Verdi

Easily the best thing I’ve seen at the Grange Festival: Falstaff reviewed

15 June 2019 9:00 am

‘Tutto nel mondo e burla’ sings the company at the end of Verdi’s Falstaff — ‘All the world’s a joke’…

How good really was Berlioz?

23 February 2019 9:00 am

Hector Berlioz was born on 11 December 1803 in rural Isère. ‘During the months which preceded my birth my mother…

Verdi would have been disarmed: Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth

At last, a great achievement at the Royal Opera: Macbeth reviewed

31 March 2018 9:00 am

At last, a great time at the Royal Opera: a magnificent performance, in every way, of Verdi’s Macbeth, curiously but…

A mischievous, daring production that produces the goods: Iolanthe reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

‘Welcome to our hearts again, Iolanthe!’ sings the fairy chorus in Gilbert and Sullivan’s fantasy-satire, and during this exuberant new…

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…

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…

The maestro could hear if a single player was doing something wrong, even in the most noisy tutti

The morality of conducting

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Now he is the greatest figure for me, in the world. [Toscanini is] the last proud, noble, unbending representative (with…

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.…

‘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…

ENO’s production of ‘The Force of Destiny’ has a large, fidgety set and a projection of a vast horse’s head

That Force of Destiny isn’t a great evening is the fault of Verdi not ENO

14 November 2015 9:00 am

The Force of Destiny, ENO’s latest offering to its ‘stakeholders’, as its audiences are now called thanks to Cressida Pollock,…

When is a rape not a rape? Fiona Shaw's Rape of Lucretia at Glyndebourne reviewed

11 July 2015 9:00 am

When is a rape not a rape? It’s an unsettling question — far more so than anything offered up by…

Royal Opera's Un ballo in maschera: limp, careless and scrappy

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Whether by chance or bold design, the Royal Opera’s two Christmas shows were written at precisely the same moment, between…

Anna Netrebko as Lady in Verdi’s ‘Macbeth’, Metropolitan Opera

Met Opera Live's Macbeth: Netrebko's singing stirred almost as much as her décolletage

1 November 2014 9:00 am

This season of live Met relays got off to a most impressive start, with an electrifying account of Verdi’s tenth…

Glyndebourne’s Turn of the Screw: horrors of the most innocent and creepy kind

25 October 2014 9:00 am

We all know that ‘They fuck you up your mum and dad’, but nowhere is this more reliably (and violently)…

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…

Alice Coote and Sarah Tynan in ‘Xerxes’ at ENO

Royal Opera's Rigoletto: your disbelief may wobble but your excitement won't

4 October 2014 9:00 am

One of the greatest tests of how an opera house is functioning is the quality of its revivals. Both the…

Eloquent: Allan Clayton as Cassio in Otello

Is Anna Nicole’s absurd life worth our while? Not as much as Otello’s

20 September 2014 9:00 am

So how did London’s two big opera companies launch their new seasons last week? Not perhaps in the way you…

The small rewards of small-scale opera

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Perhaps I should come clean straightaway and admit that, despite the fact that OperaUpClose is about to celebrate its fifth…

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…

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…

Who cares if Wagner’s 200? The plague of the anniversary

24 August 2013 9:00 am

Back in the 1960s, the producers of the Tonight programme had a running joke for linking the show’s segments. They…

Opera review: Verdi should be as controversial as Wagner

13 July 2013 9:00 am

I’m not the first person to remark that Verdi is getting oddly little attention in this his bicentenary year, especially…