Pussy Riot illustrates the journey of this modern-day, post-punk feminist art collective through the Russian justice system.
Immersive theatre company, Les Enfants Terribles collaborated with Pussy Riot founder Nadya Tolokonnikova to recreate the experience of being arrested and imprisoned for their infamous performance of ‘Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!’ at the altar of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
This film combines an exclusive interview with Nadya in London with clips capturing the atmosphere of the immersive performance itself.
For more information, click here.
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Canvas.
It is rare that I go and see a Verdi opera without remembering the storyline. After studying the great Italian composer and his operas at university you would think the narrative of Rigoletto would stick in my head, but when I went to see the ENO production a few nights ago it was only the melodies which came to mind. Luckily I had my musical grandmother by my side to explain the plot when I got lost.
In brief the opera tells the tale of a cripple (Rigoletto) and his fair daughter (Gilda), who he locks away for protection. When Rigoletto’s boss (the Duke, a gross womaniser) spies the beautiful girl he sets about to find her. Discovering his daughter has been disgraced, Rigoletto is determined to get revenge on his boss once and for all, but unfortunately the murderer he hires kills the wrong person.
Jonathan Miller’s iconic production returns to the Coliseum for its 13th revival since the original run in September 1982. Over the last four decades this Miller vision of Rigoletto has become one of the most popular ENO show, never failing to thrill audiences. I am often not a fan of modern realisations of classic operas, but this production of Rigoletto manages to portray the story in a contemporary setting without losing the magic of Verdi’s score.
Nicholas Pallensen plays the title role for the first time and sings with gusto and emotional power. His voice is strong and his acting was hugely convincing. Sydney Mancasola makes her ENO debut as his daughter. Mancasola has a shrill voice which comes into its own during the Act III quartet. The Duke, played by Joshua Guerrero, is suitably charming, and his voice is beautifully velvety which I thought worked well for this lyrical Verdi role.
For opera lovers this production of Rigoletto is a must see, continuing at the ENO until 28 February, book tickets here.
The Pearl Fishers was not well-received when first debuted in 1863, but Bizet’s much-critiqued three-act libretto has been transformed by director Penny Woolcock and conductor Roland Boer in this co-production from the ENO and New York’s Metropolitan Opera.
Set in an underdeveloped Far East village where the only source of income to the inhabitants is the work of the brave pearl fishers, the story follows the love triangle of Zuria, Nadir and the object of their life-shattering obsession, Leila.
The first thing to notice in this production is the intricacy and realism of the set design. Rickety shacks, a backdrop of the ocean, moving fishing boats: this dynamic set is as intriguing as it is beautiful, and keeps the audience captivated throughout. The highlight of the visuals was, however, the underwater world created in the third act. This stunning display evokes the immense sense of disaster that ripples throughout the fictional town, and echoes the disturbed thoughts of our main characters.
The score is dynamic and uplifting: the chorus is almost a wall of sound, providing bursts of energy throughout, and uniting the story’s themes- desire, rejection, loss- through the emotion of these secondary characters. A stark comparison to this is the unique duet moments that pepper the score with delicate harmony. The famous Pearl Fishers duet- demonstrating the doomed loyalty of Zuria and Nadir’s friendship- does not disappoint in this case, but Leila and Nadir’s love-struck moments are just as heart-felt and touching.
This stunning representation is at the ENO until the 2nd December- if you want to be captivated by a strikingly boisterous yet graceful score and a stunning stage design, I would highly recommend The Pearl Fishers.
Find out more & book tickets here.
Written by Jade Phipps.