Sunday, 19 November 2017

Semiramide - Royal Opera

Joyce DiDonato was superlative in the title role of this Rossini number. She was poised. She had commanding presence (required for the role). And her vocal delivery was fantastic.


Arsace, sung well by Daniela Barcellona, had a bit of a tomboy look. On the first night, there were two Assur: Michele Pertusi sang the first half, but fell ill to be replaced by a shorter version in Mirco Palazzi. They both did well, but it took a bit of getting used to.

This new production by David Alden seem to have worked. The drama and dynamics played out well among the cast. The chorus / actors together helped maintain the court intrigue throughout the opera. Pappano, as ever, moved the drama along nicely.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

THE LIE, Menier Chocolate Factory

Samantha Bond's Alice was funny yet serious. The way she effortlessly flipped between questioning the lie and living the lie was fantastic. Her "husband" Paul, played by Alexander Hanson was equally manic and funny. Tony Gardner (Michel) and Alexandra Gilbreath (Laurence).

Christopher Hampton's translation and Lindsay Posner's direction did a good job at portraying a none-too-typical French social construct to London.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The Network, National Theatre

Not having seen the film, I was not entirely sure to expect. But I couldn't help to be blown away by the opening scene - the count down to live tv news. It was exciting. It felt authentic. It was three-dimensional. Bryan Cranston as Howard Beale was suitably poised (as newscaster) and manic at the same time. He was definitely the star of the show.



One could not help but admire the production, stage design and camera work for this production. The constant movement of sets, shifting from scene to scene, was phenomenal. They help bring the dynamism of the tv studio to a live audience. Wonderful stuff.