Opera North

Opera North’s Rite of Spring shows the advantages of confining the music to the pit

2 March 2019 9:00 am

It was Stravinsky himself who suggested that, in order to preserve its difficulty, the opening bassoon solo of The Rite…

Miraculous: Amanda Majeski as Katya Kabanova in Richard Jones’s Royal Opera production

One of the greatest operatic experiences of my life: Royal Opera’s Katya Kabanova reviewed

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Janacek’s upsetting opera Katya Kabanova, which hasn’t been seen in the UK for some time, turned up in two different…

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…

Thrilling, heartbreaking music drama — you need to see it: Sarah-Jane Lewis as Annie with the chorus in ENO’s Porgy and Bess

Thrilling, heartbreaking music drama – you need to see it: ENO’s Porgy and Bess reviewed

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess springs to life fully formed, and pulls you in before a word has been sung. A…

Opera North’s Tosca will leave you quivering

29 September 2018 9:00 am

At the end of Act Two of Tosca there are some 30 bars of orchestral music — accompaniment to a…

An unmitigated triumph: Salome at Opera North reviewed

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Salome is my favourite opera by Richard Strauss, the only one where there is no danger, at any point, of…

Ball breaker: Opera North’s production of Un ballo in maschera

Yet another dud Un ballo in maschera: Opera North’s new production reviewed

10 February 2018 9:00 am

A chaste act of adultery and a silent conversation: these are the encounters at the heart of Un ballo in…

Royal Opera’s Tosca is a sloppy affair

27 January 2018 9:00 am

One of the Royal Opera’s greatest virtues is the care it takes with its revivals, even those that are virtually…

Pole position

5 October 2017 2:00 pm

Did you know that they used to make the Fiat 126 in the Eastern bloc? They did, apparently. There was…

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…

The conducting is as potent as Furtwängler’s: Opera North’s Ring reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

When I interviewed Richard Farnes in Leeds six years ago about Opera North’s project of performing the complete Ring, he…

This new opera had the audience in tears

21 May 2016 9:00 am

‘So you’re going to see the gay sex opera?’ exclaimed my friend, open-mouthed. People certainly seem to have had some…

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…

Annemarie Kremer as Maddelena. Photo Credit: Robert Workman

Miserable libretto, music to match: Andrea Chénier reviewed

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Opera North continues to be the most reliable, inspiring, resourceful and enterprising opera company in the United Kingdom, and all…

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…

Opera North's Gianni Schicchi and La vida breve reviewed: a flawless double helping of verismo

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Is there a more beautiful aria than ‘O mio babbino caro’ from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi? There are more overwhelming moments…

An artistic crime is committed at the Royal Festival Hall

31 January 2015 9:00 am

In one of the more peculiar concerts that I have been to at the Royal Festival Hall, Vladimir Jurowski conducted…

Hye-Youn Lee as Violetta in ‘La traviata’

Opera North’s Coronation of Poppea: a premium-rate sex-line of an opera

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Virtue, hide thyself! The Coronation of Poppea opens with a warning and closes with a love duet for a concubine…

Opera North's Götterdämerung is astounding (nearly)

5 July 2014 9:00 am

It seems a very short time since I interviewed Richard Farnes about Opera North’s planned Ring cycle, the dramas to…

Beguiling musicality: Sébastien Guèze as Rodolfo and Gabriela Istoc as Mimì in Opera North’s ‘La Bohème’

Two Mimi-Rodolfos at Opera North who go from nought to frisky very believably

17 May 2014 9:00 am

Purists might have winced at Opera North’s advertisement for its latest revival of La Bohème. ‘If you see one musical…

Handelian pleasures vs modern head-scratchers

29 March 2014 9:00 am

Opera seems almost always to have been acutely concerned with its own future. These days this is most often manifested…

Kelly Cae Hogan (Lady Macbeth) and Béla Perencz (Macbeth)

ENO's Rodelinda: near-perfect singing, perfectly gimmicky direction

8 March 2014 9:00 am

I wasn’t going to write about Handel’s Rodelinda, wasn’t even intending to go, but thanks to the kindness of the…

The state of opera today (it's not good)

4 January 2014 9:00 am

I’ve been hoping that in this, the last of my weekly columns on opera, I would be able to strike…

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,…

Opera: I am dreading the thought of Götterdämmerung if Opera North maintains the standard it has set with Siegfried

6 July 2013 9:00 am

Siegfried is, everyone agrees, the hardest of the Ring dramas to bring off. The first and almost insurmountable problem is…