Opera

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…

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…

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…

This is how G&S should be staged: ENO's HMS Pinafore reviewed

6 November 2021 9:00 am

Until 1881, HMS Pinafore was the second-longest-running show in West End history. Within a year of its première it had…

We'll be talking about Royal Opera's Jenufa two decades from now

16 October 2021 9:00 am

Leos Janacek cared about words. He’d hang about central Brno, notebook in hand, eavesdropping on conversations and trying to capture…

Hits you where it hurts: Welsh National Opera's Madam Butterfly reviewed

9 October 2021 9:00 am

‘It’s generally agreed that in contemporary practice, this opera proposes significant ethical and cultural problems,’ says the director Lindy Hume…

Neither Tristan nor Isolde quite convinced: Glyndebourne's Tristan und Isolde reviewed

21 August 2021 9:00 am

Glyndebourne is nothing if not honest. ‘In response to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions our 2021 performances of Tristan und Isolde…

Springtime for Putin: Grange Park's The Life and Death of Alexander Litvinenko reviewed

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Alexander Litvinenko lies in a London hospital, dying of polonium poisoning. That photograph from 2006 haunts the memory: the medical…

Zips along with enormous vim: Malcolm Arnold's The Dancing Master reviewed

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Malcolm Arnold composed his opera The Dancing Master in 1952 for BBC television. It never appeared, the problem being the…

The finest Falstaff you’ll see this summer

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Comedy’s a funny thing. No, seriously, the business of making people laugh is as fragile, as mercurial as cryptocurrency —…

You'll shrug where you should marvel: Garsington's Amadigi reviewed

3 July 2021 9:00 am

When you think of Handel’s Amadigi (in so far as anyone thinks about the composer’s rarely staged, also-ran London score…

Wow, this is good: Grange Park Opera's Ivan the Terrible reviewed

3 July 2021 9:00 am

There are worse inconveniences than having to wear a face mask to the opera. But there’s one consequence that hadn’t…

Lush, elegant and vivid: Der Rosenkavalier at Garsington reviewed

12 June 2021 9:00 am

At the turning point of Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Der Rosenkavalier, all the clocks stop. Octavian has arrived…

World-class music, heavily symbolic staging: Glyndebourne's Katya Kabanova reviewed

5 June 2021 9:00 am

At the first night of Glyndebourne Festival 2021 there was relief and joyful expectation as Gus Christie made his speech…

The two composers who defined British cinema also wrote inspired operas

20 February 2021 9:00 am

It’s my new lockdown ritual. Switch on the telly, cue up the menu and scroll down to where the vintage…

Another cracking take on the opera film: Marquee TV’s Turn of the Screw reviewed

30 January 2021 9:00 am

I’m still waiting for the Royal Opera to step up. Nearly a year into the Covid crisis and what do…

Hear the greatest Parsifal of our time sing like a Muppet: Jonas Kaufmann’s Christmas album reviewed

19 December 2020 9:00 am

In classical music circles, Christmas arrives with the overture to Handel’s Messiah. Or so they’ll tell you. In truth, festivities…

A coherent evening of real opera: GSMD's Triple Bill reviewed

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Covid has been many things to the arts — most of them unprintable. A plague, a scourge, a disaster from…

A new opera that deserves more than one outing: Royal Opera's New Dark Age reviewed

31 October 2020 9:00 am

It’s quite a title sequence. Puccini swells on the soundtrack and words flash before your eyes. ‘Ecstatic!’ ‘Spellbound!’ ‘Passionate!’ ‘Dazzled!’…

I pounded my car horn like a Neapolitan cabbie: ENO's drive-in Bohème reviewed

26 September 2020 9:00 am

The email from English National Opera was blunt: ‘Your arrival time is 18.25. If you arrive outside your allocated time…

Why imperfect operas like Don Carlo are more interesting than perfect ones

8 August 2020 9:00 am

In the 62 years since I first heard and saw Don Carlo, in the famous and long-lasting production by Visconti…

The best recordings of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges

6 June 2020 9:00 am

‘I don’t want to do my work. I want to go for a walk. I want to eat all the…

No one understood the ennui of lockdown better than Louis XIV and his courtiers

9 May 2020 9:00 am

A few years ago I interviewed an eminent baroque conductor. Prickly and professorial, tired after a day of rehearsals, he…

It costs a lot of money to look this cheap: Metropolitan Opera’s At-Home Gala reviewed

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Desperate times call for desperate measures. With the world’s opera houses currently dark, the New York Metropolitan Opera tackled the…