Opera

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

15 April 2017 9:00 am

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…

Scottish power

11 March 2017 9:00 am

‘Perhaps in this world nothing ever happens without purpose,’ sings old, blind King Arkel in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, and…

Scottish power

9 March 2017 3:00 pm

‘Perhaps in this world nothing ever happens without purpose,’ sings old, blind King Arkel in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, and…

Scottish power

9 March 2017 3:00 pm

‘Perhaps in this world nothing ever happens without purpose,’ sings old, blind King Arkel in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, and…

Cold comfort: Zach Roberts in Rory Kinnear’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’ at ENO

Statue-esque

4 March 2017 9:00 am

Why set a supremely great play to music? The Winter’s Tale, the play of Shakespeare’s that I love most, has…

Cold comfort: Zach Roberts in Rory Kinnear’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’ at ENO

Statue-esque

2 March 2017 3:00 pm

Why set a supremely great play to music? The Winter’s Tale, the play of Shakespeare’s that I love most, has…

Cold comfort: Zach Roberts in Rory Kinnear’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’ at ENO

Statue-esque

2 March 2017 3:00 pm

Why set a supremely great play to music? The Winter’s Tale, the play of Shakespeare’s that I love most, has…

Tough love

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Frank Martin is one of those composers whose work seems to survive only by virtue of constantly renewed neglect. His…