Alexandra Coghlan

Ball breaker: Opera North’s production of Un ballo in maschera

Yet another dud Un ballo in maschera: Opera North’s new production reviewed

10 February 2018 9:00 am

A chaste act of adultery and a silent conversation: these are the encounters at the heart of Un ballo in…

Nick Coleman hears better with half an ear than the rest of us do with two

3 February 2018 9:00 am

If you’ve ever had a text or email thread spiral wildly and unexpectedly out of control or clocked a couple…

Partying like it’s 1899: two lieder recitals reviewed

4 November 2017 9:00 am

If a symphony is, as Mahler famously put it, ‘like the world’, then songs and lieder are like seeing that…

Richard Strauss (image: Getty)

Salon Strauss

21 October 2017 9:00 am

An opera without singers, a Strauss orchestra of just 16, and an early music ensemble playing Mahler: welcome to the…

Soap opera

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Previously on Giulio Cesare… English Touring Opera’s new season caters cannily to the box-set generation by chopping Handel’s Egyptian power-and-politics…

Vice and virtue

5 October 2017 2:00 pm

‘Can the ultimate betrayal ever be forgiven?’ screams the publicity for The Judas Passion, transforming a Biblical drama into a…

Mozart’s mischievous muse

2 September 2017 9:00 am

If you were to compare Mozart to a bird it wouldn’t be the starling. Possibly the wood thrush or nightingale,…

Hellbound: Christopher Maltman in Ivan Fischer’s new Don Giovanni for Edinburgh

Grimes triumphant

17 August 2017 1:00 pm

‘Peter Grimes!’ Ranked high above us in the Usher Hall — a mob smelling blood, hot for the kill —…

Time to end authenticity

12 August 2017 9:00 am

They say the first step towards recovery is admitting that you have a problem. So I’m staging an intervention and…

Risk assessment

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Someone at the Buxton International Festival had a wry smile on their face when programming this year’s trio of operas.…

Music matters

3 June 2017 9:00 am

The ancient Greeks had a word for it —katabasis, descending into the depths, to the underworld itself, in search of…

The Eurasian skylark (Alauda arvensis) in song flight, Sussex, April 2012

Soaring and singing

20 May 2017 9:00 am

Whether it’s Coleridge’s nightingale or Petrarch’s, Ted Hughes’s wren or Shelley’s skylark, Helen Macdonald’s hawk or Max Porter’s crow, literature…

Bingeing on Bach

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Coined in 1944, ‘completism’ is a modern term for a modern-day obsession. What began as a phenomenon of possession —…

Passion indeed

22 April 2017 9:00 am

‘The dripping blood our only drink/ The bloody flesh our only food…/ Again, in spite of that, we call this…

The lost Stradivarius

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Min Kym is a violinist, but if you Google her name you won’t find sound-clips or concert reviews, touring schedules…

Death becomes her

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Opera is littered with the bodies of abandoned women. Step over Dido and Gilda, and you’ll still stumble into Donna…

Slyly surreal: Christopher Alden’s Partenope at ENO

Denial has rarely looked so good

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Ceci n’est pas une Partenope. Forget the warring classical kingdoms of Naples and Cumae: this is surrealist Paris in the…

‘Portrait of a Musician’, thought to be Claudio Monteverdi, c.1590, by a Cremonese artist

Thoroughly modern Monteverdi

18 February 2017 9:00 am

‘Eppur si muove’ — And yet it moves. Galileo’s defiant insistence that the Earth revolves round the Sun, his refusal…

‘Portrait of a Musician’, thought to be Claudio Monteverdi, c.1590, by a Cremonese artist

Thoroughly modern Monteverdi

16 February 2017 3:00 pm

‘Eppur si muove’ — And yet it moves. Galileo’s defiant insistence that the Earth revolves round the Sun, his refusal…

Notes on a scandal

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Kids: who’d have them? Certainly no one who has ever been to the opera. If they’re not murdering you, they’re…

Notes on a scandal

2 February 2017 3:00 pm

Kids: who’d have them? Certainly no one who has ever been to the opera. If they’re not murdering you, they’re…

Notes on a scandal

2 February 2017 3:00 pm

Kids: who’d have them? Certainly no one who has ever been to the opera. If they’re not murdering you, they’re…

All’s well that ends well

26 November 2016 9:00 am

The last ten minutes of any Don Giovanni tell you more about a director than the previous two hours. Mozart’s…

All at sea: Rachel Kelly as Donna Elvira and Henk Neven as Don Giovanni in Northern Ireland Opera’s ‘Don Giovanni’

All’s well that ends well

24 November 2016 3:00 pm

The last ten minutes of any Don Giovanni tell you more about a director than the previous two hours. Mozart’s…

All at sea: Rachel Kelly as Donna Elvira and Henk Neven as Don Giovanni in Northern Ireland Opera’s ‘Don Giovanni’

All’s well that ends well

24 November 2016 3:00 pm

The last ten minutes of any Don Giovanni tell you more about a director than the previous two hours. Mozart’s…