Opera

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…

DIY Bohème

16 September 2017 9:00 am

The Royal Opera’s one production that, it has always confidently been claimed, need never be replaced has been replaced. John…

Viennese whirl

9 September 2017 9:00 am

‘First performance: Vienna, October 3, 1880’ declares the programme for Opera della Luna’s new production of Johann Strauss’s The Queen’s…

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 —…

Andrew Shore, Alex Otterburn, Allison Cook and Susan Bullock (left to right) in Edinburgh Festival’s Greek

Classy and classic

12 August 2017 9:00 am

The Edinburgh International Festival began with a double helping of incest. Curiously, Greek — Mark-Anthony Turnage’s East End retelling of…

All the world’s a stage in OHP’s Zaza

Strong stuff

29 July 2017 9:00 am

The strings sweep upwards, the horns surge, and Leoncavallo’s Zaza throws itself into your arms. We don’t know it yet,…

New kid on the block

22 July 2017 9:00 am

The new Grange Park Opera at Horsley is amazing, as everyone who visits it must agree. In less than a…

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…

Not a repertory piece but in its dignity it earns respect: Royal Opera’s Oedipe reviewed

28 May 2016 9:00 am

For years I have been telling people that they should listen to, in the absence of staged performances, Enescu’s opera…

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…

‘His operas offer a straightforward experience’

Verdi’s works are more entertainment than art

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Verdi has a peculiar if not unique place in the pantheon of great composers. If you love classical music at…

Our neglect of this great working-class British composer is a disgrace

14 May 2016 9:00 am

One of the greatest choral symphonies of the 20th century, entitled Das Siegeslied (Psalm of Victory), has been heard only…

Scottish Opera could have a hit on its hands with this new Mikado

14 May 2016 9:00 am

You have to be quite silly to take Gilbert and Sullivan seriously. But even sillier not to. G&S is still…

Florence Foster Jenkins entertains at home

When opera singers can’t sing

7 May 2016 9:00 am

When the Fat Lady Sings, everyone is primed to chortle, even if she is Montserrat Caballé and doing it wonderfully…

Royal Opera’s Tannhäuser is one of the ugliest stagings I have set eyes on

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Cursed, or perhaps blessed, with almost no visual memory at all, I had almost completely forgotten what the Royal Opera’s…

Not a trip to the cinema you’ll bitterly resent – or hugely enjoy: Florence Foster Jenkins reviewed

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Before we turn our attention to Florence Foster Jenkins — but if you can’t wait, it’s so-so — I feel…

Shattering - despite the lack of staging: Czech Phil’s Jenufa reviewed

30 April 2016 9:00 am

Janacek’s Jenufa, his first great opera, had a one-night stand at the Royal Festival Hall last Monday, courtesy of the…

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.…

Drowning in detail: Vicki Mortimer’s sets for Royal Opera’s production of ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’

Tame and drowning in detail: Royal Opera’s Lucia di Lammermoor reviewed

16 April 2016 9:00 am

Lucia di Lammermoor is one of the two or three Donizetti operas that have never fallen out of the repertoire,…

Is there a funnier opera than Gerald Barry’s Importance of Being Earnest?

9 April 2016 9:00 am

Comic opera is no laughing matter. Seriously, when was the last time you laughed out loud in the opera house?…

The rotten fruits of Peter Maxwell Davies’s modernism

9 April 2016 9:00 am

The intransigence of Maxwell Davies, Boulez and Stockhausen is coming home to roost. Here were three composers, famous if not…

First Dates is perfectly formed TV

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Now the kids are back for the school holidays, I have a licence to watch complete trash again. No more…

An unqualified triumph: Boris Godunov at the Royal Opera reviewed

19 March 2016 9:00 am

The Royal Opera has bitten the bullet so far as Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov goes, and opted to stage the original…

Naked ambition: Anthony Roth Costanzo in Philip Glass’s ‘Akhnaten’

In a world full of zombie new operas, thank god for Philip Glass’s Akhnaten

12 March 2016 9:00 am

A mixed year so far for new opera. A few really dismal things have appeared from people who should know…