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The ENO will revive 'Madam Butterfly' in May 2016, with American soprano Rena Harms in the title role. This review is from the production's 2013 run. Oscar-winning film director Anthony Minghella brought the whole of his cinematic sensibility to bear...Classical and opera Until Tuesday June 7 2016Read more
Tristan and Isolde
Hotly-tipped young director Daniel Kramer takes on the classic Wagner opera of romance and doomed love. Wagnerian Heldentenor Stuart Skelton will play Tristan, while American dramatic soprano Heidi Melton will take the role of leading lady Isolde. With designs...Classical and opera Thursday June 9 2016 - Saturday July 9 2016Read more
Czech composer Janáček's heart-rending opera gets an Olivier-award winning staging from director David Alden. When Jenůfa's baby is found dead on the day of her wedding, her Eastern Bloc village demands justice. American soprano Laura Wilde plays Jenůfa,...Classical and opera Thursday June 23 2016 - Friday July 8 2016Read more
Shanghai Opera Company: Thunderstorm
Minghzhe Zha directs the award-winning modern opera about family, society and corruption in Old Shanghai, based on the acclaimed play by Cao Yu and set to music by legendary composer Mo Fan. Conducted by Guoyong Zhang.Classical and opera Thursday August 11 2016 - Sunday August 14 2016Read more
English National Opera: Don Giovanni
Richard Jones directs a Theater Basel co-production of Mozart's tale of dissolution and retribution with Christopher Purves singing the role of the charismatic lover, who schemes and seduces with the aid of his long-suffering manservant Leporello. Conducted...Classical and opera Friday September 30 2016 - Wednesday October 26 2016Read more
English National Opera: Tosca
Catherine Malfitano directs Puccini's impassioned opera about an escaped political prisoner, Cesare Angelotti, who hopes to evade the clutches of the chief of police, Baron Scarpia, with the help of his painter friend Cavaradossi. Keri Alkema takes on...Classical and opera Monday October 3 2016 - Saturday December 3 2016Read more
English National Opera: The Pearl Fishers
Penny Woolcock conducts a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera New York of Bizet's dramatic tale of two fishermen who fall in love with the same woman. Claudia Boyle sings the role of the priestess Leila, who comes between them. Conducted by Roland...Classical and opera Wednesday October 19 2016 - Friday December 2 2016Read more
English National Opera: Lulu
Brenda Rae sinks her claws into the titular femme fatale of Alban Berg's tempestuous opera of love, obsession and death, adapted from Frank Wedekind's two plays. Sarah Connolly and Michael Colvin sing the roles of two of Lulu's admirers, the lesbian Countess...Classical and opera Wednesday November 9 2016 - Saturday November 19 2016Read more
English National Opera: The Pirates Of Penzance
Sarah Tipple directs a revival of Mike Leigh's acclaimed staging of the enduringly popular Gilbert and Sullivan operetta about an apprentice pirate, who falls head over hells in love with one of the Major-General's daughters. Conducted by Gareth Jones....Classical and opera Thursday February 9 2017 - Saturday March 25 2017Read more
English National Opera: The Winter's Tale
Rory Kinnear directs the world premiere staging of composer-in-residence Ryan Wigglesworth's first opera after William Shakespeare, starring Iain Paterson as Leontes, the King of Sicilia, who mistakenly believes that his virtuous wife Hermione is having...Classical and opera Monday February 27 2017 - Tuesday March 14 2017Read more
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I was recently desperate to see Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard but, being a bit strapped for cash, I didn’t fancy blowing £100+ on a ticket. Enter the attractive £12.50 (+£1 fee) price I found available on the ENO website. “Restricted viewing” it said. “Restricted Leg Room” it said. I was fully prepared for this, but even then I was shocked at the seat I was given. I was on a curve so you could barely move one knee, thankfully the other could be directed in a way that gave it a little more room. The view was fine, amazing in fact for the price. But I’m seriously concerned for anyone other than a small child taking that seat in future. Please avoid, unless you have no other choice or happen to be a contortionist.
Not only is this one of the most stunning, buildings in London, swimming in a sea of timeless theatre wonder, it is also home to the English Natioanl Ballet. If you don't know much about Ballet, this company is a must see, seriously, get on down there now, tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, you can't go wrong!
Review of Eifman’s Ballet – “Anna Karenina”
Last Saturday, on the 19th of April 2014 I visited the London Coliseum to see a Russian Modern Ballet from St. Petersburg, “Anna Karenina”, created by Boris Eifman.
The hosting theatre – the London Coliseum, is full of that charming Art Nouveau atmosphere making much smoother this Time Passage from the Present to the 19th century tragic Russian story, created by Leo Tolstoy.
The ballet is based on the famous novel, “Anna Karenina”, and predominately concentrates on the love triangle between Anna, her conservative husband Karenin and the dashing Vronsky. It opens up in a burst of psychological energy making an indelible impression upon its viewers.
Every twisted and extremely expressive movement of Anna Karenina’s body leads the viewer from the peak of her love passion to the gradual degradation of her inner world, crushed by the same passion. Lovers’ souls and bodies are entwined in incredible harmony. The building up of their passion is expressed through the light and colors. Black, golden-grey and creamy white colors dominate the ballet’s pallet helping to communicatethe emotional mood of heroes together with the dark and the light sides of Anna’s soul.
Two beds: Anna’s marital couch and her lover’s “retreat” act as “supportive actors”, witnessing the development of the tragedy.
Anna and her husband’s acting is saturated with poses of rejection, prayers, grief, sorrows and anger. At the same time Anna and Vronsky’s bodies are entwined like branches of trees in complicated and amazingly smooth transformational poses. Lovers are in white, reminiscent of love doves. Anna’s silky night dress makes the gravity disappear under the ballerina’s feet, leaving her entirely in the power of her lover, whilst her black, mourning outfit pulls her to this “sinful” earth. Every gesture, turn or movement of the dancers is full of meaning. Their suppleness and flexibility are tested to the limit of a human body’s capability.
Condemning society, Anna’s husband, together with the male group of dancers, smeared in fuel oil and dirt represent the churning and rattling wheels of trains, , even her little son, all are dressed in black, mourning Anna’s destroyed inner world, anticipating her madness and sacrifice.
All this highly charged emotional performance is well accentuated by the minimum use of light, mostly spotlights combined with the ever moving music of Tchaikovsky.
This classical drama goes so well with the innovative, creative and very talented modern choreography of Eifman. It slowly reveals itself against the background of the romantic surroundings and the luxurious vintage interior of the London Coliseum, leaving the audience with an absolutely unforgettable experience. By Nadine Platt