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Gauging the significance of The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess in the chronology of American music theatre

In Audio, Classical music, Features, Musicals, Opera, Opinion by Edward SeckersonLeave a Comment

The recent revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess at English National Opera and the prospect of comparing all its available recordings in BBC Radio 3’s Record Review has prompted me to look a little deeper into this landmark score and to reassess its significance in the chronology of American music theatre.

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‘From the age of four, opera just became the thing I loved’: Interview with soprano Eleanor Dennis

In Interviews, Opera by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

Soprano, Eleanor Dennis arrived on my radar when I attended Three Choirs Festival at Worcester Cathedral. Her voice is so exquisite that it still resonates almost a year on. Since then I’ve been keeping an eye on her career and have thus far been unable to make the requisite journeys see her on stage. However,… Continue Reading →

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‘McCrystal’s touch and comic vision is what makes it special’: IOLANTHE – ENO at London Coliseum ★★★★★

In London theatre, Opera, Opinion, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

If you can tear your eye away from the mayhem on stage, the surtitles for Iolanthe remind us of the utter brilliance, the absurdism, mad rhymes, unexpected neatness and damn sharp satire which WS Gilbert flung out like a literary Catherine-wheel. Gorgeous. I recant. I regret the years of avoiding G&S.

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NEWS: ENO announce the first major West End revival of Chess in over 30 years

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Native, News, Press Releases, Sticky by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

CHESS, the epic musical love story set amid the tensions of a world championship chess match, will play at the London Coliseum for a strictly limited 5 week run from Thursday 26 April 2018, with a press night on Tuesday 1 May 2018. Tickets go on public sale on Friday 3 November from 10am.

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CIRCUS DIARIES: Akhnaten, by English National Opera

In Features, Opera, Opinion, Reviews by Katharine KavanaghLeave a Comment

This luminous production of Philip Glass‘ 1983 opera Akhnaten bathes the senses in rich sonic and visual colour that sears the tantalising character of the titular Egyptian pharaoh – and his revolutionary reign – into the brain. Director Phelim McDermott takes Glass’ score and extends the composition so that bodies, costumes, light and juggled objects become additional instruments played in harmony with the orchestra to create a decorous whole. It’s been a long time since a show has held me completely transfixed from start to finish yet, with a running time of 2hrs 55 (including two intervals), Akhnaten doesn’t feels overlong for a second.

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Diary of a Theatre Addict: 49 shows in six weeks, getting up to date

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

I’ve not updated my diary of a theatre addict for six weeks now — I was last here on January 31 — since when I’ve seen all of 49 shows, including outings to Newbury, Dartford, Clwyd, Manchester, Bromley and Cardiff, plus a week in New York. I’ve also taken an active part in two more shows by appearing onstage as a contestant in a theatrical re-run of Mr and Mrs with husband (so it was really Mr and Mr, we’re pictured above with host Samuel Holmes) and as part of David Bedella and Friends, his monthly chat show at the St James Studio.