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Music

Handsome and revivable but I wasn’t moved: Royal Opera’s Death in Venice reviewed

30 November 2019

9:00 AM

30 November 2019

9:00 AM

Premièred within two years of each other, Luchino Visconti’s film and Benjamin Britten’s opera Death in Venice both take Thomas Mann’s novella as their starting point. But from shared beginnings the two works diverge dramatically. The cloying visual beauty of the film, its pink-and-grey vision of Venice swaddled in Mahler strings, couldn’t be further from the stern, self-loathing austerity of Britten’s last opera, whose beauty is much harder won.

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