Michael Tanner

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…

Should we watch the second act of Tristan und Isolde (without the first or the third)?

7 December 2013 9:00 am

There aren’t many operas from which you can extract a single act and make a concert of it, in fact…

Opera review: The Barbican's Albert Herring was a perfect evening

30 November 2013 9:00 am

Of this year’s three musical birthday boys, Wagner has fared, in England, surprisingly well, Verdi inexplicably badly, and Britten, as…

Baroque opera shows vicious people can sometimes be happy — and we're glad they are

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Visits by English Touring Opera are always to be looked forward to, but this autumn it has surpassed itself with…

The ENO's Magic Flute ignores everything that makes Mozart's opera great

16 November 2013 9:00 am

A new production of The Magic Flute is something to look forward to, if with apprehension. How many aspects of…

Simon Keenlyside and John Tomlinson in ‘Wozzeck’

Keith Warner's Wozzeck doesn't make me as angry as it used to

9 November 2013 9:00 am

When Keith Warner’s production of Berg’s Wozzeck was first produced at the Royal Opera, nine years ago, it made me…

If 'Greek' is playing within 200 miles of where you live — watch it

2 November 2013 9:00 am

This week chanced to give me a fascinating study in contrasts and comparisons: Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek at the Linbury Studio,…

I hope you spotted the epic 'existential struggle' in Les vêpres siciliennes — I didn't

26 October 2013 9:00 am

Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes is his least performed mature opera, even in its more familiar version as I vespri siciliani.…

Fight to the death: Onegin (Mariusz Kwiecien) and Lenski (Piotr Beczala)

Michael Tanner: With seven scenes, Eugene Onegin really doesn't need any more pauses

19 October 2013 9:00 am

This year’s live relays of New York Met performances have a markedly Slav flavour, with Shostakovich’s rare The Nose next…

A Fledermaus worth seeing for all its inadequacies

12 October 2013 9:00 am

Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus (but if it’s given in English, why not The Bat? Does that somehow sound too unglamorous?)…

A sensational week for opera: sensationally good and sensationally bad

5 October 2013 9:00 am

It’s been a sensational week for opera in London, with a sensationally good performance of Strauss’s Elektra at the Royal…

Why do people talk such nonsense when describing opera? American Lulu and Le Nozze di Figaro reviewed

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Why would anyone want to adapt Berg’s Lulu, a masterpiece even if a problematic one? According to John Fulljames, who…

Winningly diminutive: Eri Nakamura as Liù

Turandot is a disgusting opera that is beyond redemption

21 September 2013 9:00 am

It’s a cynical start to the Royal Opera’s season to have this 1984 production of Puccini’s last opera Turandot. Not…

Did the Proms' Billy Budd turn a mystery into a mess?

14 September 2013 9:00 am

The many opera performances at the Proms this year have all been so successful, especially the Wagner series, that I…

Do I wish I’d gone to see Peter Grimes on the beach at Aldeburgh? No

7 September 2013 9:00 am

With a tidal wave of Peter Grimeses about to engulf us — performances in London, Birmingham and Leeds in September…

Mark Elder and the Hallé surpassed any other account of Parsifal that Michael Tanner has heard

31 August 2013 9:00 am

The Proms season of Wagner operas — pity they didn’t do them all; Die Meistersinger would have been specially welcome,…

Tippett’s Midsummer Marriage is an opera of exuberant genius — but forget about the text

24 August 2013 9:00 am

Whenever Michael Tippett’s first opera, The Midsummer Marriage, is revived, there is a chorus of voices, including mine, complaining that…

Wagner at the Proms

17 August 2013 9:00 am

It would be interesting to know why Tristan und Isolde was placed in the Proms programme in between Siegfried and…

Is this the best Ring ever?

10 August 2013 9:00 am

The first complete performance of Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Proms is already, less than a week after its conclusion,…

Michael Tanner’s Glyndebourne experience is ruined by the traffic

3 August 2013 9:00 am

What could be more delightful than going to Gyndebourne with someone who has never been before, arriving in time for…

A formidable cast for Covent Garden’s Capriccio

27 July 2013 9:00 am

Richard Strauss’s operatic swansong Capriccio made an elegant and untaxing conclusion to the Royal Opera’s season. It was done in…