Opera

The future of opera – I hope: WNO’s Candide reviewed

29 July 2023 9:00 am

Bernstein’s Candide is the operetta that ought to work, but never quite does. Voltaire’s featherlight cakewalk through human misery, set…

The West has much to learn from Hungarian culture

29 July 2023 9:00 am

Hungarian culture is living through a golden age, says Igor Toronyi-Lalic, and the West has much to learn from it

Was Vera Brittain really this insufferable? Buxton Festival’s The Land of Might-Have-Been reviewed

15 July 2023 9:00 am

‘Ring out your bells for me, ivory keys! Weave out your spell for me, orchestra please!’ It’s lush stuff, the…

To die for: Grange Park Opera’s Tristan & Isolde reviewed

17 June 2023 9:00 am

There are a lot of corpses on stage at the end of Charles Edwards’s production of Tristan & Isolde for…

The final scenes are a knockout: Glyndebourne’s Don Giovanni reviewed

10 June 2023 9:00 am

Are you supposed to laugh at the end of Don Giovanni? Audiences often do, and they did at the end…

How Ukrainians are making the lives of even anti-Putin Russian artists impossible

3 June 2023 9:00 am

Zoe Strimpel talks to the anti-Putin Russian artists who have been cancelled since the invasion of Ukraine

CSI: Seville

27 May 2023 9:00 am

Florid flummery: ETO’s Il viaggio a Reims reviewed

20 May 2023 9:00 am

Lightning sometimes strikes twice. English Touring Opera hit topical gold last spring when, wholly by coincidence, they found themselves touring…

WNO sinks an unsinkable opera: The Magic Flute, at Birmingham Hippodrome, reviewed

13 May 2023 9:00 am

As stage directions go, the The Magic Flute opens with a zinger. ‘Tamino enters from the right wearing a splendid…

Bold, self-assured reimagining of Monteverdi: Opera North's Orpheus reviewed

29 October 2022 9:00 am

You wouldn’t like Tamerlano when he’s angry. ‘My heart seethes with rage,’ he sings, in Act III of Handel’s opera…

A miniature rite of a very English spring: a Vaughan Williams rediscovery in Liverpool

22 October 2022 9:00 am

Imagine a folk dance without music. Actually, you don’t have to: poke about on YouTube and you’ll find footage from…

Apocalypse chic: Autechre, Last Days and Southbank's Xenakis day reviewed

15 October 2022 9:00 am

It was so dark, my friend noted, you could have had sex or done a Hitler salute. No stage lights,…

Grey, grey and more grey: Aida, at the Royal Opera House, reviewed

8 October 2022 9:00 am

Grey. More grey. So very, very grey. That’s the main visual impression left by Robert Carsen’s new production of Verdi’s…

Why does opera always feel the need apologise for its plots?

1 October 2022 9:00 am

Leos Janacek disliked long operas, and the first act of The Makropulos Affair is a masterclass in how to set…

Why the Arts Council should kill off ENO and ENB

24 September 2022 9:00 am

It is high time the Arts Council put ENO and ENB out of their misery, says Rupert Christiansen

More depravity, please: Salome, at the Royal Opera House, reviewed

24 September 2022 9:00 am

The first night of the new season at Covent Garden was cancelled when the solemn news came through. The second…

Holds out huge promise for future seasons: If Opera's La Rondine reviewed

10 September 2022 9:00 am

One swallow might not make a summer, but it certainly helps rounds the season off. ‘Perhaps, like the swallow, you…

The joy of Franck’s Symphony in D Minor: BBCSO/Gabel, at the Proms, reviewed

3 September 2022 9:00 am

In the Rodgers and Hart musical On Your Toes, a Broadway hoofer is forced to work at a community college,…

Apocalyptic minimalism: Carl Orff's final opera, at Salzburg Festival, reviewed

3 September 2022 9:00 am

‘Germany’s greatest artistic asset, its music, is in danger,’ warned The Spectator in June 1937. Reporting from the leading new-music…

An electrifying, immersive thrill: Scottish Opera's Candide reviewed

20 August 2022 9:00 am

The first part of the adventure was getting there. Out of the subway, past the tower blocks and under the…

A classic in the making: Glyndebourne's Poulenc double bill reviewed

13 August 2022 9:00 am

One morning in the 20th century, Thérèse wakes up next to her husband and announces that she’s a feminist. Hubby,…

Convincing performances and unexpected sounds: Opera Holland Park's Delius/Puccini double bill reviewed

30 July 2022 9:00 am

Delius and Puccini: how’s that for an operatic odd couple? Delius, that most faded of British masters, now remembered largely…

A bleeding, inch-thick hunk of verismo sirloin: Royal Opera's Cav and Pag reviewed

16 July 2022 9:00 am

One legacy of lockdown in the classical music world has been the sheer length of the 21-22 season. In a…

Had the air of a Blue Peter Christmas special: Grange Festival's The Yeomen of the Guard reviewed

2 July 2022 9:00 am

The Yeomen of the Guard has been called the ‘English Meistersinger’ but the more you think about that, the dafter…

Letters: How to face death

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Be prepared Sir: The advice of Jeremy Clarke’s Aunty Margaret that he ‘must “get right with the Lord” as a…