Stephen Pollard

Opera: Verdi's Otello

By Stephen Pollard, July 20, 2012

I have been spoilt by Carlos Kleiber. Nearly two decades ago, I heard him conduct Verdi’s Otello at the Royal Opera House and I know that, as long as I live, I will never hear anything that compares. The opening storm he conjured up (and yes, it was magic), when he made the orchestra sound as if the earth was opening up, was something beyond music.

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Muslim Brotherhood's win in Egypt fits Islamist plans

By Stephen Pollard, July 5, 2012

The victory of Mohamed Morsi as the new president of Egypt has not merely been greeted with equanimity in the West. It has been welcomed.

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Rooney, Hart, Walcott and the England Euro 2012 players who will never forget the Holocaust

By Stephen Pollard, June 14, 2012

It would be difficult to think of a more inappropriate venue for a PR stunt than Auschwitz. So when it was announced that the England football team, staying in Krakow for the European Championships, was to visit the death camp, there were some howls of protest.

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Opera: Falstaff is a Royal Opera House must-see

By Stephen Pollard, May 18, 2012

If I could give this new production of Falstaff 50 stars, I would. Verdi’s last opera is as close to perfection as music gets, and Robert Carsen’s 1950s update does it justice. Carsen clearly loves Falstaff and wants only to share that love with the audience.

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You work harder as civil servants take summer off (Express)

By Stephen Pollard, May 16, 2012

My Express column on the civil service's 7 week 'work from home' wheeze this summer is here.

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Only a fantasist could believe in the euro now (Express)

By Stephen Pollard, May 8, 2012

My Express column on the euro, Hollande and Greece, is here.

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The flying dutchman

By Stephen Pollard, May 3, 2012

There is one reason to see this new production of Flying Dutchman. And it is a compelling reason which makes me urge you to see it.

Edward Gardner, ENO's music director, conducts his first Wagner. And he does not just make a decent stab at it - he produces some of the greatest Wagner conducting you could ever hear.

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La Boheme

By Stephen Pollard, May 3, 2012

John Copley's production of La bohème opened in 1974 and this is its 25th outing. But it can rarely have seemed fresher than with this excellent cast, and under the stunning baton of Semyon Bychkov.

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Heroic acts of a favourite villain

By Stephen Pollard, April 26, 2012

There are certain sentences which just can't be uttered. You know the sort of thing. If a politician said that most voters are idiots, he'd quickly be an ex-politician; and a rabbi who said that his shul board should stick to selling shmutters would soon be looking for a new congregation.

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The Guardian backs down

By Stephen Pollard, April 23, 2012

I've just heard that the Guardian has agreed to post a correction to their diary story.

Having libelled me by implying that I lied to their reporter, they now accept they got it wrong and are about to post this:

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The Guardian's libel of me

By Stephen Pollard, April 23, 2012

UPDATE:

I've just heard from the Guardian at last that they accept the need for a clarification and will be posting this:

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Put Abu Qatada on a plane and quit the ECHR (Express)

By Stephen Pollard, April 20, 2012

My Express column on the latest Abu Qatada developments is here.

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Despair is sometimes the only possible response

By Stephen Pollard, April 11, 2012

There are times when the only appropriate response to events is despair.

Yes, this week the European Court of Human Rights approved the extradition to the US of five terrorist suspects. But it's mystifying how anyone can take cheer.

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Rigoletto

By Stephen Pollard, April 6, 2012

There is one compelling reason to see this revival of David McVicar's 11-year-old production of Rigoletto.

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Theatre of rudeness (Spectator)

By Stephen Pollard, March 23, 2012

I've just realised that my Spectator piece about BO - yes, indeed - is now out from behind the paywall. It's here.

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Toulouse horror is the latest spawn of radical Islam

By Stephen Pollard, March 22, 2012

The familiar headlong rush with which the culprits of a terrorist attack are pronounced with certainty barely minutes after it happens has rarely been more decisively skewered than on Wednesday morning.

France woke up to the news that it was not, as the media had spent two days insisting, a crazed fascist who had murdered three North Africans and four Jews in two separate attacks.

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