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Opera

Feature A Passionate Puccini

Liz Coggins reviews Opera North’s Spring Season

I am a purist when it comes to opera, and I thought nothing could change my mind, but Opera North’s production of La Boheme could have changed it.

 

I first saw the company perform this work back in the late 70’s as a very very young opera goer. To be honest I never really warmed to it. I found it really a little too slow and dull for my liking, preferring what I call its sister opera La Traviata – well both leading ladies die tragically from illness in the end don’t they!

 

But this revival – I…

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Review Beauty and the Beast

Liz takes a look at Northern Ballet's adaptation of a tale that is, well, as old as time

The story of a prince transformed into a beast and a beautiful girl with a heart pure enough to see through his frightful exterior first appeared as early as 1740.

Since then there have been literally hundreds of different adaptations of the story. It has been a film, play, pantomime, cartoon and most recently a musical with a score by Tim Rice, which still continues to tour today.

The transfer of the story of Beauty and the Beast to the stage as a ballet is not an easy one but Northern Ballet’s production of this work can only be described…

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Review Das Rheingold

Opera North perform Wagner's great work at Leeds Town Hall

On Friday 01 July, Opera North offered another performance of Richard Wagner’s immense work Das Rheingold at theLeeds Town Hall.

At half past seven the house lights went out. Then, with a rise of Richard Farnes’ conductor’s baton, the first few notes started to sound out. And as they boomed and rolled around the hall it was as though, for just a moment, the river Rhine itself was flowing through our Yorkshire city. In fact, you might even say that its springs were here and that it flowed from Leeds to the rest of the UK: this excellent…

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Review Opera North's Carmen

Tom Tollett watches am intriguing re-telling of the famous opera

The Carmen storyline has undergone many transformations from its far-off 1875 beginnings. Otto Preminger’s 1954 musical film, Carmen Jones, based it at an all-black army camp, with the beautiful, feisty Dorothy Dandridge, as the eponymous heroine portraying a civilian parachute-maker. A 1990 Carmen on Ice starred the delectable Olympian Katarina Witt in what was a glorious expansion of her gold medal free-programme from the Calgary Games two years before, a performance said to be hot enough to melt the ice. The 2001 MTV film, Carmen: A Hip Hopera, had the multi-talented Beyoncé Knowles as Carmen Brown.

The critics found several…

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Review HMS Pinafore (Opera Della Luna)

Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1878 comic opera comes to St. George’s Hall, Bradford

With the sometimes dozens of theatre visits we make each month, things can start to all look and sound the same. In that respect, Gilbert and Sullivan’s oft-revived HMS Pinafore is a breath of fresh sea air. Whilst comic opera may not exactly be in vogue with the younger audiences, we’re actually quite partial to a bit of light opera having particularly enjoyed Opera North’s production of Ruddigore earlier this year.

HMS Pinafore is a story about the class system of the day, as told aboard the Pinafore – a big butch warship with a girly name. Pinafore…

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