Richard Bratby

A classic in the making: Glyndebourne's Poulenc double bill reviewed

13 August 2022 9:00 am

One morning in the 20th century, Thérèse wakes up next to her husband and announces that she’s a feminist. Hubby,…

Convincing performances and unexpected sounds: Opera Holland Park's Delius/Puccini double bill reviewed

30 July 2022 9:00 am

Delius and Puccini: how’s that for an operatic odd couple? Delius, that most faded of British masters, now remembered largely…

With everything working properly, this would have been a lot of fun: Grange Park's La Gioconda reviewed

23 July 2022 9:00 am

There are composers who are known for a single opera, and there are operas that are known for only a…

A bleeding, inch-thick hunk of verismo sirloin: Royal Opera's Cav and Pag reviewed

16 July 2022 9:00 am

One legacy of lockdown in the classical music world has been the sheer length of the 21-22 season. In a…

Had the air of a Blue Peter Christmas special: Grange Festival's The Yeomen of the Guard reviewed

2 July 2022 9:00 am

The Yeomen of the Guard has been called the ‘English Meistersinger’ but the more you think about that, the dafter…

A thoroughly enjoyable grand old heap of nothing: The Excursions of Mr Broucek reviewed

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Sir David Pountney, it appears, has been to Prague. He’s booked himself a mini-break, he’s EasyJetted out, and after (one…

The opera that wouldn’t die

18 June 2022 9:00 am

Richard Bratby on the resurrection of wunderkind Erich Korngold’s long-neglected masterpiece

A completely satisfying operatic experience: Opera North’s Parsifal reviewed

18 June 2022 9:00 am

When Parsifal finally returns to Montsalvat, it’s Good Friday. He’s trodden the path of suffering but now the sun is…

Serves Ethel Smyth's opera magnificently: Glyndebourne's The Wreckers reviewed

4 June 2022 9:00 am

You’ve got to hand it to Dame Ethel Smyth. Working in an era when to be a British composer implied…

Claude Vivier ought to be a modern classic. Why isn't he?

28 May 2022 9:00 am

April is the cruellest month, but May is shaping up quite pleasantly and the daylight streamed in through the east…

Even Nelsons’s miscalculations are fascinating: Leipzig Gewandhaus/Andris Nelsons, at the Barbican, reviewed

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Imagine growing up with a whole orchestra as your plaything. Richard Strauss’s father was the principal horn of the Munich…

Too affectionate, not enough cruelty: Don Pasquale, at the Royal Opera House, reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

There are many things to enjoy in the Royal Opera’s revival of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, but perhaps the most surprising…

A fine cast, superbly conducted – just don't overthink the production: Royal Opera's Lohengrin reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

To be a Wagnerite is to enter the theatre in a state of paranoia. Mainstream culture has decided that Wagner…

Igor Levit deserved his standing ovation; Shostakovich, even more so

16 April 2022 9:00 am

Music and politics don’t mix, runs the platitude. Looks a bit tattered now, doesn’t it? For Soviet musicians, of course,…

A spirited attempt to fix a show that’s never really flown: Utopia, Limited reviewed

9 April 2022 9:00 am

Utopia, Limited (1893) is a rare bird, and one that every Gilbert and Sullivan completist simply has to bag. The…

Pitch-black satire drenched in an atmosphere of compelling unease: ETO's Golden Cockerel reviewed

2 April 2022 9:00 am

Blame it on Serge Diaghilev. Rimsky-Korsakov died in 1908 and never saw the première of his last opera, The Golden…

Comes so close to greatness but succumbs to prejudice: Royal Opera's Peter Grimes reviewed

26 March 2022 9:00 am

No question, the Royal Opera is on a roll. Just look at the cast list alone for Deborah Warner’s new…

Spot-on in almost every way: Scottish Opera's A Midsummer Night’s Dream reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Scottish Opera’s new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream seems to open in midwinter. Snow falls, fairies hurl snowballs…

Astonishing, if unnecessary, grandstanding: Barbara Hannigan's La voix humaine reviewed

12 March 2022 9:00 am

I think it was when she leaned forward and balanced on one leg that Barbara Hannigan jumped the shark. It…

Deserves to become an ENO staple: The Cunning Little Vixen reviewed

26 February 2022 9:00 am

Spoiler alert. The last words in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen come from a child playing a frog. The story…

Old-school excess, star power and spectacle: Royal Opera's Tosca reviewed

19 February 2022 9:00 am

London felt like its old self on Friday night. Possibly it was just me; when you visit the capital once…

Turns Handel into a Netflix thriller: Royal Opera's Theodora reviewed

12 February 2022 9:00 am

The Royal Opera has come over all baroque. In the Linbury Theatre, they’re hosting Irish National Opera’s production of Vivaldi’s…

Ralph Vaughan Williams: modernist master

5 February 2022 9:00 am

He is caricatured as a populist and purveyor of ‘folky-wolky’ melodies, says Richard Bratby, but Vaughan Williams was a modernist master of uncompromising originality

Clear, complex and gripping: Opera North's Rigoletto reviewed

29 January 2022 9:00 am

Say what you like about that Duke of Mantua, but he’s basically an OK sort of bloke. A bit of…

Not pleasant, and not in tune, but unarguably compelling: Royal Opera's Nabucco reviewed

22 January 2022 9:00 am

Nabucco, said Giuseppe Verdi, ‘was born under a lucky star’. It was both his last throw of the dice and…