When first performed in 1851, Rigoletto was explosive because of its implied criticism of a corrupt king. In pursuit of a comparable political edge, director James Macdonald transfers Verdi’s tragedy from Renaissance Mantua to a fictitious 1960s White House.
Visionary artist and poet William Blake (1757-1827) said he alternatively cursed and blessed engraving. “It takes so much time and is so untractable (sic), though capable of such beauty and perfection,” he said in a statement that takes us to the heart of his wild and wilful talent.
Funny, reassuring and irrepressibly warm, the West End version of Only Fools and Horses is proving to be the right musical at the right time.
In his final decade, the Czech nationalist Janacek, found a new love interest and produced five major operas. The most accessible and refreshing is The Cunning Little Vixen (premiered in 1924), with its comic acceptance – like late Shakespeare – of the redemptive power of love and renewal, and its tragic awareness of the forces of raw nature and of life’s disappointments.
In 1894, Edouard Michelin, the fine artist of a gifted family, looked at a pile of tyres and said to his engineer brother André: “With arms and legs, that would look like a man.”
Marcus Brigstocke makes his play-writing and directorial debut as actors Bruce and Sam Alexander, father and son in real life, give drama and poignancy to a story that begins with the funeral of the father.
Opera and cabaret singer Melinda Hughes lost her mother in June. Two months on, she has immortalised her in a song and is finding catharsis in a satirical take on the world.
For painter Victoria Crowe, who was born in England but made her home in Scotland, tapestry produces richer, warmer versions of the colours paintings reflect. For Grayson Perry, tapestry is the medium to explore his fascination with class, craft and community.
Don Carlo – or Don Carlos – in history was the mentally unstable son of Philip II of Spain whose brief betrothal to the woman his father later married and contacts with Protestant rebels in the Low Countries provided ammunition for the “black legend” propaganda whipped up by the opponents of his father’s rule.
Chilean singer-songwriter, poet, cult figure Violeta Parra’s most famous work “Gracias a la vida” can be viewed as an outpouring of gratitude – or as a suicide note.
One million plastic bottles are bought every minute and most of them are not recycled. It’s a stark reality Claire Davenport and Grioghair McCord were moved to explore after a trip to a Shetland beach littered with plastic bottles.
In the first exhibition to explore the evolution of Moore’s artistic obsession, the Wallace Collection brings together more than sixty sketches, drawings, maquettes and full-sized sculptures in plaster, lead and bronze, culminating in his seven Helmet Heads.