Plain English: April 2009 Archives

Katie Mitchell's latest film and theatre piece is called After Dido. As the title was meant to signal its being inspired by Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, it should probably have been baptised "Long After Dido."  (Part of) what the audience heard at the Young Vic (where this collaboration with the English National Opera was staged) was a live performance of the Purcell Opera, with Susan Bickley doubling convincingly as Dido and the Sorceress. What we saw on the large cinema screen, however, were three tales of loss, lightly linked to Virgil's tale.
April 29, 2009 3:41 PM | | Comments (0)
A not very significant British politician is supposed to have said "A week's a long time in politics." I've been thinking about my last week in "culture," which didn't seem very long at all; indeed, it passed in a flash, though there was a fair bit of commuting between Oxfordshire and London involved. 
The third revival of Elijah Moshinsky's 2002 production of Il Trovatore at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, was always going to be most interesting for  Roberto Alagna's having another crack at Manrico, following his booing at La Scala last year. For the first time I can remember, we had to leave the opera at the interval, as I was feeling distinctly queasy, and it wasn't the fault or Alagna or even of American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky's wobbly-intoned Leonora (I hear she improved later). So I didn't last long enough to hear that Alagna attempted only the top B Verdi actually wrote in "Di quella pura," rather than the show-off C most tenors interpolate. He certainly did nothing to light my fire in the first two acts. 
April 20, 2009 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)

In October, 2007 when the National Theatre premiered War Horse, based on a novel by children's writer Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford and performed in association with Handspring Puppet Company, you can perhaps understand why, thinking it was intended as a Christmas offering for kids, I gave it a miss.

Not the first mistake I ever made; but, now that I've seen its transfer to the West End at the New London Theatre, Drury Lane, one of the most foolish. War Horse is as theatrical a production as I've seen since Black Watch - which I mean as high praise (though I know these are precisely the grounds my friend John Rockwell gave for disliking the physically demanding play about the disbanding of the Scottish regiment).

April 9, 2009 5:32 PM | | Comments (0)

Me Elsewhere


About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Plain English in April 2009.

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About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
State of the Art
innovations and impediments in not-for-profit arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
The Unanswered Question
Joe Horowitz on music

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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