Gianni Schicchi. Review by Barbara Lewis. Gianni Schicchi, the protagonist of Puccini’s only wholly comic opera, was a 13th-century Italian knight immortalised by Dante in the Circle of Impersonators for pretending to be the rich gentleman Buoso Donati and dictating a testament highly favourable to himself.
Jean Sibelius Life, Music, Silence by Daniel M.Grimley (Reaktion Books). ‘The evening atmosphere wonderful. As always when silence speaks: a secret pull of eternal silence and – life’s song.’ Jean Sibelius, diary entry August 1910
West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg In the new West Side Story Leonard Bernstein’s magnificent music and Stephen Sondheim’s incisive and witty lyrics have all been preserved and bring as much pleasure as before.
Even more than an outpouring of passionate pacifism, Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave is a universal exploration of the heroic strength of character required to reject decades of blind allegiance to an unholy cause.
Grange Park Opera Interim Season. Simon Keenlyside: An Autumn Walk in Wales (available online). Review by Barbara Lewis: Context is all, says Simon Keenlyside, as for the second time this year he delivers a musical tour of his own personal context – the woods around his Welsh home.