Batman robbing: Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Fulham Opera

Fulham Opera, noted in recent years for their serious and compelling Wagner and Verdi output, are also not shy of comedy (as demonstrated by their very successful Falstaff). Die Fledermaus is a revenge comedy in the lighter tradition of operetta, and Fulham Opera’s take on Strauss is characteristically skilful, immediate, and musically polished, with minimal…

Patriot games: Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at Fulham Opera

Sung with glorious musicality by a fine cast, there is no better chance to get really close to this extraordinary work than Fulham Opera’s clear, dynamic production. Director Fiona Williams’ 1980s gangster setting suits the power-mongering plot well: in sharp suits and shellsuits, with glittering watches and flick knives, the rival political gangs huddle on the…

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…

Gasp, cry, laugh: Puccini’s Il Tabarro & Gianni Schicchi, Fulham Opera

First, darkness; next, grief and spiritual transcendence; finally, ribald laughter. For his penultimate work, Puccini designed a trio of short one-act operas, Il Trittico, to take his audience on an extraordinary, disconnected emotional journey in one evening, from a bitter revenge tragedy to a brilliant farce. Fulham Opera have picked the two most popular elements…

Verdi meets The Queen Vic: an uproarious Falstaff from Fulham Opera

Fulham Opera’s Falstaff opens in a modern day pub: crisps are on the table, children are playing with mobile phones, and Falstaff himself is in tracksuit bottoms. It’s effectively a case of Verdi meets The Queen Vic, soaked in a London underworld atmosphere of wideboys, semi-functional alcoholics and glossy Essex beauties. Directed by Daisy Evans, the action…

A magnificently minimalist Ring from Fulham Opera

Fulham Opera’s production is an act of distillation which rebels against everything we’re usually told about the Ring: and it allows the vibrant power of Wagner’s story, and the sheer beauty of his music for the human voice, to hit us harder and deeper than any production I have seen before. It is simply staged, brilliantly sung,…