December Theatre Reviews: Queen on song again

Dates of the issue: December 18 – January 16

The Snow Queen ★★★★★☆

(Photo: Per Morten Abrahamsen)

On the opening night of ‘The Snow Queen’, waves of applause and cheers filled Tivoli Concert Hall. It was an overwhelming triumph for the new version of the ballet, which is Queen Margrethe II’s eighth collaboration with Tivoli as a costume and set designer and the third time she has worked with Danish pop star Oh Land and award-winning choreographer Yuri Possokhov. Her Majesty has again crafted some spellbinding scenes and costumes, while Oh Land has written a fun score to mirror Hans Christian Andersen’s tale. It’s highly recommended! (SdV)

The Nutcracker ★★★☆☆☆

(Photo: Miklos Szabo)

When you’re opening a Christmas cracker, or cracking open a nut for that matter, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. Sometimes you’re pleasantly surprised, and on other occasions the contents are corny. Despite George Balanchine’s beloved choreography and Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s divine music, this production felt like the latter. Overall there was a disconnect between the two acts, and by the time the two young leads made their dash back to the land of the living, we’d pretty much forgotten that this was a dream and not a garish version of ‘Ballet X Factor’. (BH)

Così fan Tutte ★★★☆☆☆
(Photo: Henrik Stenberg)

Tobias Hoheisel’s set for this Mozart opera consists of a giant camera obscura or, more likely, a daguerreotype camera. It opens up and inside we find various parlour-type settings where the characters interact, reminding us of hidden camera reality TV series like ‘Candid Camera’. But while it may well be a clever choice of stage set, it ultimately begins to feel somewhat clunky and limiting. Tim Albery’s production never quite rises above the level of a solid and somewhat engaging offering. It feels ‘boxed in’ and fails to reach the emotional heights opera can reach. (BG)