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A Britten Collection (Teatro alla Scala/ENO/Glyndebourne/The Royal Opera)

A Britten Collection (Teatro alla Scala/ENO/Glyndebourne/The Royal Opera)

John Graham-Hall (Peter Grimes (Peter Grimes); Gustav von Aschenbach (Death in Venice)); Susan Gritton (Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes)); Sarah Connolly (Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia)); Christopher Maltman (Prince Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia)); John Mark-Ainsley (Captain Vere (Billy Budd)); Jacques Imbrailo (Billy Budd (Billy Budd)); Susan Bullock (Elisabeth I (Gloriana)); Toby Spence (Earl of Essex (Gloriana)); Andrew Shore (Voice of Dionysus (Death in Venice)); Tim Mead (Voice of Apollo (Death in Venice));

"Elder's unerring sense of theatre puts him absolutely at one with the stage in every episode. He's clearly the guiding spirit of this Billy Budd. The production has been directed with laudable unobtrusiveness by Michael Grandage...Video director Francois Rousillon does exceptional work here, with the precision of HD a constant pleasure. Opus Arte's recorded sound is superb." (International Record Review - Billy Budd)

Acosta: Viscera / Afternoon of Faun / Tchaikovsky Pas de deux / Carmen (The Royal Ballet)

Acosta: Viscera / Afternoon of Faun / Tchaikovsky Pas de deux / Carmen (The Royal Ballet)

Laura Morera (Viscera); Marianela Nuñez (Viscera; Carmen (Carmen)); Ryoichi Hirano (Viscera); Sarah Lamb (Afternoon of a Faun); Vadim Muntagirov (Afternoon of a Faun); Iana Salenko (Tchaikovsky Pas de deux); Steven McRae (Tchaikovsky Pas de deux); Carlos Acosta (Don José (Carmen)); Federico Bonelli (Escamillo (Carmen)); Matthew Golding (Fate (Carmen));

"So this Carmen isn't about thrusting Acosta into the spotlight for his standing ovations, it's more of a creative progression. It's a short but ambitious work, with Bizet's score condensed to an hour and the story stripped back to a concise love triangle... Their duets are inventive – one sees the captive Carmen wrap Don José in her own prison chains... Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun, with Vadim Muntagirov and Sarah Lamb capturing the piece's particular seductive yet sexless atmosphere; and Steven McRae and guest Iana Salenko proving their mettle in the showpiece Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux. Plus Liam Scarlett's lovely Viscera, a fleet and perky neo-classical ballet with an elegantly restrained central pas de deux and a great performance from Laura Morera, panache and personality in every step." (The Evening Standard)

Adam: Giselle (Royal Opera House)

Adam: Giselle (Royal Opera House)

Marianela Nuñez (Giselle); Vadim Muntagirov (Count Albrecht);

"Muntagirov and Nuñez are technically thrilling...." (The Guardian)

Adam: Giselle (The Royal Ballet)

Adam: Giselle (The Royal Ballet)

Alina Cojocaru (Giselle); Johan Kobborg (Count Albrecht); Marianela Nuñez (Myrtha (Queen of the Wilis)); Martin Harvey (Hilarion);

"Cojocaru's interpretation, everyone seems to agree, is one of the greatest of all time, and she continues to refine it with every performance...One of the things which makes Cojocaru so poignant in this role is a quality that one senses in the dancer herself. Something in the emotional charge of her performances, some fragility beneath the ballerina steel, emphasises the ephemeral nature of the art form. It reminds us that we must seize the day." (The Observer)

Adam: Giselle (The Royal Ballet)

Adam: Giselle (The Royal Ballet)

Natalia Osipova (Giselle); Carlos Acosta (Albrecht); Thomas Whitehead (Hilarion); Deidre Chapman (Berthe); Hikaru Kobayashi (Myrtha (Queen of the Wilis)); Johannes Stepanek (Wilfred);

"Natalia Osipova, making her debut with the Royal, is, yet again, a revelation. Through the quality of her dancing and dramatic imagination she manages to hold two conflicting forces in play, Giselle as a drama of the gothic supernatural and Giselle as a human love story. Right from the start, Osipova establishes her character as doomed, a young woman barely tethered to a life of ordinary happiness. Alone with Albrecht she's half-frozen, afraid of being overwhelmed by love; and even when she's able to release her feelings in dance, the speed and buoyancy of her execution read less as the technical marvels they are than as a rush of artless fevered emotion. [...] Pulling against the choreography's thistledown prettiness, Osipova's dancing veers towards the ugly and the macabre, her jumps spookily levitating, her body locked into a jerky trance. Simultaneously, we're shown glimpses of Giselle's mortal self, battling her translation into spirit form as she tries to save Albrecht from the vengeful Wilis. The latter – danced by the Royal's corps with a disciplined, baleful beauty – ramp up the tension to genuinely frightening effect. The ending is as tragic as any Giselle I've seen." (The Guardian ★★★★★)

Adam: Le Corsaire (Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse)

Adam: Le Corsaire (Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse)

Maria Gutierrez (The Slave-girl); Davit Galstyan (The Corsair); Takafumi Watanabe (The Sultan); Juliette Thélin (The Sultan’s Favourite Concubine); Demian Vargas (The Corsair’s Companion); Juliana Bastos, Julie Loria (Two Slaves); Henrik Victorin (The Wealthy Slave-trader); Cédric Pons, Joël Sitbon (Two Guards); Kader Belargi (Choreography); David Coleman (Musical Director);

"he Ballet du Capitole’s new production of Le Corsaire represents dance making at a very high level. There is an artistic collaboration at work here that has paid huge dividends, choreographically, musically and scenically. David Coleman has done an admirable job of re-orchestrating what, in the wrong hands, could have been something of a hotch-potch, given that themes from Adolphe Adam’s original score are intercut with additions by Massenet, Arenski and Sibelius. Belarbi has succeeded in capturing the essence of a nineteenth century ballet and in breathing new life into it ... The production is a marvelous distillation of expert collaborative ideas." (Auditorium)