Richard Bratby

Bravura, assurance and generosity: Mark Simpson’s new Cello Concerto reviewed

28 April 2018 9:00 am

The opening of Mark Simpson’s new Cello Concerto is pure Hollywood. A fanfare in the low brass, an upwards rush…

Adult treats in RNCM’s Hansel and Gretel

This Hansel and Gretel has ‘classic’ stamped all over it

7 April 2018 9:00 am

It’s been a good couple of weeks for cuddly toys in opera. A big floppy Eeyore is the only comfort…

Debussy Festival

How Debussy slipped past Wagner into the unknown

31 March 2018 9:00 am

A spectre haunted the first weekend of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Debussy Festival: the spectre of Richard Wagner.…

Does Gerald Barry hate music?

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Blue Gadoo is one of those cats whose face looks like it’s been bashed flat with a wok. He lives…

A mischievous, daring production that produces the goods: Iolanthe reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

‘Welcome to our hearts again, Iolanthe!’ sings the fairy chorus in Gilbert and Sullivan’s fantasy-satire, and during this exuberant new…

More than ever, this was Ulysses’ show: Royal Opera’s Return of Ulysses reviewed

20 January 2018 9:00 am

Spoiler alert: the final image of John Fulljames’s production of Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses at the Roundhouse is haunting.…

The National Youth Orchestra showed that they’re the equal of any professional band

13 January 2018 9:00 am

Everyone knows — don’t they? — that the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain is the UK’s youngest world-class symphony…

Claude Debussy and his daughter Chouchou near Arcachon, France, 1915

Debussy, Tippett and Wagner: the musical treats of 2018

6 January 2018 9:00 am

Claude Debussy died on 25 March 1918 to the sound of explosions. Four days earlier, the Kaiser’s army had deployed…

Gorgeous but exhausting: Jurowski/LPO at Royal Festival Hall reviewed

9 December 2017 9:00 am

To get a flavour of Joseph Marx’s An Autumn Symphony, picture the confectionery counter in a grand Viennese café. Beneath…

Embarrassing – but electrifying: Bernstein 100 reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

‘There is something enviable about the utter lack of inhibition with which Leonard Bernstein carries on,’ wrote the critic of…

Hearts and minds

11 November 2017 9:00 am

Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune begins with a sigh: a long, languorous exhalation played on the lower notes of…

Irish ayes

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Luigi Cherubini is the pantomime villain of French romantic music. As head of the Paris Conservatoire in the 1820s he…

Les Vêpres siciliennes (image: ROH)

Mad Men – The Opera

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti begins not with a prelude, but a jingle. In Matthew Eberhardt’s production a trio of…

Pole position

5 October 2017 2:00 pm

Did you know that they used to make the Fiat 126 in the Eastern bloc? They did, apparently. There was…

The sound of no hands clapping

16 September 2017 9:00 am

‘We’re going to live for ever!’ declares Robert Powell as Gustav Mahler at the end of Ken Russell’s 1974 biopic.…

Viennese whirl

9 September 2017 9:00 am

‘First performance: Vienna, October 3, 1880’ declares the programme for Opera della Luna’s new production of Johann Strauss’s The Queen’s…

Twin peaks

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Schoenberg began Gurrelieder in 1900, but he didn’t hear it until 1913. By then, he’d moved on, and he ostentatiously…

Wilson’s sparkle and snap

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Back in the period-instrument wars of the 1980s and ’90s, when the forces of historically informed performance smashed out of…

Andrew Shore, Alex Otterburn, Allison Cook and Susan Bullock (left to right) in Edinburgh Festival’s Greek

Classy and classic

12 August 2017 9:00 am

The Edinburgh International Festival began with a double helping of incest. Curiously, Greek — Mark-Anthony Turnage’s East End retelling of…

Carry on camping: English Touring Opera’s ‘La Calisto’

High and low

22 October 2016 9:00 am

‘Besides feeble writing, there is a mixture of tragic-comedy and buffoonery in it, which Apostolo Zeno and Metastasio had banished…

This new opera had the audience in tears

21 May 2016 9:00 am

‘So you’re going to see the gay sex opera?’ exclaimed my friend, open-mouthed. People certainly seem to have had some…

Scottish Opera could have a hit on its hands with this new Mikado

14 May 2016 9:00 am

You have to be quite silly to take Gilbert and Sullivan seriously. But even sillier not to. G&S is still…

The greatest British opera after Dido and Grimes? Vaughan Williams’s Riders to the Sea

2 April 2016 9:00 am

In a remote fishing village a lone figure confronts an unexplained death, standing tormented but unbroken against fate, the community…

WNO reminds us Figaro's a comedy – which is no bad thing

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Near the end of Elena Langer’s new opera Figaro Gets a Divorce, as the Almaviva household — now emigrés in…

World-weary rather than carefree: Peter Coleman-Wright as Papageno

Life-enhancing achievement: ENO's Magic Flute reviewed

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Centre stage, there’s an industrial-looking black platform, secured by cables. The Three Ladies snap the unconscious Tamino on a mobile…