Mozart

Deft humour and daft imagery: WNO’s Magic Flute reviewed

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Operas are like buses. Both are filled with pensioners and take ages to get anywhere, but more importantly they always…

Kang Wang as Tamino in Opera North's new Magic Flute. Photo: Alastair Muir

Only adults struggle with The Magic Flute. Kids get it

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Spoiler alert: it’s all a dream. At least, I think that’s what we’re meant to take away from the business…

Sexy hints of affluence with top notes of fascism: Grange Park’s Roméo et Juliette reviewed

30 June 2018 9:00 am

Patrick Mason’s new production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette reminded me of something, but it took a while to work…

Detail of Cantata ‘Es ist das Heil’, BWV9

I don’t get why people worship Bach

16 June 2018 9:00 am

I don’t get Johann Sebastian Bach. I mean, I get that he was good — no Mozart, sure, but definitely…

Mozart died too late rather than too early. Discuss.

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Glenn Gould used to say that Mozart died too late rather than too early. The remark was intended to get…

The Old Town seen from the Charles Bridge

Prague

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Prague. Prague. It helps to say the name at least twice as a countermeasure to the ridiculous ease of modern…

The sound of no hands clapping

16 September 2017 9:00 am

‘We’re going to live for ever!’ declares Robert Powell as Gustav Mahler at the end of Ken Russell’s 1974 biopic.…

Maria Callas as Anna Bolena

Ave, Maria

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Anyone who thinks that an artist’s life is irrelevant to their artistic achievement, and for that matter anyone who thinks…

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.…

If you want to know how music really works listen to Classic FM not Radio 3

7 May 2016 9:00 am

He’s been billed as the new Pied Piper but it’s going to take a while for Tom Service to quite…

A Handel opera that isn't by Handel, and a Mozart opera composed in 1990, reviewed

23 April 2016 9:00 am

Disguises and mistaken identities are a staple of opera, but usually as part of the onstage, not the offstage, action.…

The singing made me seasick: ETO’s Don Giovanni reviewed

26 March 2016 9:00 am

One of these days I will probably see a production of Don Giovanni set in a research station in the…

World-weary rather than carefree: Peter Coleman-Wright as Papageno

Life-enhancing achievement: ENO's Magic Flute reviewed

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Centre stage, there’s an industrial-looking black platform, secured by cables. The Three Ladies snap the unconscious Tamino on a mobile…

A devastating Jenufa - if you could hear it

5 December 2015 9:00 am

About 15 minutes into act one of Jenufa, the student in the next seat leaned over to her companions and…

Northern Ireland Opera’s Turandot will fill you with awe and revulsion

7 November 2015 9:00 am

Chords as bright and sweet as pomegranate seeds burst and spill in Turandot, a splinter of bitterness at their centre.…

Going ape: Bertie Carvel as Yank

Glyndebourne caters to the lower-middle classes not past-it toffs

7 November 2015 9:00 am

What is Glyndebourne? A middle-aged Bullingdon. That’s a common view: a luxury bun fight for past-it toffs who glug champagne,…

Detail of the bridge of the kora, a harp made from calabash and cow hide, with strings aligned in a perpendicular plane

The polyphonous Babel of global music

17 October 2015 8:00 am

‘Following custom, when the Siamese conquered the Khmer they carried off much of the population, including most of their musicians,…

Erwin Schrott as Figaro and Anita Hartig as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro

McVicar’s Figaro looks increasingly fossilised. Time for the Royal Opera to ditch it

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Is there a more extraordinary, more heart-stilling moment in all opera than the finale of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro?…

Opera in Edinburgh: even the best Stravinsky can’t beat mediocre Mozart

22 August 2015 9:00 am

Is Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress anything more than an exercise in style? ‘I will lace each aria into a tight…

Christopher Turner as Artemidoro, the romantic lead transformed into a raving hippy in Trofonio’s ‘cave’

Don’t listen to Amadeus - this Salieri opera is better than Mozart

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Magical transformations are a commonplace of opera. We see our heroes turned into animals, trees, statues; witness wild beasts turned…

Lunch with a claret fit for gods, heroes and David Cameron

20 June 2015 9:00 am

I cannot remember a jollier lunch. There are two brothers, Sebastian and Nicholas Payne, both practical epicureans. They have made…

ENO’s Queen of Spades: I wanted to grab David Alden’s production by the neck and shake out its silly clutter

13 June 2015 9:00 am

The opera director David Alden has never been one to tread the straight and narrow. Something kinky would emerge, I’m…

I fear for this year’s Proms

6 June 2015 9:00 am

As Sepp Blatter has so affectingly remarked, the organisation he formerly headed needs evolution, not revolution. There is a consensus…

Il Turco in Italia (Photo: Tristram Kenton)

Il turco in Italia, Royal Opera House, reviewed: bring sunglasses

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Big slats of orange, burning yellows, an Adriatic in electric blue: I wish I’d bought my sunglasses to the Royal…

Even a perfect opera such as Don Giovanni improves with a good red

4 April 2015 9:00 am

End of season is always bittersweet, the melting snows a bit like autumn leaves. But the days are longer and…