On a recent visit to old haunts in Europe, I felt motivated as I seldom do these days to document various theatrical and musical events. In addition to reports I have posted on this site, several others have appeared elsewhere. If you're curious, please follow the links below.
- Barrie Kosky directs Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin at the Opernhaus Zürich (Musical America Worldwide)
- Blossom of Hawaii wilts at Theater Basel, plus a very zesty Alcina (Classical Voice North America)
- Miranda: Katie Mitchell's morbid sequel to The Tempest, at the Opéra Comique (Classical Voice North America)
- The Opéra reinstates the original Don Carlos, in the original French (Wall Street Journal)
- At the National Theatre in London, Follies to the max (Classical Voice North America)
Musical rarities that tempted me in London included the London Philharmonic's season-opening concert performance of Georges Enescu's long-neglected Œdipe, led by Vladimir Jurowski, and the world premiere of The Judas Passion, by Sally Beamish and David Harsent, presented by the Choir and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Nicholas McGegan in the atmospheric setting of St. John's Smith Square. But there just wasn't time. I gave preference to several plays, including the interminable two-part Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (not everything you will have heard is true, except that tickets are very, very hard to get), Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman (lavishly wrought from every Irish cliché in the book, from banshees to dancing), and James Graham's indelible Ink (a brilliant Brechtian chronicle of the self-creation of the Machiavellian Rupert Murdoch).
The one who got away: Tom Hiddleston as Hamlet.
According to official sources, there were no plans to capture Hiddleston's Hamlet on video, nor have I heard so much as a whisper of a commercial run. Heigh ho! If you're in any doubt of Hiddleston's Shakespearean credentials, seek out his Prince Hal/Henry V in season 1 of The Hollow Crown, which PBS featured a few years back on "Great Performances." The heroics, even the wrath of God, are no stretch for Hiddleston, yet every grace note one could wish is at his fingertips. Among the common folk, he shows the common touch. With the daughter of the King of France, he is gauche yet aglow with a fine-tuned courtesy. For intelligence, imagination, animal magnetism, and the quality of empathy, which is ultimately the be-all and end-all, Hiddleston's interpretation will hold its own with anyone's. What luck that the cameras were rolling.