The Royal Opera House 2018/19 Live Cinema Season will exclusively present world renowned composer Verdi’s stunning opera – LA TRAVIATA (16, 17 and 20 March 2019).
Set in three acts, Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA follows the whirlwind romance between Violetta and Alfredo, ending in a heartbreaking betrayal and a reconciliation that comes too late. One of the most popular operas ever, it features exceptional examples of Italian opera’s tunefulness and immediate lyrical appeal, including the famous Brindisi and the virtuoso aria ‘Sempre libera’. Continue reading ROMANCE AND RECONCILIATION, LIVE FROM LONDON’S ROYAL OPERA HOUSE. GIVEAWAY→
This sensational, broad, swirling epic, filmed live from the National Theatre , is magnificently staged and acted with towering performances by Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo in the lead roles. Directed by Simon Godwin we see how the two worlds of Egypt and Rome collide and love blindly leads to tragedy.
The production has been transposed to now with mobiles, hi tech computer screens etc and contemporary speech patterns. But the poetry remains and is fresh and exciting ( eg Enobarbus’s “ purple barge “ speech ) .It begins with Caesar’s (Tunji Kasim) arrival at Cleopatra’s monument to discover she has just died and he issues order that she be buried alongside Antony. “No grave upon the earth shall clip in it ,A pair so famous.” We then look back on the great relationship between Antony and Cleopatra .
In Hildegard Bechtler’s set designs Egypt is represented by cool turquoise and water pools, Rome by stark polished offices and war rooms with precise hardness and neatness and displays of primitive masks ( Egyptian plunder? ) . Video footage of riot-shield clashes and a crescendo of mortar blasts in bombed-out streets put us bang in the middle of current middle-eastern clashes .There is a wonderful evocation of a submarine and The Monument uses tall simple lines. At times the use of the revolve is dizzying . Continue reading NT LIVE : ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA→
Based on a short story by poet Alexander Pushkin, THE QUEEN OF SPADES follows Gherman, a soldier torn between love and a destructive fixation with gambling. The opera, set in 1890, explores madness, obsessive passions and the supernatural, with the characters giving voice to Tchaikovsky’s own unfulfilled desires.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA by William Shakespeare. Filmed live from the National Theatre, Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo play Shakespeare’s famous fated couple in his great tragedy of politics, passion and power. Director Simon Godwin returns to National Theatre Live screens with this hotly anticipated production.
Caesar and his assassins are dead. General Mark Antony now rules alongside his fellow defenders of Rome. But at the fringes of a war-torn empire the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony have fallen fiercely in love. In a tragic fight between devotion and duty, obsession becomes a catalyst for war.Continue reading ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA FROM NT LIVE. PREVIEW GIVEAWAY→
Alan Bennett’s play THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III premiered in 1991 and also became a BAFTA Award-winning film starring Nigel Hawthorne. Here, screening as part of the NT Live series, we see a sensational production, this time filmed at the Nottingham Playhouse .
Based on letters and other documents from the Royal Library at Windsor Castle it tells the story of the Regency crisis of 1788-89. It was the age of Sheridan and the landing of the First Fleet in Australia. It was also the period when Britain was still recovering from the effects of its defeat in the American Revolution.
Directed by Adam Penford (Director for Screen: Matt Woodward) it is lavishly, opulently, epically staged with many scene changes and uses of the revolve. Some scenes are very intimate, others are hugely formal. Royal castles and events are contrasted with bedchambers. For the parliament scenes the various actors also hold masks to give the illusion of yet more Members of the House. Costumes are lavish with periwigs and ermine.(It is interesting we now often forget that in this era men wore corsets – we see the Prince of Wales being laced into one to give him the fashionable shape.) Handel was King George’s favourite composer and a lot of the soundtrack features his glorious music. Continue reading NT LIVE : THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III→
American master choreographer Jerome Robbins considered the Paris Opera Ballet as his second home after the New York City Ballet.
This production in his honour, to mark the centenary of his birth, brings together four works displaying his incredible range and versatility. All pieces are accompanied live by the splendid orchestra of the Paris Opera, meticulously and enthusiastically conducted by Valery Ovsyanikov.
Fancy Free opens the program .It inspired the musical On The Town. Nowadays it could possibly be regarded as quite dated and sexist, but the choreography is terrific.
The simple plot revolves around three boisterous sailors on 24-hour leave in New York City during the Second World War. They get drunk and try to chat up women. The French dancers , who are also splendid actors ,have a wonderful time with the jazz like moves and showy choreography which in some ways is reminiscent of Broadway /Hollywood musicals of the era. Those familiar with Robbin’s work will note the athletic and travelling steps already visible in this rather early work which is trademark ‘Robbins‘ , hinting at works such as West Side Story. Continue reading PARIS OPERA BALLET : A TRIBUTE TO JEROME ROBBINS→
THE NUTCRACKER from Royal Opera House Live screens for a limited 3 day season in December. The Royal Opera House celebrates ten years of live cinema broadcasts in 2018, leading the way in delivering world-class opera and ballet around the world. The 2017/18 Season was the Royal Opera House’s most successful cinema season to date with more than one million tickets sold globally.
A young girl’s enchanted present leads her on a wonderful Christmas adventure in this beautiful classical ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score.
The young Clara creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a Nutcracker doll. But the mysterious magician Drosselmeyer is waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure. After defeating the Mouse King, the Nutcracker and Clara travel through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy treats them to a wonderful display of dances. Back home, Clara thinks she must have been dreaming – but doesn’t she recognize Drosselmeyer’s nephew?
THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III is written by one of Britain’s best-loved playwrights Alan Bennett (The History Boys, The Lady in the Van), this epic play was also adapted into a BAFTA Award-winning film following its premiere on stage in 1991. This National Theatre Live film is of the Nottingham Playhouse production.
The thrill begins early when the Overture skips through the ears to the back of memory and you realise you are singing the words. THE KING AND I is iconic musical theatre and this filmed The Lincoln Center Theater production, THE KING AND I: FROM THE PALLADIUM brings the Rogers and Hammerstein classic to a new audience. With a contemporary respectfulness in casting, superb music and great staging and costume this is a film to revel in with a choc top. The production is being shown globally for one night only on 29 November.
The ship rolls onto the stage after the grand drape rises and the excitement of the boy before us tingles as Bangkok is black shadows on a red sunset behind. A dire warning from the Captain and a whistle of a happy tune and we are off on our own adventure with this wonderful capture of a classic work stunningly reinvented by Director and Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher. It is 1860s Siam and the widowed Anna has accepted an unorthodox posting to teach the children and wives of the King. Continue reading THE KING AND I: FROM THE PALLADIUM. A SUPERLATIVE CAPTURE OF A SPLENDID PRODUCTION→
We run a lot of competitions here at The Guide and people often get back to us with what they thought of the film, show, gig etc. But never before have we had such glowing feedback about an event as EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE. It is an exciting and uplifting stage production, filmed and edited to keep the theatrical feel while giving front row access.
We meet Jamie. In the last few weeks of high school, he is suffering through Careers class where he is quite used to being called the usual names that gay kids get called. In his head, all his classmates are merely his backing band because this boy has an inner life that needs fabulous expression. Thank heavens Jamie has a home life which supports and loves him. Mum, Margaret, and her BFF Ray are his port in the storm but part of him wants the love of his estranged father who left them … partially because he is embarrassed by a nelly son. Jamie has guts and confidence and self-awareness and he knows that he needs to express himself in drag. Prom’s dress code will become the catalyst for the boy to become… Continue reading EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE – DRAG AND STORMIN INTO CINEMAS NOV 24→
The multiple Tony award-winning Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I – it is the greatest musical from the golden age of musicals and currently enjoying huge West End success – is to be released in cinemas around the world by Trafalgar Releasing.