Tag: 上海后花园CH

May 3, 2021 | |Post a Comment

first_imgDon GiovanniCarte Blanche Opera Co.25 – 29 OctoberJacqueline du Pré Music Building, St Hilda’s CollegeIt is a sad fact that the general attitude towards opera at the momenttends to be unfavourable, especially among younger audiences, who choose to dismiss it as a rather inaccessible art form, deeply rooted in elitist high culture. Aimingto Aiming to destroy these misconceptions and widen opera’s appeal is the Carte Blanche Opera company with their production of one of Mozart’s most famous pieces, Don Giovanni..More familiar for their raunchy cabaret show Burlesk, and recent performancesof The Rocky Horror Show at the OFS, the company has taken it upon themselves to update Mozart’s classic, with the hope of drawing in a modern audience and breathing new life into this genre.Based on a legend that dates back to the Middle Ages, Don Giovanni is a depiction of hedonism in a fundamentallyCatholic Spanish society.. The opera tells the story of a man who is driven by his sexual desire, emotionallyabusing women in his pursuit of pleasure. ThroughouttheoperaThroughout the opera his behaviour and his conversations with servant and friend Leporello, establish Giovanni’s character and reveal the extent of his infidelities..In one infamous aria Leporello lists his friend’s sexual partners, informing the audience that Giovanni has slept with 2065 women. ToaneighteenthTo an eighteenth century audience, unaccustomed to modern, sexually-charged soap plotlines, his exploits would have been particularly deplorable, justifyingthe opera’s ending in which the protagonist is dragged down to hell. However, such behaviour does not carry the same charge as it did in its time and therefore the company have introduced elements of bondage and sadomasochism, in order for Giovanni’s exploits to make more of an impact on a modern-day audience. Furthermore, a “Goth” aesthetic has been used, locating the characters firmly within 21st century social culture. These significant changes are certainly successful in updating the piece, but it is important to note that even without such adaptation, the opera is still accessible to current audiences. Ddrawing on universal and timeless themes of love and fidelity, the opera remains as relevant today as it was in the Middle Ages.The production is successful not only in terms of interpretation, but also because of the performances of the company. This is a strong ensemblepiece, the orchestra and the performers working together to evoke Mozart’s powerful score. Although the acting is good throughout, the cast profess themselves to be singers before they are actors, a definite emphasis being placed on the musical aspects of performance. Indeed, the orchestra includes a member of the National Philharmonic and musicians from other top London orchestras. In terms of vocal performances, Jordan Bell is particularly outstanding as Leporello, immediately establishing a relationship with the audience, allowinghim to guide us through the piece. James Balance is also excellent in his role as the self-assured Ddon Giovanni, creating an air of arrogance from the moment he steps on the stage.The production itself is minimal with regard to props, the emphasis being on performance and, most importantly,Mozart’s music. Its impact is enhanced in the intimate venue of the Jacqueline Ddu Pré Building at St Hilda’s, the acoustics of which are particularly good. The size of the space also allows the company to draw the audience further into the story, making the performance more powerful. In essence, this is an excellent update of a classic opera, in which Mozart’s strong, multi-faceted characters are portrayed by a strong cast. It is not too difficult to follow, its main themes being easily recognisable. Those people who are unsure of the opera should take this opportunity to see an accomplished performance without having to pay Covent Garden prices.ARCHIVE: 5th week MT 2005last_img read more

April 20, 2021 | |Post a Comment

first_imgWaitrose has revealed that like-for-like sales were down by 1.3% in its first half, as it insisted cut-price techniques were not hitting profits. In its half-year results for the period ended 1 August 2015, its online grocery gross sales were also down by 13%, which it attributed to promotions in-store.However, gross sales grew by 1.1% in the period to £3.18bn. Underlying profit at Waitrose (excluding exceptional items) was up, rising 0.6% year-on-year to £0.8m.The John Lewis Partnership insisted that price-matching and its Pick Your Own promotions scheme were not hitting profits. Pick Your Own launched in June, allowing myWaitrose card customers to choose 10 items from around 1,250 to buy at a 20% discount. Around 700,000 customers have signed up to the scheme.Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “This has been a solid first half for the partnership in a difficult market.”A statement said the company expected conditions to “remain difficult, especially in grocery where there is little sign of any price inflation”.Mayfield continued: “However, I expect sales in both Waitrose and John Lewis to perform comparatively well against the market, helped by promising new ranges and online capability.” He said the group expected to see a “further reduction” in net debt.last_img read more