Marina Poplavskaya

The Devil’s in the Details

Last Sunday (9th) was spent in the company of a French operatic rarity, exhumed (quite literally in Act 3) by the Royal Opera after 122 years of absence from the Covent Garden stage. Robert le Diable by Giacomo Meyerbeer burst forth with a comparative absence of dark Gothic gloom, an over-abundance of brightly coloured horses and maidens, and a ballet of zombie nuns.

The combination of the production and the opera itself seems to have markedly divided opinion. On Twitter, snippets like “Mon Dieu! What a load of twaddle” and “Thanx 4 a rare opera but pls put it away 4 another 120yrs.” met with others who couldn’t wait to go back again. Broadly, I think views came down on the side of reservations rather than ovations.

But, do you know? I rather liked it. (more…)

ROH canters to a close for 2011/12

Notes and half-formed thoughts on three performances from the closing weeks of the Royal Opera season are still hanging around, not set down for posterity. Since posterity likes completeness (not that it ever gets it), I’d better crack on. (more…)

A celebration of artistic generosity

Well, we’re freshly back from an afternoon where the celebratory warmth in the auditorium was distinctly at odds with the repetitiously murderous events on stage.  Anchored around Plácido Domingo, the final acts of Otello, Rigoletto and Simon Boccanegra (strangling, stabbing and poisoning, respectively) provided more of an opportunity for the great man to celebrate his ensemble skills than for virtuoso display.  Which is fitting, for an artist of his generosity and integrity. (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…)