Review: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at English National Opera
By Kit Benjamin Wednesday, March 7 2018, 07:55
Benjamin Britten’s operatic version of the hardy Shakespeare perennial was commissioned for the re-opening, in 1960, of the Jubilee Hall in his home town of Alderburgh, in Suffolk.
Review: LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at Wyndham’s Theatre
By Kit Benjamin Monday, February 12 2018, 10:01
Eugene O’Neill completed Long Day’s Journey Into Night in 1941, but such was his apparent shame at having produced this dramatic dissection and evisceration of a fictional Irish-American family, that he submitted it with the instruction that it was not to be published until 25 years after his death, and was on no account ever to be performed on a stage.
Review: Lulu at English National Opera
By Kit Benjamin Friday, November 11 2016, 12:19
This probably isn’t the place to go into a lot of detail about the rise of atonality and the Second Viennese School in the early part of the twentieth century, so let’s just say that you shouldn’t go to see Lulu and expect to come out humming the tunes. By the time he composed Lulu, Alban Berg, like his teacher Schoenberg, had abandoned conventional melodic and harmonic structures in favour of a completely expressionistic style, so there are no tunes.
Review: THE PEARL FISHERS at English National Opera
By Kit Benjamin Tuesday, October 25 2016, 14:29
For most of us, all we know of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers is the act 1 “friendship” duet, a regular favourite on Classic FM and a frequent choice for film soundtracks and TV advertising. There’s a reason for this: Pearl Fishers is a slight, immature piece, with a daft libretto (it is reported that after the first performance the librettists apologized and said that if they had known Bizet was any good they would have tried harder) but it has its moments, and we see glimpses of the mature music-dramatist who would later compose Carmen.
Review: INTER_RUPTED at the Barbican Theatre
By Kit Benjamin Tuesday, October 25 2016, 10:57
Aditi Mangaldas and her company practise a style of dance drawn from the classical Indian form, Kathak, which traditionally combines acting, storytelling and singing alongside dance, employing rhythmic, percussive footwork and dizzyingly fast whirling and spinning.