Classical

An old production that’s aged better than most: Royal Opera’s Turandot reviewed

15 April 2023 9:00 am

Since its première in 1984, Andrei Serban’s production of Puccini’s Turandot has been revived 15 times at Covent Garden, not…

If you’re anywhere near Edinburgh, get a ticket: Scottish Opera’s Il trittico reviewed

25 March 2023 9:00 am

It does no harm, once in a while, to assume that the creators of an opera actually know what they’re…

Why does everyone hate Max Reger?

18 March 2023 9:00 am

The German composer Max Reger, born 150 years ago next week, is mostly remembered today for countless elephantine fugues and…

Dated and wasteful: Rusalka, at the Royal Opera House, reviewed

4 March 2023 9:00 am

Careful what you wish for. There can be no definitive way to stage an opera, and it’s the critic’s duty…

The unknown German composer championed by Mahler

18 February 2023 9:00 am

I was sceptical when the lady on the bus to Reading town centre told me that her father knew Liszt.…

Still ugly but worth catching for the chorus and orchestra: Royal Opera’s Tannhäuser reviewed

4 February 2023 9:00 am

A classical concert programme is like a set menu, and for this palate the most tempting orchestral offering in the…

Stirring and sophisticated: RLPO, Chooi, Hindoyan, at the Philharmonic Hall, reviewed

28 January 2023 9:00 am

Daniel Barenboim was supposed to perform with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra earlier this month. His recent health concerns made…

What makes a Christmas song Christmassy?

17 December 2022 9:00 am

Temperature records for Los Angeles in the summer of 1945 are patchy, but 90 in the shade seems to have…

If Ravel’s Boléro makes you yawn, you’re not really listening

10 December 2022 9:00 am

Only boring people are bored by Ravel’s Boléro. True, the composer – the slyest of wits – left his share…

Hugely entertaining: Royal Opera’s Alcina reviewed

19 November 2022 9:00 am

A hotel bellboy, the story goes, discovered George Best in a luxury suite surrounded by scantily clad lovelies and empty…

A total (and often gripping) theatrical experience: Scottish Opera’s Ainadamar reviewed

5 November 2022 9:00 am

Do you remember Osvaldo Golijov? Two decades ago he was classical music’s Next Big Thing: a credible postmodernist with a…

A miniature rite of a very English spring: a Vaughan Williams rediscovery in Liverpool

22 October 2022 9:00 am

Imagine a folk dance without music. Actually, you don’t have to: poke about on YouTube and you’ll find footage from…

Grey, grey and more grey: Aida, at the Royal Opera House, reviewed

8 October 2022 9:00 am

Grey. More grey. So very, very grey. That’s the main visual impression left by Robert Carsen’s new production of Verdi’s…

Why does opera always feel the need apologise for its plots?

1 October 2022 9:00 am

Leos Janacek disliked long operas, and the first act of The Makropulos Affair is a masterclass in how to set…

Holds out huge promise for future seasons: If Opera's La Rondine reviewed

10 September 2022 9:00 am

One swallow might not make a summer, but it certainly helps rounds the season off. ‘Perhaps, like the swallow, you…

The joy of Franck’s Symphony in D Minor: BBCSO/Gabel, at the Proms, reviewed

3 September 2022 9:00 am

In the Rodgers and Hart musical On Your Toes, a Broadway hoofer is forced to work at a community college,…

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,…

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…

An intimate, lucid and unforgettable new James MacMillan work

9 July 2022 9:00 am

On Tuesday night I was at the world première of a motet by Sir James MacMillan and I don’t think…

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…

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…