Everybody Can! Opera is a mentoring platform produced by English National Opera’s (ENO) Harewood Artist Nadine Benjamin. It saw its second production at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, thrill and inspire an eager full-house of opera enthusiasts. The evening began with crowds of people inside the church and a queue reaching as far out as the streets of London. It almost seemed purposefully coordinated to tune the minds of its audience for a new production of Tosca set in present-day London.>>>
Is there enough theatre about sexual assault, women rights and sex education? Given recent #Metoo and #Timesup campaigns, there has been a rising awareness of what has been happening behind closed doors, and slowly more people are opening up about their traumatic experiences. Pearshaped Theatre’s production of the world’s first revenge cupcake company, Conquest, now showing at The Bunker Theatre, is a winning combination. Its writer, Katie Caden speaks candidly about what is often a difficult subject to talk about for many.
Within the last two weeks 2018 has come into full swing. There’s been so many news bulletins from the opera, theatre and the classical music world that I’ve decided to break down the theatre news into one blog post and bring you opera and classical music news tomorrow in another post. Enjoy!
It was only two weeks ago that I saw Jonathan Kent’s ninth revival of Tosca at the Royal Opera House with Joseph Calleja, Gerald Finley and Adrianne Pieczonka (my thoughts here). Now I’m reporting about another production of Tosca based in a different continent. One cannot deny how Puccini’s music enraptures us and that’s one of the major reasons why Tosca has remained a repertoire staple for many international opera houses.
The Met HD live performance of Tosca was like a Super Bowl event. This Saturday, Sonya Yoncheva headlined the lead role in her first ever performance of Puccini’s Tosca. Vittorio Grigolo also made his debut and melted our hearts with a photograph of him as the shepherd boy with Pavarotti, as Cavaradossi, in Mauro Bolognini’s production, taken almost 30 years ago.
The opera broadcast streamed to 900 cinemas and figures, confirmed on Sunday night, claimed it had grossed $2 million at the box office. It’s a proud figure for the Met Opera, but it raises questions about the price of the cinema tickets. Watching it from the capital, Londoners paid between £30-37 for Met HD tickets, which is more than its sister opera house across the pond at London’s Covent Garden, showcasing live ballet and opera performances for £20-23.
The hashtags #Metoo and #TimesUp originate from the rise of sexual allegations and harassment cases revealed within the wider theatre, film and entertainment industries since the latter part of 2018. After media outlets announced the sexual allegations claims made against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, more claims of sexual abuse, rape and harassment came out about other notable figures, including ex-artistic director of London’s Old Vic theatre and actor Kevin Spacey. He was accused of misconduct and inappropriate behaviour by 20 members of the Old Vic as artistic director from 2004-2015. Actor Anthony Rapp also accused Spacey of making sexual advances towards him when he was 14 years old.
The Stage’s Special Report on Harassment in Theatre was published on January 25th. Having read it I thought I’d share some sections, quotes and statistics from The Stage’s findings. (The actual report can be found here. You need to be a subscriber to read all seven pages of it online.)
Welcome! Here’s a roundup of news, posts, bits and pieces I’ve been sharing on Social Media since Day 1 of 2018.
The Globe has announced that they will be showing a new production of Othello this summer. Claire van Kampen shall direct the production with Andre Holland and Mark Rylance who take on the role of Othello and Iago. Tickets are on sale from January 29th, 2018, so get your index finger ready as they will definitely sell out fast. (Click here for the Globe website.)
Ever read a great review of a show and wanted to see the show for yourself, but didn’t know where the theatre was? No worries. Blogger and theatre writer Liz Dyer has pre-made a theatre map for your location needs. If you are a theatre that isn’t listed on the map, let Liz know and she will update the map for you. (Check out the map on her blog.)
Happy News from Alice Jones on Twitter, reporting from Soho Theatre:
Well that’s a first. Someone just proposed to their girlfriend on stage at Soho Theatre! (she said yes)
— Alice Jones (@alicevjones) January 5, 2018
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For me MAKROPULOS.— Karita Mattila (@MattilaKarita) February 19, 2019
Luckily Jenůfa wasn’t put on there.
I love KAT’A.
I don’t mind being in second place. Well. With Cunning little Vixen leading I do - a bit.
I mean; PEOPLE! C’mon - go vote. Elina it is. MAKROPULOS❤️
Without having seen Come From Away yet I'm already reading this tweet thinking 'I know, I know'. twitter.com/rochellebalboa…
Spent the whole of my lunch break reading reviews of Come From Away from bloggers. 👍 Traditional criticism is becoming harder and harder to stomach when many paper critics now seem to find petty reasons to pick holes in a show successfully spreading some good in the world.— Rochelle Bisson (@rochellebalboa) February 19, 2019