Richard Bratby

Wagner rewilded: Das Rheingold, at the Royal Opera House, reviewed

Plus: while the Arts Council pursues its vendetta against opera in England, it’s inspiring to see such unabashed ambition at Northern Ireland Opera

Erda (Rose Knox-Peeble) is on stage throughout Kosky's Das Rheingold – evoking unfortunate memories of the pratfalling, slow-moving granny in Cal McCrystal’s recent G&S productions. Image: ROH / Monika Rittershaus

In Northern Ireland Opera’s new Tosca, the curtain rises on a big concrete dish from which a pair of eyes gaze down, impassive. Walls of scaffolding tower on three sides of the stage, creaking as they expand under the heat of the stage lights. Point taken: Cameron Menzies’s production (the sets are by Niall McKeever) is a semi-abstract updating.

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