more…)

Something old, something new for the Tsar’s Bride

For all its engaging lyricism, and a good thump of melodrama, it’s telling that I haven’t really been able to work up the enthusiasm to blog thoughts on the Tsar’s Bride.  Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera, which has just run its course at Covent Garden, is perhaps a little more flimsy than it had originally sruck me, dazzled as I was by the resources lavished upon it. (more…)