Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave has always been regarded as problematic. Composed for television in 1969, it drew its pacifist inspiration from Britten’s experiences as a conscientious objector in 1942, and from the peace movement provoked by the Vietnam war.
Updating things by a century, director Stephen Barlow has bust a gut to put a new spin on Puccini’s gold-rush opera.
Garsington’s high-tech opera house floats like a mirage above the rolling acres of the Getty estate, and its clientele is quintessentially well-heeled; Fidelio is about dirt, physical degradation, mortal terror, and bloody revolution.
Most forgotten operas are forgotten with good reason, but the Offenbach operetta which conductor David Parry has exhumed for Garsington is a delightful discovery.
Sir George Young, the Tory MP who once said the homeless were "the people you step over coming out of the Opera House", could not have been more wrong.
Music is a wonderful bonding agent Growing up, my older sister played the piano and my middle sister played the violin, while my mother was a piano teacher, so naturally I wanted to play an instrument too; the cello. We used to play together at these horrible competitive festivals as a family. Now, though, music keeps the family close as we have the same interests and know the same people.
‘Nobody succeeds with a Berlioz opera,’ Terry Gilliam confided to his diary when his production of Benvenuto Cellini was first mooted three years ago. ‘You might f*** it up, but so does everybody else.’
Nabucco is the opera that shot Verdi to fame and begat his status as a folk hero.
John Powell came to compose his most famous soundtrack almost by mistake. In 2002, the director Doug Liman had just filmed a new action thriller starring Matt Damon, loosely based on a pulp novel called The Bourne Identity. Another highly regarded film composer, Carter Burwell, had written a score that had been recorded, but Liman wasn’t satisfied.
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