Preview: Opera in the City Festival

The Arts are steadily moving east in London. Nicholas Hytner is launching his new 900-seat theatre at Tower Bridge this autumn: it’s been 80 years since London theatre received such a large new forum for performance. Dalston and Hackney are brimming as ever with pop-up arts opportunities, but closer than trendy East London, the City…

Unexpected Opera’s The Rinse Cycle

“A Ring Cycle set in a launderette? Well, I’ve seen weirder productions…”  Unexpected Opera’s approachable and slick reduction of Wagner’s epic starts on a characteristically unstuffy note, and proceeds to soften us up with disarmingly cheesy jokes, some ribald stage antics, and bags of energy. The Rinse Cycle cheerfully pokes fun at itself, as well…

Tempest-tossed on the storm of life: Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at Fulham Opera

Wagner declared in his 1851 pamphlet Communication to my Friends that “the Flying Dutchman… gives emotionally compelling expression to… the longing for peace from the storms of life.” And Daisy Evans takes this sense of exhausted, eternal displacement as her directoral cue: it is our sudden, imposed rootlessness which puts us all at sea with the Dutchman, lost in…

A gloriously inventive night at Tête à Tête: Psyche, On the Axis Of This World and Encounters In The Republic Of Heaven

Psyche – Alex Groves Psyche asks us to get up close and personal with opera (alone, barefoot and blindfolded) for ten minutes, and the results are, to me, spine-tingling. On the Axis Of This World – Matt Rogers Rogers creates a powerful sense of coldness and isolation which fits his subject perfectly: sometimes the music seems…