Opera

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,…

New kid on the block

22 July 2017 9:00 am

The new Grange Park Opera at Horsley is amazing, as everyone who visits it must agree. In less than a…

Risk assessment

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Someone at the Buxton International Festival had a wry smile on their face when programming this year’s trio of operas.…

Carry on camping: Michael Spyres as Mitridate in Mitridate, re di Ponto

Dressed to thrill

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Mitridate, re di Ponto was Mozart’s fifth opera, written and first produced when he was 14 years old. Absolutely amazing.…

Roll over Beethoven

1 July 2017 9:00 am

If you want to see an opera director kicking a genius when they’re down — and I mean really sticking…

Twin peaks

24 June 2017 9:00 am

In an essay called ‘Wagner’s fluids’, Susan Sontag concludes, ‘The depth and grandeur of feeling of which Wagner is capable…

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world: Barbara Hannigan (Ophelia) and Allan Clayton (Hamlet) in Hamlet at Glyndebourne

Art of darkness

15 June 2017 1:00 pm

Brett Dean’s new opera for Glyndebourne is a big-hearted romantic comedy, sunny and life-affirming. Only joking — this is contemporary…

Love Handel: Christine Rice (Juno), Heidi Stober (Semele) and Jurgita Adamonyte (Ino) in Semele at Garsington

Myths and morals

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Handel’s Semele, one of the most enjoyable operas (or opera-oratorio, if you insist) in the repertoire, is, in its upshot,…

Music matters

3 June 2017 9:00 am

The ancient Greeks had a word for it —katabasis, descending into the depths, to the underworld itself, in search of…