Richard Bratby

A sugar rush for the eyes: Glyndebourne’s The Merry Widow reviewed

22 June 2024 9:00 am

In 1905, shortly before the world première of The Merry Widow, the Viennese theatre manager Wilhelm Karczag got cold feet…

‘I want every production I do to be the funniest’: an interview with Cal McCrystal

15 June 2024 9:00 am

There are certain things that you don’t expect at the opera. Laughter, for example. Proper laughter, that is; not the…

Shiny, raunchy, heartless spectacular: Platée, at Garsington, reviewed

8 June 2024 9:00 am

Fast times on Mount Olympus. Jupiter has been shagging around again and now his wife Juno has bailed on their…

When Fauré played The Spectator

1 June 2024 9:00 am

Gabriel Fauré composed his song cycle La bonne chanson in 1894 for piano and voice. But he added string parts…

Bristol’s new concert hall is extremely fine

25 May 2024 9:00 am

Bristol has a new concert hall, and it’s rather good. The transformation of the old Colston Hall into the Bristol…

Meet the man who says improvisation is the key to Mozart

18 May 2024 9:00 am

In August 1993, the pianist Robert Levin sat down in Walthamstow Assembly Rooms with the conductor Christopher Hogwood and the…

Across Britain punters are lapping up ultra-trad opera – the Arts Council will be disgusted

11 May 2024 9:00 am

Another week at the opera, another evening with an elitist and ethically dubious art form. I love it; you love…

You could have built a tent city from all the red chinos: Aci by the River reviewed

27 April 2024 9:00 am

The Thames cruise for which Handel composed his Water Music in 1717 famously went on until around 4 a.m. The…

Baffling and vile: ETO’s Manon Lescaut reviewed

20 April 2024 9:00 am

In 1937, John Barbirolli took six pieces by Henry Purcell and arranged them for an orchestra of strings, horns and…

What would Tanner say?

13 April 2024 9:00 am

On the train home from the Royal Festival Hall I learned of the death of Michael Tanner, who wrote this…

The composer of dog-food ads who also wrote one of the most original cycles of British symphonies

2 March 2024 9:00 am

Next month in London, they’re celebrating a composer you’ve probably never heard of, but whose work you’re sure to have…