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Bat Out of Hell – The Musical
‘Bat Out of Hell’, a musical based on the multi-platinum songs of Jim Steinman – as popularised by the man known as Meat Loaf – is a preposterous, lumbering behemoth of a show. There is absolutely nothing I could possibly say here to dent its popularity....Musicals Until Tuesday August 22 2017
The home of the English National Opera is mounting less and less, well, opera these days, so Verdi fans are in for a treat with this new version of 'Aida'. Verdi's intense story of love and betrayal will be updated by award-winning Improbable director...Classical and opera Thursday September 28 2017 - Saturday December 2 2017
The Barber of Seville
Jonathan Miller's beloved production of 'The Barber of Seville' is the ENO's closest thing to a surefire crowdpleaser. It finds all the humour in Rossini's classic comic opera, set in 18th century Seville. Morgan Pearse will take the role of mischievious...Classical and opera Thursday October 5 2017 - Monday October 30 2017
Handel's opera 'Rodelinda' is one of his finest. It tells the story of a Rodelinda, a woman who believes her husband has been killed in battle, and must keep faith in him as she gets swept up in a mess of courtly political machinations. Richard Jones'...Classical and opera Thursday October 26 2017 - Wednesday November 15 2017
Nico Muhly is one of the most celebrated contemporary classical composers out there: at the tender age of 35, he's penned hit operas, film scores, and collaborations with indie music idols like Bjork and Antony and the Johnsons. His latest work 'Marnie'...Classical and opera Saturday November 18 2017 - Sunday December 3 2017
The idea that a meditative, minimalist opera about Gandhi, sung in Sanskirit, would be a crowd-pleasing winner sounds implausible, but Philip Glass’s 'Satyagraha' has proved the most popular contemporary work ever staged at English National Opera. Then...Classical and opera Thursday February 1 2018 - Tuesday February 27 2018
Thoroughly silly musical satire 'Iolanthe' is one of Gilbert & Sullivan's best loved light operas for good reason. Set at the court of the fairies, it takes every excuse to poke fun at Victorian high society, including Queen Victoria herself, her rumoured...Classical and opera Tuesday February 13 2018 - Saturday April 7 2018
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Robert Carson's production of Britten's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' raised more than a few eyebrows on its premiere in 2011. He takes the much-loved British composer's sensual, bewitching Shakespearean opera and sets it in the playground of a '50s boy's...Classical and opera Thursday March 1 2018 - Thursday March 15 2018
New ENO boss Daniel Kramer makes his directing debut at the English National Opera with this new production of Verdi's 'La Traviata'. And all eyes will be on him. He was a controversial appointment, boasting an eclectic background that's taken in mime...Classical and opera Friday March 16 2018 - Friday April 13 2018
Opera North: Kiss Me, Kate
Legendary musical theatre composer Cole Porter's 'Kiss Me, Kate' was as close as he ever got to writing an opera: it mixes extravagant, challenging tunes with some riotous jazz numbers, notably 'It's Too Darn Hot'. So it's little wonder that Opera North's...Musicals Wednesday June 20 2018 - Saturday June 30 2018
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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