Die tote Stadt may be better known for the lushly orchestrated lyricism of its music, but the psychological acuity of its exploration of grief and memory is no less impressive from a composer who was still 23 when no less than Otto Klemperer conducted the
The luscious string sound, which wafts as if supported on air; the sublime, glowing brass; the dangerously slow tempi which create greater levels of intensity the slower they are: Antonio Pappano’s conducting of Parsifal is as spiritual a realisation of
In recent years, English National Opera has abandoned its long-standing opposition to surtitles, belatedly (in my view) recognising that singing in English doesn’t do a lot for accessibility if only the front half of the stalls can hear it clearly.
A young man ignorant of everything, including his own name, arrives at the Kingdom of the Holy Grail. Is he the ‘pure fool, enlightened by compassion’, who, it has been prophesied, will purify the kingdom?
The idea that a meditative, minimalist opera about Gandhi, sung in Sanskirit, would be a crowd-pleasing winner sounds implausible, but Philip Glass’s 'Satyagraha' has proved the most popular contemporary work ever staged at English National Opera.