Benjamin Britten

Susan Hill: The brilliance of the NHS cancer service

15 February 2020 9:00 am

Exactly 50 years ago I drove, for the first visit of many, across country to Aldeburgh in Suffolk, following the…

Leo Jemison (Miles), Elen Willmer (Flora) and Sophie Bevan (Governess) in The Turn of the Screw at Garsington Opera

Deft, elegant and genuinely chilling: Garsington’s Turn of the Screw reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Think of the children in opera. Not knowing sopranos and mezzos, pigtailed and pinafored or tightly trousered-up to look child-like,…

Credit: RoBeDeRo

The mosque where it’s the men who make the tea

18 May 2019 9:00 am

On returning from a brief trip to Istanbul, where inside the mosques women are still very much kept to one…

Sir Simon Rattle conducts the LSO at the Barbican

Rattle’s recapitulation: LSO/Simon Rattle at Barbican reviewed

22 September 2018 9:00 am

A pregnant silence, a peaty belch from the tuba, and the scrape of brass on brass as gears lock into…

Chorus of approval: the ENO chorus gives it the full Broadway, triple threats to a man, in Benjamin Britten’s Paul Bunyan (Photo: Genevieve Girling)

Often baffling but ultimately entertaining: Britten’s Paul Bunyan reviewed

15 September 2018 9:00 am

‘I feel I have learned lots about what not to write for the theatre…’ There’s a prevailing idea that the…

Pat and Richard Nixon in ENO’s 2006 production of John Adams’s Nixon in China

Whatever happened to Alice?

19 August 2017 9:00 am

In 1987, the art of opera changed decisively. John Adams’s opera Nixon in China was so unlike the usual run…

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 —…

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.…

The serried ranks of an El Sistema youth orchestra in Caracas, 2012 — a ‘miracle’ that’s turned very sour

Sex, lies and El Sistema

6 December 2014 9:00 am

An explosive new book uncovers abuse at the heart of one of classical music’s most revered institutions. Damian Thompson investigates

Britten’s worldwide reputation is enhanced in Lyon

26 April 2014 9:00 am

One of the proudest boasts to come from Britten HQ in Aldeburgh during the composer’s anniversary last year was that…

Clean-voiced and suave: Mark Wilde as the balladeer Jonny Inkslinger in‘Paul Bunyan’

Why is Tippett's King Priam so difficult to love?

1 March 2014 9:00 am

The difference between lovable, likable and admirable is perhaps more significant in the operatic world than in other artistic spheres…

A century before Miley Cyrus, it was male performers — like Nijinsky — who bared all 

7 December 2013 9:00 am

While the airwaves resonate with celebrations of Britten’s birth, I cannot help thinking that what was happening in Paris at…

Alexander Chancellor: A slice of Italy in Milton Keynes

30 November 2013 9:00 am

Back home from a week in Italy, I almost feel that I haven’t left. For I go almost at once…

What Jackie did after JFK was assassinated

23 November 2013 9:00 am

A surfeit of anniversaries this week reminded us that on the day of President Kennedy’s assassination, C.S. Lewis (born 1898)…

If 'Greek' is playing within 200 miles of where you live — watch it

2 November 2013 9:00 am

This week chanced to give me a fascinating study in contrasts and comparisons: Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek at the Linbury Studio,…