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Verdi’s “Don Carlos” Live from Opera de Paris

Verdi’s “Don Carlos” Live from Opera de Paris,

Thurs, Oct 19th 5pm.

All-star cast: Four modern operatic greats: Kaufmann, Yoncheva, Garanca and Abdrazakov.

At least five operas have been based on Friedrich Schiller’s great drama, “Don Carlos”, (which delighted us theatregoers in Dublin about five years ago) and all pale in comparison with Verdi’s great work. Denis Forman awards it an Alpha-Plus, one of only thirteen he gives out in his survey of the greatest operas ever composed. Forman states: – “Carlos” is perhaps Verdi’s finest opera  … the grip of the narrative holds us in a way that is rare in Verdi. … For richness, depth and sheer enjoyability the score of “Carlos” is a phenomenon … the stupendous choral climaxes to Acts 1 and 3 … “Carlos” is the grandest of grand operas and an Alpha-Plus through and through”.

High praise, indeed, but, as an opera lover who came relatively late to an awareness of the glories of this magnificent work (it needs a great production, a fine orchestra and great singers – things lacking in some of the earlier productions I attended), Forman’s praise is fully justified – I well remember a glorious production we had at SGC about six years ago which gave me one of my most thrilling operatic experiences. (A 1958 Covent Garden production costumed and designed by Luchino Visconti is a landmark in this opera’s production history)

Don Carlos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of the superb quartet of soloists I’ve already listed, I look forward in particular to hearing again Sonya Yoncheva, who we had not so long ago as a thrilling Norma in that ferociously taxing role (it has been called the Hamlet role for sopranos) – maybe comparing hers to Callas’s immortal interpretation of the Druidic Priestess would be pushing it too far, but it was a sheer delight. So, along with the other soloists named above, Verdi’s arias and ensembles should be heard at their marvellous best.

“Don Carlos”, the composer’s twenty-fifth opera, premiered at the Paris Opera on March 11th, 1867, and had a difficult birth involving cuts, rewrites, a long rehearsal period (six months) with the composer walking out of rehearsals at one stage. Although the opera was a success right from the opening night, it went on to be one of the most revised of all operas – but it has long been recognised as one of the genres greatest jewels.

Don Carlos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This beautiful, tumultuous opera is based on real flesh and blood people. Set in France and Spain c1560, it tells of Don Carlos, son of Phillip the 2nd of Spain (he who married Queen Mary of England), who is in love with Elizabeth, his stepmother. They meet and declare their love for each other. A jealous Princes Eboli tells all to the king and all heaven breaks loose (one of Con Houlihan’s gems!) … and on it goes in one of the most Shakespearean of all operas.

“Don Carlos” has to be in my top ten all-time operas; it can provide a sensational night of theatre. Thanks to Eugene and all at SGC, we’re having unforgettable opera productions (e.g. the recent Covent Garden “Magic Flute”) to savour. If you love opera, you will miss it at your peril – it could be one of the musical events of the year. (Please note the early starting time.) (Jim Ryan).

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All-time Broadway ‘smash-hit’, “Amadeus” Review

Peter Shaffer’s “Amadeus” is one of the greatest and most popular plays of the second half of the twentieth century – it gave greater currency to the name of W A Mozart and resurrected another name that was once celebrated in the world of music, Antonio Salieri.

Before 1979, few moderns had ever heard the name of Salieri. Yet, two hundred years earlier, at a time when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had composed over five hundred musical works and had only a few years left to live, his operas were rarely performed – eclipsed in Vienna and elsewhere by the ‘immortal’ operas of Antonio Salieri! And then came “Amadeus”, followed by the Oscar-winning Milos Forman film, and Salieri achieved the fame he had long ago craved for. (The film won eight Oscars – and Maurice Jarre, who won the Oscar for Best Original Musical score, – for “A Passage to India” – later commented:- “I was lucky Mozart wasn’t eligible”; true for him!.)

“Amadeus”, which tells the story of the rivalry between Mozart and his contemporary who was for a time more successful than Mozart, is one of the twentieth century’s most delightful plays. Its plot was inspired by a play by Pushkin which was based on a rumour that Salieri had claimed on his death-bed to have poisoned Mozart – claiming that he did it because of his obsessive jealousy of the divine gifts the granted to the latter. (The claim has never been supported by scholars, although he did hinder the career of his impractical and often unwise colleague.)

The play premiered in 1979 at The National Theatre, directed by Sir Peter Hall with the great Paul Schofield as Salieri, Simon Callow as Mozart and Felicity Kendall as Mozart’’s wife, Constanze. It was a great hit and transferred to The West End. In 1980 it was produced on Broadway, with Ian McKellan as Salieri, Tim Curry as Mozart and Jane Seymour as Constanze. It was nominated for seven ‘Tonys’, winning five; a ‘Tony’ is awarded for “distinguished achievement in US theatre” and is the stage equivalent of an ‘Oscar’. The production ran for an astonishing 1181 performances, which places it in the All-time Broadway Top-20 for straight plays.

I first saw ‘Amadeus’ at The Gate Theatre in 1983, a production that remains a treasured theatrical memory; Alan Stanford, was superb as Salieri, and won that year’s Harvey’s Award for Best Actor.  And up in Ballyduff they still talk glowingly about a 1992 production of the play Directed by the late Bill Canning, featuring Patsy Ahern as Salieri and the recently-deceased Hugh Moynihan as Mozart.

Shaffer has been accused of trivialising Mozart, of presenting him as a vulgar human being, but it’s also true that few have better grasped the glory of his music. At one point he has Salieri say, at the 1786 premiere of Mozart’s miraculous opera, “The Marriage of Figaro”:-

“Trembling, I heard the second Act. The restored third Act! The astonishing fourth! What shall I say to you who will one day hear this last Act for yourselves? You will – because whatever else shall pass away, this must remain”.

And towards the end of the play, as the notes of Mozart’s last Symphony rise to a crescendo, a tortured Salieri’s voice becomes ever more strident as he claps his hands to his aching ears to shut it out :- “Mozart’s music sounded louder and louder through the world! And mine faded completely, till no one played it at all.”

For music-lovers and those without interest in music, this is a delightful play, both funny and heartbreaking by turn. It tells a great story. The London press have given this production some resoundingly positive reviews. It’s at Movies@ Gorey on Thurs, Feb 2nd.  – were it not being screened live, I would be heading to London to see it.  (Jim Ryan).

ALL THE IRELAND MATCHES ON BIG SCREEN

This is a FREE Live Event but booking is essential. To ensure a seat
call us
or book your free tickets in-house 

Only food and drinks purchased in cinema allowed into matches. T&C

 

Ireland Vs Sweden Mon 13th @ 5pm
Ireland Vs Belgium Sat 18th @ 2pm
Ireland Vs Italy Wed 22nd @ 8pm

 

We will be showing World Cup ’66 live and any person that attends the cinema on match days can get 2 tickets for €15. Standard price €12.50

WORLD CUP ’66 LIVE Summer 1966, and the eyes of the world are on London –the music, the fashion and the football – as the England team prepares for the World Cup final.

As You Like It: Play in Movies@Gorey

For One Night Only Thursday, 25th February @ 7.00pm – Book Now

Shakespeare’s glorious comedy of love and change comes to the National Theatre for the first time in over 30 years, with Rosalie Craig (London Road, Macbeth at MIF) as Rosalind. With her father the Duke banished and in exile, Rosalind and her cousin Celia leave their lives in the court behind them and journey into the Forest of Arden. There, released from convention, Rosalind experiences the liberating rush of transformation. Disguising herself as a boy, she embraces a different way of living and falls spectacularly in love.

 

 

Renoir: Reviled and Revered: Exhibition in Movies@Gorey

For One Night Only Tuesday, 16th February @ 7.30pm – Book Now

He is one of the most fiercely debated artists and yet one of the most influential. Picasso collected more Renoirs than any other artist. Matisse revered him. Monet too. He was an artist that was instrumental in creating the Impressionist movement and then totally rejected it and went in a completely new direction – with extraordinary results. The Barnes Collection in Philadelphia has more Renoirs than any other gallery in the world and it’s there that the search begins to tell the remarkable story of this remarkable artist.

IL Trovatore (Live): Opera in Movies@Gorey

For One Night Only Thursday, 11th February @ 6.30pm – Book Now

In the aftermath of Rigoletto, Verdi’s sole desire was to do something new. However, he became impatient, angry even, when the project to adapt El Trovador, the play by the Spanish dramatist Antonio García Gutiérrez, aroused only guarded enthusiasm from Salvatore Cammarano, his librettist, and the man to whom Donizetti owed in part the success of Lucia di Lammermoor.
Was it due to the libretto’s inordinately improbable storyline or the illness that would ultimately consume him that the poet left the libretto unfinished? Despite the urgings of the irrepressible Verdi, Cammarano would not yield. Herein lays the paradox of Il Trovatore: in the eyes of its detractors it was the epitome of melodrama and yet the formal constraints imposed by Cammarano fanned the flames of the composer’s passions. Rather than true characters – excepting perhaps Azucena the Gypsy, who guards the secret that will destroy them all – the music portrays almost abstract figures consumed by passion. Originally intended by Verdi to be a secondary role, Leonora takes on the status of a sacrificial heroine. Her fourth-act cavatina “D’amor sull’ali rosee” is not so much a farewell as an Assumption.
Anna Netrebko carries this enraptured music to new heights. She is accompanied by Ekaterina Semenchuk, Marcelo Alvarez and Ludovic Tézier, in a new production by Alex Ollé.

La Traviata (Live): Opera in Movies@Gorey

For One Night Only Thursday, 4th February @ 6.45pm – Book Now

The Royal Opera brings to life one of opera’s greatest tragedies bursting with passion, drama and world famous melodies on Thursday 4 February at 6.45pm with a live performance of Verdi’s masterpiece La traviata. Perfect for first time opera goers, La Traviata – described by the Daily Express as “a shining example of opera at its best” – is sure not to leave a dry eye in the house. The sumptuous production opens in the indulgent social whirl of 19th century Paris. Violetta, a beautiful courtesan, leads a life of glamour but darker undercurrents emerge after she meets the love of her life and the young couple are forced apart by society. Verdi’s sensational score ranges from the jubilant with the world famous Brindisi, the ‘toast’ of the party, to the heart breaking “Parigi, o cara” in which the lovers poignantly imagine a life that will never be theirs. Traditional staging with stunning grand costumes and set in gloriously opulent ballrooms, La traviata will be conducted by Yves Abel and performed by an all-star cast including Venera Gimadieva and Samir Pirgu as the doomed lovers.

TED ’16: DREAM Opening Night Captured Live

Tuesday, February 16th – Book Now

 

ted-talks
The global phenomenon known simply as TED – a thriving movement propelled by ideas that are transforming the world – is coming to cinemas worldwide. The general public will have the previously unthinkable opportunity to experience the “opening night” of TED’s legendary annual conference, alongside its equally legendary VIP audience. Hosted by TED’s curator Chris Anderson, the approximately 120-minute theatrical screening of this event will debut the first evening of TED 2016: Dream (live directly from Vancouver, Canada from February 15- 22), featuring world-renowned thinkers, artists and storytellers who will share their “ideas worth spreading” about the greatest dreams we are capable of dreaming. What emerges is a spirit of wonder and optimism that represents the world at its best.TED

While TED holds specific details in confidentiality until shortly prior to the event each year, we expect a dramatic musical act will set the event in motion before Chris Anderson takes the stage with opening remarks, which build a thrilling sense of anticipation and conclude with his hallmark declaration: “It’s time for TED!” At that point, TED will premiere its inventive 2016 “opening titles” video – typically produced by a world-class design house renowned for creating the dazzling motion graphics in blockbuster Hollywood films. And from there, the heart of the program begins with a succession of extraordinary speakers – drawn from artists, inventors, adventurers, global leaders, and visionaries – who will deliver the “talk” of their lives in the world-famous TED 18-minute format. Impromptu on-stage interviews and imaginative short films will be interspersed throughout the program, which typically concludes with a second spectacular artistic performance. For the cinema-going audience, watching “opening night” at TED’16 will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity to join in the experience with the 1,200 attendees in Vancouver – the world’s leading thinkers and doers who have won every international prize of excellence from Nobel Laureates, to Pulitzer Prize authors, to Oscar winners.

Brooklyn in Movies@Gorey

Playing Now – Book Now

BROOKLYN tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s (Jane Brennan) home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.

 

 

 

Brooklyn

By Grace Collender

article-2602757-1CFC30F200000578-835_634x816A young Irish girl finds herself transplanted from quiet Enniscorthy to pulsating, fast-paced Brooklyn and must endeavour to carve out a new existence for herself far from everyone and everything she knows in the powerful and evocative Brooklyn, adapted for the big screen from Colm Toibin’s 2009 novel of the same title. Charting the emotional odyssey of Eilis Lacey, portrayed in a beautifully understated performance by Saoirse Ronan, as she’s “away to America”, John Crowley’s movie will captivate and move all. The experience of approximately 480,000 people, who were forced to leave an economically moribund and socially stifling Ireland in the 1950s in search of work and a fuller life across the Atlantic, is poignantly brought to life. Nick Hornby’s enthralling screenplay unites with beautiful set design and vintage costuming to bring a strong sense of verisimilitude to this touching coming-of-age tale.

download (1)Eilis is encouraged by her sister, Rose, to leave for America, as Rose knows Ireland cannot offer her young sister any hope of a fulfilling life. Therefore, with boarding and employment arranged for her by Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), Eilis takes the boat from Cobh to New York, undertaking an extremely distressing journey all alone. This oppressive atmosphere of isolation haunts Eilis’s first few months away from home. Battling against an all-consuming homesickness, it is not until she is swept away by the charming Tony (Emory Cohen), a young Italian-American, that our endearing protagonist begins to feel at home in Brooklyn. However, tragedy strikes, taking Eilis away from her beloved Tony, back to Enniscorthy. With a new love interest back home, the steady and reliable Jim (Domhnall Gleeson), and the offer of a permanent job, Eilis is torn. She must now choose not only between the two men in her life, but between a life in Ireland and a life in America. Two potential lives, worlds apart.

downloadAttesting to the life-altering journey courageously embarked on by thousands, Brooklyn paints a stirring picture of the turbulent wave of emotions Eilis must overcome if she is to build that bright future her sister longs for her to have. As she grows in confidence, she is transformed from a meek, unassuming young girl to a self-assured, strong woman. This transformation is depicted through a change in costume and lighting. Back in Ireland, life is cloaked by drab and dingy colours, with grey streets and dull and dowdy outfits symbolising the decaying, sluggish nature of life there.  In stark contrast, life in America is surrounded by a vivacious energy, revealed through the bright colours of Eilis’s new wardrobe. Donning rich and vibrant skirts and dresses, and even some daring red lipstick, Eilis achieves a state of self-assurance. When she must return to Ireland, her newfound confidence is made apparent by her sophisticated and colourful attire, a far cry from her former lacklustre appearance. Eilis’s emotional state is thus consistently conveyed through a beautiful combination of set and clothing design, providing a stunning visual feast.

A compelling human story about the power of endurance, determination and hope, Brooklyn is a must see. It is a work of historical importance, while also possessing contemporary resonance. Tipped by many, including acclaimed director Jim Sheridan, to win big at the Oscars, this rousing tale truly proves that home is where the heart is.

4/5

 

 

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