Andrei Serban’s staging of Puccini’s final opera is a glorious pageant of rich colour, dance and drama. Turandot is a tale of disguised identities, riddles, ritual executions and powerful, triumphant love.
Paris in 1855, when the opera was first performed, provides the starting point for the interpretation by celebrated Norwegian born director Stefan Herheim. The opera ballet plays a significant role too, with Johann Kobborg choreographing for dancers from the Royal Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet. The story is set to impassioned and dramatic music, rich in showpiece arias and ensembles with striking choruses. Antonio Pappano conducts a world-class cast including Erwin Schrott, Bryan Hymel and Lianna Haroutounian in The Royal Opera’s first ever staging of Verdi’s grand opera.
Don José (Jonas Kaufmann) is a young soldier in the army in Seville. He intends to marry Micaëla, a girl from his home village, but when he meets the sensual and high-spirited Carmen (Anna Caterina Antonacci), his head is soon turned…Spanish heat and gypsy passion are brought to the stage in Francesca Zambello’s vivid production of Bizet’s famous opera.
Sung in French with English subtitles
Acts One and Two will last for about 1 hour 50 minutes, followed by a 15 minute interval. Act Three will last for about 1 hour 5 mins.
Powerful music, a gripping story and a tragic end: Puccini’s ever-popular Tosca performed with a fabulous cast. Among the star singers in this revival are Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel. Jonathan Kent’s detailed production draws to the full on the historical backdrop of Rome in 1800, an atmospheric backdrop to the love of the beautiful diva Tosca, the idealism of her lover Cavaradossi and the deadly, destructive obsession of the malevolent Chief of Police, Scarpia.
Daniele Abbado explores themes of identity, exile and religion in a powerful staging of Verdi’s epic opera. War has broken out between the Babylonians and Israelites. The Israelites have captured Fenena, younger daughter of the Babylonian King, Nabucco. In revenge, Nabucco vows to destroy Jerusalem, aided by the vengeful Abigaille.
“Domingo’s career, 42 years at Covent Garden and counting, continues to be a wonder of the age.” The Guardian
A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark – so begins one of the great romances of all opera. In his depiction of the tender and ultimately tragic love between Mimì and Rodolfo, Puccini achieved an immediacy, warmth and humanity that have rarely been equalled.
Kasper Holten, ROH Director of Opera, presents a mesmerizing new production of Mozart’s sublime tragicomedy. The impulsive and charismatic Don Giovanni travels through Europe seducing women, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. When he commits murder, he unleashes vengeance from beyond the grave.
Puccini’s first triumph returns to Covent Garden for the first time in 20 years in a new staging by Jonathan Kent. The exciting Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais sings the title role. A consummate Puccini soprano, Opolais caused a sensation as Madama Butterfly in 2011, and with Manon Lescaut, the bold but impressionable heroine, we will see a very different side of her. She is matched in star power by Jonas Kaufmann as her lover, Des Grieux, and Christopher Maltman as her cynical brother Lescaut. Kent’s vision of a young girl who faces temptation in the big city will surely resonate with today’s audience.
This much is true: they were the darlings of 1983. Spandau Ballet were the epitome of the New Romantic movement. Fashion, synths and attitude. They sold over 25 million records, scored numerous multi-platinum albums, appeared at Band Aid, and amassed 23 hit singles (including Gold) across the globe. They were one of the iconic super-groups of the 80s. So where did it all go wrong?
"A funny, absorbing, trivia-filled portrait of friendship, the ’80s music biz and bad hair." Ian Freer, Empire
"An immersive plunge into Spandau’s journey from working-class London to Blitz-club epiphanies, stardom, split, royalty scraps and reunion. The salad days thrill; after the rush has gone, the comedown is surprisingly moving." 4/5 Kevin Harley, Total Film
Boyhood director Richard Linklater’s congenial tribute to Welles’ influence recreates the 22-year-old wunderkind’s first Broadway production, a modern dress production of Julius Caesar styled to comment on European fascism (this was 1937). Schoolboy Robert (Zac Efron) falls under the great man’s spell, as do we, thanks to Christian McKay’s rich, flamboyant performance.
"Too good to be true." AO Scott, New York Times
"One of the sweetest and most heartfelt movies ever made about a life in the theater." Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"Deft, affectionate, and unexpectedly enjoyable." J Hoberman, Village Voice
1945. Concentration camp survivor Nelly (Nina Hoss) makes her way back to Berlin to track down her husband Johnny. But her face has been reconstructed and he sees only a resemblance to the woman he believes is dead. Instead he proposes that she pose as his wife so that they can claim her inheritance. She decides to play along with the scam… Imagine Vertigo crosswired with one of Fassbinder’s post-war melodramas, Lola, say. This is part love story, part psychological thriller, and of course another artistic exorcism of Germany’s collective guilt over the Holocaust, It’s also one of the most compelling and complex movies you are likely to encounter this year.
"This is an amazing piece of work that transcends historical document to become art. Using the filmic language of noir, Petzold crafts a story of a culture caught in the aftermath of horror." Brian Tallerico, Rogerebert.com
Produced by David Oliver in 1916 (and presented here by David’s grandson, Vancouver actor/filmmaker Mark Oliver), Louis Neher’s surreal Christmas movie Im Reich der Zwerge is a hallucinatory experience. Its cutting-edge trick photography will takes audiences deep underground to a subterranean world where a young girl must plead her case before the king of the elves. Screening with live musical accompaniment.
Told in fourteen fixed-angle, single shot, individual tableaus that parallel Christ’s journey to his own crucifixion,Stations ... is both an indictment of fundamentalist faith and the articulation of an impressionable teen’s struggle to find her own path in life. Though from the outside Maria lives in the modern world, her family and her heart are faithful to a Catholic radicalism that requires sacrifice and devotion at every turn.
"This brilliant and subtle comedy about teenage martyrdom argues that extremism has no place in the modern world." — David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"Passionate, generous, witty; Dietrich Bruggemann’s study of a fanatical Catholic family renews one’s faith in the power of slow art movies to change the world." — London Evening Standard
Perhaps the last film destined to come from the legendary Studio Ghibli, this beautifully animated tale would make a worthy swansong. It’s a delicate, heartwarming story of a lonely child and the mysterious new friend she meets from across the bay… "Timeless… bursting with colour and detail… it arrives like a classic heirloom uncovered and restored for contemporary eyes." Variety
Screening in a Japanese language, subtitled print except on Sun May 31 & Tues Jun 2, when the dubbed, Eng language version will screen.
One of the strangest and most twisted films of the silent era. Cheated and cuckolded, a brilliant scientist (played by Lon Chaney, "the man of a thousand faces") takes refuge behind the make up of a circus clown, where his shame can at least inspire laughter in others. He becomes famous, but his hapless love for a bareback rider sends the movie spinning towards revenge tragedy. This first feature produced by the famous studio MGM, He Who Gets Slapped blends naturalism and expressionism with high melodrama - all accentuated in the Alloy Orchestra’s extraordinary live score.
“A picture which defies one to write about it without indulging in superlatives … so beautifully told, so flawlessly directed that we imagine it will be held up as a model by all producers.” NY Times, 1924
In this dramatic, firsthand account of activists on the front line of the climate fight, one man risks it all to stop the tar sands of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from crossing his land. Shot in the forests, pastures, and living rooms of rural East Texas, Above All Else follows David Daniel, a retired stunt man and high-wire artist, as he rallies neighbors and activists to join him in a final act of brinkmanship: a tree-top blockade of the controversial pipeline. What begins as a stand against corporate encroachments on one man’s land becomes a rallying cry for climate protesters nationwide.
"An inspiring, dramatic, and very timely eco-doc." Hollywood Reporter
Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011, legendary singer and guitarist Glen Campbell decided to allow actor-director James Keach access to follow him on what would become his farewell tour. It’s a doubly courageous gesture, and something that could have backfired easily - but backed by a band of family and friends, Campbell demonstrates he still has the musical chops to perform classics like Wichita Lineman and to carry the entire house with him. You will smile, you will cry, and you come away with a renewed appreciation for a remarkable man.
"Warm and moving."
“Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” follows the country pop singer on what has to be one of the most amazing farewell concert tours in music history. In this splendid documentary, we see Campbell’s suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, yet we also share his triumph as he embarks on an ambitious series of performances across the country — his guitar and singing skills remarkably intact. The result is a film that’s exhilarating, wistful, inspiring and haunting. This is in no small part to the folksy presence of Glen Campbell, who has a down-to-earth sense of humor and an awareness of his affliction, even if he can’t remember much of anything."
— David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
A man of few words, Cosmo Vittelli (Ben Gazzara) loves everything about Crazy House West, the strip club that he owns and manages on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. He also has a gambling habit. When the loan sharks who drop in to collect a payment from Vitelli and make him an offer he would love to refuse, the tables turn. Director John Cassavetes didn’t care about the commercial concerns of Hollywood. The unconventional films he wrote and directed with unorthodox characters and troubled relationships made him the father of independent cinema,influencing Martin Scorsese, Jim Jarmusch and Spike Lee, among others. Introduced by photographer Greg Girard.
Simpsons scribe Rob Cohen distills the essence of Canada like sap from a maple in this lighthearted odyssey across our great nation. He gets a little help from the likes of Seth Rogen, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Rush, Michael J Fox, Cobie Smulders and William Shatner (to name just a few).