Posts Tagged ‘London Coliseum’

Ecstasy and Death, English National Ballet, ENB, London Coliseum, April 2013

19 April, 2013

This intriguing triple bill is the first programme artistic director Tamara Rojo has put together for the Company, and she even dances in it herself.

Rojo and le Riche, all images ENB/ David Jensen

Rojo and le Riche, all images ENB/ David Jensen

The second item Le Jeune Homme et la Mort is worth the whole programme, and on the first night Rojo was the coolly callous young woman, with Nicolas le Riche, star of the Paris Opéra Ballet, as the young painter driven to madness by her strangely cold attraction. Roland Petit’s gloriously expressive choreography shows him to be in a state of nervous tension and exhaustion, and le Riche gave a riveting portrayal of his emotional despair. Two other performers will dance the role in the present run of performances, guest artist Ivan Putrov and Company member Fabian Reimair. As the girl, Tamara Rojo in her yellow dress, and later the mask of death, showed superb manipulation and indifference.

This extraordinary 1946 work, to a libretto by Jean Cocteau, formed an electrifyingly creative collaboration in post-Liberation Paris. For the music, he and Petit finally settled on Bach’s Passacaglia in C minor — at the dress rehearsal! The Bach was very strongly played under principal conductor Gavin Sutherland who gave fine musical direction to the evening, with Chris Swithinbank at the piano in Mozart’s Concertos K488 and K467 for the first item Petite Mort.

Petite Mort

Petite Mort

The French term la petite mort is an idiomatic euphemism for sexual orgasm, and the rapiers in Jiří Kylián’s choreography suggest a dichotomy between assertiveness and oblivion for the six couples. The men performed superbly with their rapiers, setting them in motion on the stage as if moving in unison of their own accord. Excellent rehearsal preparation must have led to this precision, and the unusual and very physical choreography was crisply and energetically performed by the twelve dancers.

Etudes

Etudes

The Company is at the top of its game, and the final Etudes was beautifully danced. Choreography is by Harald Lander, director of the Royal Danish Ballet, who created this work in 1948 to orchestral music by Knudåge Riisager, based on Czerny’s renowned piano exercises. It reveals a ballet class with a difference, as it starts with twelve girls in black tutus at the barre forming four sets of three, then three sets of four, each set in unison but different from the others. It then slowly opens out to other dancers, ending with nearly forty on stage. As the leading girl, Erina Takahashi showed lovely gentle movements, and her partners James Forbat, Esteban Berlanga and Vadim Muntagirov danced with fine precision. Muntagirov in particular showed a relaxed nobility of posture and line that was very attractive.

This  triple bill shows the Company to perfection, and performances continue until April 21 — for details click here.

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Laurencia, with Osipova and Vasiliev, Mikhailovsky Ballet, London Coliseum, April 2013

3 April, 2013

Soviet Realism meets Don Quixote, with the good Don replaced by an evil Commander whom the peasants destroy. He abducts the beautiful Laurencia, imprisoning her lover Frondoso, and there is a nasty sexual assault by two soldiers on a peasant named Jacinta. The women are both badly used and emerge with dirty torn skirts, but there is plenty of wonderfully happy dancing by the peasants, choreographed by famous Georgian dancer and choreographer Vakhtang Chabukiani.

Frondoso and Laurencia, all images ©MikhailovskyTheatre

Frondoso and Laurencia, all images ©MikhailovskyTheatre

As a powerful presence on stage himself, he wrote steps for a strong male dancer in the leading role of Frondoso, and Ivan Vasiliev made the most of it. With his extraordinary ability to perform multiple pirouettes that slow down and come to a perfect stop, his brilliant leaps en tournant, and his fine stage presence, Vasiliev was well matched by the technical brilliance and musicality of Natalia Osipova. Did I see a quadruple fouetté en tournant? Certainly there were some triples, but it is her dramatic commitment and attention to detail that make her so exciting to watch. The two of them together are a marvel.

2.Laurencia. Natalia Osipova and Ivan VasilievYet the whole company gave this huge sparkle, and Sabina Yapparova as Pasquala was a delight. It was she and Osipova who cleverly scuttled away from the soldiers in Act I, and her classical dancing in Act II, when the village celebrates the union of Laurencia and Frondoso, was outstanding. At the other end of the pleasantry spectrum, Mikhail Venshchikov portrayed the Commander as a thoroughly nasty piece of work, and he stayed in character for the curtain calls to receive the welcoming boos.

If you want to see an old Soviet ballet, this one from 1939 is well worth the ticket, and if you want to see some spectacular male dancing this is a must-see, with Vasiliev and Osipova giving a second performance on April 3. Set and costume designs by Vadim Ryndin are lovely, and Valery Ovsyanikov in the orchestra pit gave a strong impetus to Alexander Krein’s music. This composer seems to have adapted rather well to the Soviet system, and his music serves its purpose, but the reason to go to this, and it’s an excellent reason, is to see Chabukiani’s choreography performed with enormous panache.

Following a second performance of Laurencia with Osipova and Vasiliev on April 3, the Mikhailovsky Ballet will perform other productions until April 7 — for details click here.

Don Quixote, with Osipova and Vasiliev, Mikhailovsky Ballet, London Coliseum, March 2013

1 April, 2013

For classical ballet in glorious costumes with plenty of bouncy music it is hard to equal Don Quixote, and the Mikhailovsky Ballet did us proud with the feast they served up at the London Coliseum. The feel-good music by Minkus, plus some additions by Drigo, is a favourite of pianists in ballet class, and Lanchbery used parts of it in Tales of Beatrix Potter.

Osipova and Vasiliev, all images © Mikhailovsky Theatre

Osipova and Vasiliev, all images © Mikhailovsky Theatre

This dance-pantomime is not a recent favourite of British companies, though Carlos Acosta is staging a new version for the Royal Ballet in October 2013. That aside we have tended to rely on the Russians to bring it over, and they never fail to please. Originally created by Minkus and Petipa for Moscow in 1869, they expanded it for St. Petersburg two years later, and in 1900 and 1902 Alexander Gorsky restaged it in both cities. What we see here is due to Petipa and Gorsky.

2.Don Quixote. Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev2_The whole company gave a vivid portrayal of the choreography, led by the peerless Natalia Osipova as Kitri, who doesn’t merely use the music as background but feels it in all the small movements of her body. Ivan Vasiliev as her lover Basilio showed sensational leaps en tournant, hugely dramatic if sometimes untidy and his smaller jumps sometimes lacked classical poise. His strong partnering allowed him to perform an arabesque while holding her up with one hand, the orchestra falling silent for effect, and when they enter the tavern and he catches her as she flies horizontally through the air, he almost allows her head to sweep the floor. Wonderful fun.

Excellent solos from other dancers such as Nikolay Korypayev as the toreador, and Veronica Ignatyeva as Cupid in the dream scene. This white section, where Quixote dreams of his beloved Dulcinea in her enchanted garden of dryads, was beautifully performed and Natalia Osipova as Dulcinea was a delight.

Her exemplary dancing and musicality raised this joyous 2012 production to a seriously high level, and the Company responded in superb style. The glorious set and costume designs by Vyacheslav Okunev even had a horse and pony for the entrance of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in Act I. No expense spared, and the Mikhailovsky orchestra conducted by music director Pavel Bubelnikov played with great panache.

This London visit of the Mikhailovsky Ballet is a treat, and I look forward to their production of Laurencia on April 2. A Soviet era ballet, first danced by the Kirov in 1939, this is a village love story with a peasant rebellion against the wicked Commander who abducts the girl and imprisons her lover.

Performances of Laurencia take place on April 2 and 3, followed by other productions until April 7 — for details click here.

Aladdin, Birmingham Royal Ballet, BRB, London Coliseum, March 2013

22 March, 2013

While Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland plays at Covent Garden, the Birmingham Royal Ballet brings David Bintley’s new Aladdin to the London Coliseum. The former is sold out, and the latter deserves to be too, because both are equally great fun though entirely different.

Djinn and Magician, all images ©BRB/ Bill Cooper

Djinn and Magician, all images ©BRB/ Bill Cooper

Aladdin is a ripping yarn based on those Tales of the Arabian Nights, and its luminous story-telling, with a big pas-de-deux for Aladdin and the Princess in each of the three acts, allows more space for classical dancing than Alice. It all starts in the market place, reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, and the multiple dances of Act I recalled the second act of Nutcracker. Aladdin’s dispatch of the magician in Act III reminded me of the Tsarevich and Kashchei in Firebird, and these allusions point to the fact that this array of classical dancing is a feast for the eyes.

A Chinese dragon

A Chinese dragon

Excellent sets by Dick Bird, and the costumes by Sue Blane are lovely — Persian and Ottoman concepts with a splash of Far Eastern magic, perhaps suiting the fact that this ballet was first produced in Japan. With that audience in mind, Bintley relied more on his choreography than on big acting performances, and the whole thing is a wonderfully exuberant show of dance. Mark Jonathan’s lighting helps draw out the magic, and the costume and make-up for the magician made him look like an ancient Sumerian god, which if intentional is a very clever touch.

3.Aladdin - Tzu-Chao Chou as the Djinn - Bill CooperThe whole company danced with great élan, and Jamie Bond and Jenna Roberts made a delightful couple as Aladdin and the Princess, dancing a thrillingly joyful pas-de-deux in Act II. Tzu-Chao Chou was a remarkably airborne Djinn of the Lamp, and his Act II leap above the heads of four men who then hold him up high in a sitting position was a wonder to be seen. Iain Mackay as the magician showed marvellous stage presence with his gliding movements, and Marion Tait as Aladdin’s mother was as ever a musical delight.

The music itself by Carl Davis creates a magical atmosphere already in the overture, and this is a case where choreography and music were created to complement one another. There is not a dull moment, and the orchestra played beautifully under the baton of Philip Davis.

With four more performances in London, two of them matinees, this is a must-see. Do not be put off by associating this to a well known pantomime of the same name. Yes, there is a magic carpet and they float back home after escaping from the magician’s lair, but this is classical ballet with a swing in its step. Performances at the London Coliseum continue until March 24 — for details click here.

The Barber of Seville, English National Opera, London Coliseum, February 2013

26 February, 2013

This witty Jonathan Miller production, under the baton of Jaime Martín who is making his British operatic debut, is full of lively energy. Revival director Peter Relton has produced excellent team work, with exemplary diction, led by that great singing actor Andrew Shore as Dr. Bartolo. He was a hoot, and the whole cast was highly amusing without ever being over the top.

Happy ending, all images ENO/ Scott Rylander

Happy ending, all images ENO/ Scott Rylander

Lucy Crowe made a delightful Rosina, vocally secure with her pretty frills and trills, and Benedict Nelson’s portrayal of Figaro gave a great sense of clever improvisation as he finds a way round all difficulties to assist Count Almaviva win her hand. As Almaviva himself, Andrew Kennedy serenaded Rosina with great vocal warmth, singing strongly in his duet with Figaro, and the entrance to her home as a drunken soldier was amusingly done. The vernacular translation helps as Almaviva quietly verifies his identity to the real soldiers and their commander says, “Back off chaps”.

Bartolo and Rosina

Bartolo and Rosina

David Soar as Basilio was terrific, and the translation allows him perfect insouciance after his “Calumny” aria when Bartolo proposes a different method of handling things, “As long as I’m paid I couldn’t care tuppence!” During that aria as Basilio sings of his plans rising to a crescendo that will produce explosions, the orchestra entered fully into the spirit of things with wonderful musical bangs. Martín’s conducting was a bundle of joy, and as the sextet from the end of Act I built in intensity there was a huge bounce to the music. Included in the sextet is Katherine Broderick as Bartolo’s maid Berta, who sang very strongly in her bold Act II aria.

Jonathan Miller’s production with its excellent lighting celebrates its 25th year, and is full of wonderful moments — I loved the noisy locking of the door at Bartolo’s house early in Act I. But what really brought this performance to a state of perfection was Andrew Shore’s handling of Bartolo. His long aria (For a doctor of my standing …) in Act I was very wittily delivered, and as he gets increasingly upset and falls down he produces awkward strangulated sounds. Wonderful fun, and in Act II when he nods off during the singing lesson and shows confusion about the place in the music, his brief falsetto was brilliantly done. However many times you have seen Rossini’s Barber go again for this untouchable example of how to perform Bartolo.

Performances continue until March 17 — for details click here.

Medea, English National Opera, London Coliseum, February 2013

16 February, 2013

Spectacular success for the ENO gives audiences the British premiere of this baroque jewel that has lain in the shadows for about 300 years. With an excellent libretto by Thomas Corneille, well translated by Christopher Cowell, this terrific production by David McVicar makes compelling theatre.

Medea conjures confusion, all images ENO/ Clive Barda

Medea conjures confusion, all images ENO/ Clive Barda

Excellent choreography by Lynne Page suits both music and drama, Paule Constable’s lighting gives a very effective atmosphere, and Bunny Christie’s designs are terrific.

2.Medea, Sarah Connolly (c) Clive BardaThe whole thing is set in 1940s wartime, with Creon as head of a French army, Jason a Royal Navy Captain, and the airmen American. Jason is needed to help fight for Corinth, and Creon is only too happy to banish Medea, offer Jason his daughter Creusa as a bride, and ignore Orontes, Prince of Argos who expects to wed her. The interests of Orontes and Medea naturally coincide, but Creusa being in love with Jason, firmly rejects Orontes, and Medea, as her name implies (it’s related to the Greek verb μηδομαι meaning cunningly plan or contrive), decides to exact vengeance on Jason.

The turning point is in Act III, between the two intervals, when Jason’s dissembling and scheming is fully revealed to Medea and she decides to invoke the supernatural powers she embodies. At this point Charpentier’s music gives her more colourful harmonies, and though audiences in 1693 might have objected, we are entirely ready for them, and the whole effect is a musical treat.

3.Medea, Jeffrey Francis, Sarah Connolly (c) Clive BardaSarah Connolly was a marvellous Medea, sure of voice, stage presence and theatrical impact, a woman who can summon demons from the depths in Act III, and dispute Creon’s will in Act IV, bringing in wish maidens to drive him crazy. The underlying idea in that scene is that Creon’s relationship with his daughter Creusa has already shown a somewhat incestuous impropriety, and he is an easy victim. Creon himself was brilliantly sung and acted by Brindley Sherratt, and Katherine Manley gave a beautiful performance as Creusa. Roderick Williams sang forcefully as Orontes, showing admirable emotion in Act IV, while Jeffrey Francis gave a calm but rather wooden portrayal of Jason. In the end the dead bodies of his young sons are brought in, and Medea ascends to the heavens witnessing her final terrrifying act of vengeance.

Fine dancing and body movements by the twelve dancers in their multiple roles, and it is a pleasure to see effective choreography, unlike some recent productions at a nearby opera house in London. Super conducting by Christian Curnyn brought out the intriguing nature of the music. The big boss of French music in the seventeenth century was Lully who fiercely protected his territory, but Charpentier was arguably a better composer, and Medea is a masterpiece. Whether you like baroque opera or not, a production of this calibre it is a must-see. Unmissable.

Performances continue until March 16 — for details click here.

La Traviata, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, February 2013

3 February, 2013

Four scenes with no intermission and no sets, except for multiple curtains and a chair — but it works! This is Traviata cut to its essentials, concentrating on Violetta, and to a lesser extent Germont père.

Violetta, all images EON/ Tristram Kenton

Violetta, all images EON/ Tristram Kenton

Corinne Winters was a phenomenal Violetta, and as the opera ends she stands alone on stage facing Germont, Alfredo and Annina in the auditorium. Receding into the distance in her black slip, the lights go down, and it’s all over. There is no melodrama here, just a gentle vanishing that will affect the lives of those other three people, and gives the rest of us a view of who she is and what she feels. Peter Konwitschny’s stark production will surely have its detractors — and there were a smattering of boos for the production team — but I found it gripping, and moving.

2.La traviata, Corinne Winters, Ben Johnson 2 (c) Tristram Kenton

Concentrating on Violetta and Germont, brilliantly sung and portrayed by Anthony Michaels-Moore, is a clever device and their meeting in Scene 2 was a masterpiece of acting and timing. The tension and his gradual understanding of her plight were palpable. He has brought his young daughter, who rapidly feels sympathy for Violetta, and the turning point is when he slaps the young girl across the face, then turns his back, wondering what he has become. After the daughter exits, Violetta clings to him, wanting a father, and while one always feels for Violetta, the modern costumes, with Corinne Winters as such an attractive high-class prostitute, help the reality hit home.

I have reservations about portraying Alfredo as a bumbling bookish nerd because it’s not clear why she would be so attracted to him, but the director’s point is obviously that she wants to get away from the bling and goes for its exact opposite. The rowdy and uncouth behaviour of the party guests in evening dress adds emphasis to this contrast with Alfredo’s introspective world, and while the costumes for Violetta mark her out as especially glamorous, they also show her to be more demure.

Alfredo and Violetta, final scene

Alfredo and Violetta, final scene

Ben Johnson sang well as Alfredo, though this production upstages his character with those of his father and Violetta, making it hard for him. If you want a traditional production with all the party trimmings such as gypsies and matadors, then this co-production with Opera Graz is not for you, but if you want an intriguing insight into the main character it’s a must-see.

Fine singing from the chorus, and wonderful conducting by Michael Hofstetter who beautifully drew out the tension in Verdi’s music. And what a stunning performance by Corinne Winters as the frail one, making her European debut. Don’t miss seeing her.

Performances continue until March 3 — for details click here.

The Nutcracker with Klimentová and Muntagirov, English National Ballet, ENB, London Coliseum, December 2012

15 December, 2012

The clever concept behind English National Ballet’s Nutcracker is not that the toy comes to life, but that in Clara’s mind he takes on the form of Drosselmeyer’s handsome nephew, seen in a blue uniform at the party in Act I. After the death of the Mouse King, which occurs in Act II of this production, the nephew becomes the Nutcracker, and towards the end, in new costumes, he and Clara dance the Sugar Plum fairy pas-de-deux.

Mouse King, ENB image Patrick Baldwin

Mouse King, ENB image Patrick Baldwin

The way this concept is really brought to life by Toer van Schayk and Wayne Eagling is to have two Nutcrackers. The one with a painted mask on his face is the toy come to life, the one without a mask is Clara’s vision of him as the Nephew. They interchange for the first time after the snow scene in Act I, and the masked Nutcracker only finally disappears in early Act II after killing the Mouse King, who survived Act I and hung on to the balloon taking Clara, Drosselmeyer and the Nutcracker to the land of Sweets.

ENB image Annabel Moeller

ENB image Annabel Moeller

Having the final battle in Act II is unusual but Wayne Eagling’s production is otherwise entirely standard, starting and ending with Clara’s bedroom and skaters on the ice outside the house. The party scene in Act I is a spontaneous medley of dancing, action, and conjuring tricks from Fabian Reimair as a fine Drosselmeyer. He twice alters the hands of the clock, the second occasion being when the young Clara, beautifully played by Annabella Sanders, gets out of bed after the party to go downstairs. Drosselmeyer turns the time to midnight, and the magic starts.

Clara and Nutcracker, image Patrick Baldwin

Clara and Nutcracker, image Patrick Baldwin

Fine performances by James Forbat and James Streeter as Nutcracker and Mouse King, and the grown-up Clara was Daria Klimentová with Vadim Muntagirov as the Nephew. They were superb together, a real treat to watch.

Nephew as Nutcracker Prince, image Baldwin

Nephew as Nutcracker Prince, image Baldwin

In the Arabian dance Clara joins in to release the prisoner, none other than her own grown-up brother Freddie, who also appeared earlier to help battle the mice. In the Mirliton variation, which in this production is for one girl as a butterfly partnered by Drosslemeyer, Ksenia Ovsyanick was beautifully fluid in her movements. It was a star turn of the evening, but there was fine dancing all round and Esteban Berlanga as one of the Cavaliers in the Waltz of the Flowers was wonderfully precise and on the music.

Lovely designs by Peter Farmer, well lit by David Richardson, and good musical direction by Gavin Sutherland from the orchestra pit, always sensitive to the tempos for the dancers.

Nutcracker not to be missed, but performances finish on January 5 and tickets are now few and far between — for details click here.

The Mikado, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, December 2012

6 December, 2012

The Mikado himself in this fantasia of English eccentricity was gloriously played by Richard Angas, with Robert Murray excellent as Nanki-Poo, and Richard Suart giving a brilliant performance of Ko-Ko in his 25thanniversary of the role. This vintage production continues to sparkle with bounce and fizz, and is so extraordinarily up to date that Ko-Ko’s little list of Society offenders not only includes the latest scandals, but even mentions George Osborne’s autumn statement, which he only gave on the day of this performance.

The Mikado, all images ENO/ Sarah Lee

The Mikado, all images ENO/ Sarah Lee

Clearly one should keep going to further nights of The Mikado to catch all the clever innuendos that Richard Suart puts into his role as Ko-Ko. I loved the allusion to the Leveson Inquiry, “I’ve put him on my list, in case I’m on his list”; the bit about corporate tax dodgers; and “the Speaker’s wife who’s such a berk and believes in Trial by Twitter”. Bravo! Satire is alive and well at the London Coliseum.

Pooh Bah, Ko-Ko, Pish-Tush

Pooh Bah, Ko-Ko, Pish-Tush

Add to this the glorious choreography and tap dancing, the super performance of Yvonne Howard as Katisha, with the lovely Mary Bevan as Yum-Yum, along with Fiona Canfield and Rachael Lloyd as the other two of the Three Little Maids from School, and you have a performance to charm the eye and delight the ear.

Three Little Girls from School

Three Little Maids from School

This Jonathan Miller production with designs by the late Stefanos Lazaridis, whose work was recently seen at Covent Garden in the Ring cycle, shows a white-on-white hotel complete with palms and piano. It’s huge fun, and the costumes by Sue Blane give a great sense of stylised Englishness masquerading as something from the Far East. Well conducted by David Parry with its sense of spontaneity revived by Elaine Tyler-Hall, this has a freshness belying the age of the production.

Yvonne Howard as Katisha

Yvonne Howard as Katisha

Yvonne Howard sang beautifully in her solo before Ko-Ko enters to propose to her in Act II, and when Richard Angas as the Mikado says, “Till after lunch then — bon appétit!”, I had to laugh out loud. The main characters bring perfection to their performances, spicing the wit of the words by body language and presentation, yet it all appears entirely natural and unrehearsed. This glorious piece of Gilbert and Sullivan is worth revisiting for the clever innuendos alone, even if you have seen it many times before.

Performances continue until January 31 — for details click here.

Carmen, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, November 2012

22 November, 2012

The ENO’s new production of Carmen by Calixto Bieito is a stunner. No romantic gypsies here, but a bunch of nasty crooks who don’t bother to tie up Zuniga when he appears in Act II, but simply kick the hell out of him behind their Mercedes. And in Act III after Micaëla, beautifully sung by Elizabeth Llewellyn, has been found hiding in the back seat of one of the half dozen Mercs on stage, Carmen’s friends Frasquita and Mercédès, go through her handbag and take whatever they feel like. Mercédès has a pretty daughter, but they are coarse women against whom Carmen looks like real class. And when Don Jose meets up with her in Act IV there is no stabbing. He slashes at her, she clutches her throat, and staggers with blood dripping over her hands.

All images ENO/ Alastair Muir

This is a very physical, earthy production. One of the soldiers runs round and around the stage at the start, presumably as a punishment, and collapses. But without strict orders, these are not soldiers you would want to get close if they are in buoyant mood. And during the overture when we see a conjuring trick that is merely a joke, this is a warning not to expect the usual. The occasional spoken dialogue worked well, the earthiness is compelling, and remember that the original story by Prosper Mérimée is based on a real case — in Spain he went to interview a prisoner condemned to death for killing a gypsy.

Carmen and Don Jose

As Don Jose, American tenor Adam Diegel sang brilliantly, portraying the honourable nature of this man who went so terribly wrong under Carmen’s spell. It was a great performance. Romanian mezzo Ruxandra Donose made an attractive sexy Carmen, and Mercè Paloma’s main costume for her was inspired, allowing her to bend her knees aside without losing decorum. Wonderful lighting by Bruno Poet went from dark to sultry to cheerful brightness for the start of Act IV when a pretty girl in long blond hair suns herself on a Spanish flag with a bull motif in its centre. At the end when Don Jose has committed his final sin, Carmen lies in the same position. The imagery is clever, with the dark shape of a huge bull at stage rear during Act III, pulled down with a bang to start the celebrations of Act IV.

The start of Act IV

Among supporting roles, Graeme Danby was smugly nasty as Lieutenant Zuniga, Duncan Rock made a fine Corporal Moralès with magnificent stage presence, and Madeleine Shaw sang an excellent Mercédès. The visceral energy of this production was complemented by Ryan Wigglesworth in the orchestra pit, along with excellent work by the chorus and children, and the whole thing came over as hugely realistic.

Not to be missed, and performances only continue until December 9 — for details click here.