Harry Cochrane is a jobbing man of letters from Northumberland. When he’s not penning his own poetry, Harry’s busy reviewing other people’s verses for The Times Literary Supplement, teaching English, translating, and commenting on opera as The Florentine’s resident reviewer.
Say “Florence train station” and you mean Santa Maria Novella, and for the vast majority of tourists this thronging, thriving terminus might as well be the city’s only. It makes sense that development should be aimed here: with its 19 platforms—a couple of them out on a limb—and its underground shopping gallery, SMN is clearly […]
Until January 5, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino stages Bruno Ravella’s and João Carvalho Aboim’s production of Puccini’s classic Christmas opera, a story of love, hunger and roofs-over-heads in fin-de-siècle Paris. Peopled by penniless, sensitive and starry-eyed students, its themes need no updating, which lets Angela Giulia Toso and Tiziano Santi go hammer-and-tongs at period costumes and […]
Late October saw the official opening of the new Mercato delle Pulci, or flea market, in largo Annigoni. Nearly four years have passed since the stalls were moved from piazza dei Ciompi, which they had occupied for more than six decades, but until last month their housing in the clearing near the Sant’Ambrogio market was […]
The music critic Edward Joseph Dent did not think the one-act opera a successful genre. He recognised only two famous and successful examples, Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana, and even they were only acceptable if performed together. It is little surprise, then, that Puccini’s Il Trittico (The Tryptych) is rarely staged in full, for of its […]
It was too good to be true. “I have a friend who’s a winemaker,” said Ambrogio, my Italian literature teacher, “and he’s suggested that I bring some students out there this summer.” Two months later it was mid-August, and the seven of us were thoroughly installed in the guest house at a Chianti cantina. Every […]
It was just in front of Nicodemus – a self-portrait from Michelangelo say art historians – and Christ below, wasted with the effort to redeem us that the text pressed itself against my thigh. What a cliché to say that my blood froze and I could compose myself to compose neither expostulation nor reply, only […]