Opera

A grim and impoverished place: Royal Opera’s new Lohengrin

Longborough continues to be a refuge for British Wagnerians fleeing idiotic productions

16 June 2018 9:00 am

Longborough Festival Opera, refuge for British Wagnerians fleeing unidiomatic musical performances and idiotically irrelevant and insulting productions, has rounded off…

Rachel Willis-Sorensen as the Marschallin and Kate Lindsey as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne Festival

Glyndebourne’s Der Rosenkavalier never forgets to be funny

2 June 2018 9:00 am

‘Comedy for music by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Music by Richard Strauss.’ That’s what the creators of Der Rosenkavalier wrote on…

Much is routine – and a fair amount is worse: Glyndebourne’s Madama Butterfly reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

There is no such thing as a moderately good performance of Madama Butterfly, or, to be more precise, it’s not…

A delicious operatic ragout of horror: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk reviewed

21 April 2018 9:00 am

There is famously no door into the late-night diner of Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’. Its three silent patrons are trapped behind…

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…

Verdi would have been disarmed: Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth

At last, a great achievement at the Royal Opera: Macbeth reviewed

31 March 2018 9:00 am

At last, a great time at the Royal Opera: a magnificent performance, in every way, of Verdi’s Macbeth, curiously but…

ENO’s La traviata was so comprehensive a flop that it is painful to go into detail

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Handel’s Rinaldo has not been highly regarded even by his most ardent admirers. I have never understood why — even…

What’s in a name

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Janacek is the master of the operatic title. Think of the slippery, sleight-of-hand emphasis of Jenufa in its original Czech…

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…

Ball breaker: Opera North’s production of Un ballo in maschera

Yet another dud Un ballo in maschera: Opera North’s new production reviewed

10 February 2018 9:00 am

A chaste act of adultery and a silent conversation: these are the encounters at the heart of Un ballo in…

Royal Opera’s Tosca is a sloppy affair

27 January 2018 9:00 am

One of the Royal Opera’s greatest virtues is the care it takes with its revivals, even those that are virtually…

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…

Musically superb but there isn’t a moment where one feels for anyone: Semiramide reviewed

25 November 2017 9:00 am

The late arch-Rossinian Philip Gossett regarded Semiramide as a neoclassical work, vaguely and alarmingly suggesting to me a musical equivalent…

Excellent but there’s too much larking about: ENO’s Rodelinda reviewed

4 November 2017 9:00 am

ENO has revived Richard Jones’s production of Handel’s Rodelinda. It was warmly greeted on its first outing in 2014, though…

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…

Soap opera

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Previously on Giulio Cesare… English Touring Opera’s new season caters cannily to the box-set generation by chopping Handel’s Egyptian power-and-politics…

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…

Small wonders

23 September 2017 9:00 am

It has been a reasonably good week for peripatetic opera-loving female-underwear fetishists. In La bohème at Covent Garden Musetta slipped…

DIY Bohème

16 September 2017 9:00 am

The Royal Opera’s one production that, it has always confidently been claimed, need never be replaced has been replaced. John…

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…

Hellbound: Christopher Maltman in Ivan Fischer’s new Don Giovanni for Edinburgh

Grimes triumphant

17 August 2017 1:00 pm

‘Peter Grimes!’ Ranked high above us in the Usher Hall — a mob smelling blood, hot for the kill —…

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…

All the world’s a stage in OHP’s Zaza

Strong stuff

29 July 2017 9:00 am

The strings sweep upwards, the horns surge, and Leoncavallo’s Zaza throws itself into your arms. We don’t know it yet,…