Michael Tanner

Stéphanie d’Oustrac (Carmen) and Pavel Cernoch (Don José) in ‘Carmen’ at Glyndebourne

Was Glyndebourne right to revive Donizetti's Poliuto? No, says Michael Tanner

30 May 2015 9:00 am

It’s been a busy operatic week, with a nearly great concert performance of Parsifal in Birmingham on Sunday (reviewed by…

OperaUpClose’s production of Elixir of Love is by far the best update of an opera Michael Tanner has ever seen

2 May 2015 9:00 am

Three staples of the Italian repertoire, performed and seen in very different circumstances, have confirmed my view that they deserve…

Tippett’s triumphant failure: Birmingham Opera Company’s The Ice Break reviewed

11 April 2015 9:00 am

The Ice Break is Michael Tippett’s fourth opera, first produced at Covent Garden in 1977 and rarely produced anywhere since,…

Left to right: Peter Hoare (Fatty), Anne Sofie von Otter (Leocadia Begbick), Willard White (Trinity Moses)

Royal Opera's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny review: far too well behaved

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Brecht/Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny was premièred in 1930, Auden/Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in 1951. Twenty-one…

Starry night: Iain Patterson as Sachs and Andrew Shore as Beckmesser in a triumphant ‘Mastersingers of Nuremberg’

Mastersingers of Nuremberg, ENO, review: ‘a triumph’

14 February 2015 9:00 am

ENO’s new production of Wagner’s The Mastersingers of Nuremberg is a triumph about which only the most niggling of reservations…

An artistic crime is committed at the Royal Festival Hall

31 January 2015 9:00 am

In one of the more peculiar concerts that I have been to at the Royal Festival Hall, Vladimir Jurowski conducted…

Magnificent: Nina Stemme as Isolde and Stephen Gould as Tristan

Royal Opera’s Tristan und Isolde: an absurd production - but still a magnificent night

3 January 2015 9:00 am

Any adequate performance of Tristan und Isolde, and the first night of the Royal Opera’s production was at least that,…

Agents will be queuing up to sign this 26-year-old baritone from Sichuan

13 December 2014 9:00 am

The Royal Academy of Music’s end-of-term opera can always be looked forward to because it never disappoints: the repertoire is…

Franco Fagioli: a controversial Idamante in ‘Idomeneo’ at the Royal Opera House

Royal Opera’s Idomeneo: get seats but make sure they’re facing away from the stage

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Mozart’s first great opera, Idomeneo, is not often performed, and perhaps it’s better that way. It should be seen as…

Anna Netrebko as Lady in Verdi’s ‘Macbeth’, Metropolitan Opera

Met Opera Live's Macbeth: Netrebko's singing stirred almost as much as her décolletage

1 November 2014 9:00 am

This season of live Met relays got off to a most impressive start, with an electrifying account of Verdi’s tenth…

Alice Coote and Sarah Tynan in ‘Xerxes’ at ENO

Royal Opera's Rigoletto: your disbelief may wobble but your excitement won't

4 October 2014 9:00 am

One of the greatest tests of how an opera house is functioning is the quality of its revivals. Both the…

Michael Tanner: Why I prefer Donizetti to Strauss

13 September 2014 9:00 am

Three operas this week, each of them named after its (anti-)heroine: one of the heroines (the most sympathetic) murders her…

In defence of Puccini

23 August 2014 9:00 am

During my opera-going lifetime the most sensational change in the repertoire has, of course, been the immense expansion of the…

I think I’ve found the new Maria Callas

2 August 2014 9:00 am

Some of my most enjoyable evenings, when I reviewed opera weekly for The Spectator, were spent at the Royal College…

In Norwich, a director is caught trying to murder Wagner’s Tannhäuser

2 August 2014 9:00 am

Seventeen years ago the Norwegian National Opera staged two cycles of the Ring in Norwich’s Theatre Royal, performances that have…

Opera North's Götterdämerung is astounding (nearly)

5 July 2014 9:00 am

It seems a very short time since I interviewed Richard Farnes about Opera North’s planned Ring cycle, the dramas to…

Dialogues des Carmélites brings out the best in Poulenc – and the Royal Opera House

7 June 2014 9:00 am

Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites is an audacious work, much more so than many others that advertise their audacity. It deals…

Memorable: Joseph Guyton as Andrei Khovansky in ‘Khovanskygate’

Khovanskygate is about the dreadfulness and possible glory of being Russian

3 May 2014 9:00 am

Within the space of a few weeks we have had the rare chance of seeing the two great torsos of…

The snobbery and sweaty brows of watching opera in the cinema

5 April 2014 9:00 am

I remain puzzled that, so far as I know, no daily or weekly paper carries reviews of the New York…

Kelly Cae Hogan (Lady Macbeth) and Béla Perencz (Macbeth)

ENO's Rodelinda: near-perfect singing, perfectly gimmicky direction

8 March 2014 9:00 am

I wasn’t going to write about Handel’s Rodelinda, wasn’t even intending to go, but thanks to the kindness of the…

Don Giovanni at his unsexiest

8 February 2014 9:00 am

Every time there’s a new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni I have to ask the same question: why is this…

Your best YouTube operatic experience ever

1 February 2014 9:00 am

Anyone who frequents the internet will have come across YouTube and soon learned that what may have been planned as…

Overrated Strauss vs underrated Gluck

11 January 2014 9:00 am

This is the first of my more-or-less monthly columns, the idea of which is to report on operatic events other…

The state of opera today (it's not good)

4 January 2014 9:00 am

I’ve been hoping that in this, the last of my weekly columns on opera, I would be able to strike…

Parsifal has anxiety, rage, near-madness — unfortunately the Royal Opera's version doesn't

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Debussy’s description of the music of Parsifal as being ‘lit up from behind’ is famous; less so is Wagner’s own…