My cultural education in 2015 (quick review)

  1. ‘Un Ballo in Maschero’ (ROH)

An enjoyable opera, made more enjoyable by seeing Dmitri Hvorostovskiy for the first time. It got poor reviews, which were not deserved in my opinion. The material itself is on the boring side but it was beautifully performed.

2. ‘Andrew Chenier’ (ROH)

The best discovery of this year. Jonas Kaufmann was beyond words – amazing! It was one of those rare experiences when you know that you are sitting (or standing in my case) during something very very special. Read more here

3. ‘Letters live’ (Masons Hall)

I saw Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Kylie Minogue. Praise here

4. ‘Eugene Onegin’ ballet (Royal Ballet)

Natalia Osipova was absolutely divine in this beautiful production.

5. ‘Madama Butterfly’ (ROH)

The stakes were high as this is one of my favourite operas of all time, however it did not disappoint at all! Kristina Opalais was great and I actually cried. Patrick’s first guest review

6. ‘Fleurs’ opera recital (Conway Hall)

It was a fine way to spend an evening without any cost and I heard a couple of my favourite poems performed in a new way. However, I am not sure if I would pay money to see it again.

7. ‘La Boheme’ (ROH)

Not the best production of Boheme but as Anna Netrebko was Mimi it was magical nevertheless! More details

8. ‘Raven Girl’ (Royal Ballet)

I am far from being an expert on modern ballet but this one was very gothic and interesting

9. ‘Sylvia’ ballet (Mariinskiy)

The highlight of our trip to St Petersburg. Very confident and forceful ballet. Almost rough, rather than elegant – a very interesting viewing, full of dramatic explosions and thunder-like notes. I didn’t write a review but here are some words from my diary describing the ballet – strong, raw, powerful, perfect, magical, a privilege to witness. Vladimir Shklyarov.

10. ‘Eugene Onegin’ opera (ROH)

A disappointing end to the year. While Hvorostovskiy was as brilliant as one can predict, the production was completely awful. My mum taught me not to say anything if you can’t say anything nice (sorry, mum) so I will stop there…

Overall, 2015 was a great year for my cultural education. Maybe I became more spoilt in my preferences – but it’s only because I had so many great experiences, my standards are incredibly high! I am glad to finish the year even more in love with London and the cultural opportunities it provides. Happy New Year!

Mariiniski

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