Opera

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…

Death wish

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Anyone who thinks they have experienced absolute boredom, or even doubts that such a state can exist, should go to…

False start

20 May 2017 9:00 am

When a composer begins an opera, they create a world. You don’t need a full-scale overture: the tear-stained violins that…

Mild things

13 May 2017 9:00 am

English Touring Opera is playing safe this spring, with Tosca and Patience, and was rewarded, in Cambridge at least, with…

Sunyoung Seo as Liù, Alastair Miles as Timur and Rafael Rojas as Calaf in Opera North’s production of Turandot

Stand and deliver

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Some opera-lovers prefer concert performances to full stagings. I don’t. It’s that whole Gesamtkunstwerk thing: opera needs to be seen…

Fallen angel

29 April 2017 9:00 am

The Adèsives were out in force at Covent Garden last Monday for the UK première of their hero’s third opera,…

Take a bow

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Monteverdi 450 — the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists’ tour of his three operas to 33 cities across two…

Country pleasures

14 April 2017 11:00 pm

The English weren’t the first cowpat composers. Jean-Philippe Rameau raised the art of frolicking in the fields to such heights…

Gresa Pallaska and Robert Jack in ‘The 8th Door’

Blowing the bloody doors off

8 April 2017 9:00 am

As we waited for curtain-up on Scottish Opera’s new production of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle a member of staff walked out…

Death becomes her

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Opera is littered with the bodies of abandoned women. Step over Dido and Gilda, and you’ll still stumble into Donna…

Slyly surreal: Christopher Alden’s Partenope at ENO

Denial has rarely looked so good

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Ceci n’est pas une Partenope. Forget the warring classical kingdoms of Naples and Cumae: this is surrealist Paris in the…

Fatal distraction

18 March 2017 9:00 am

I don’t think that I have left a theatre many times feeling as depressed and irritated as after the Royal…