Michael Tanner

Plácido Domingo as Nabucco at the Met, searching for his low notes. Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Callas would have found it a very big bore: Met Opera Live’s Nabucco reviewed

11 January 2017 11:27

Nabucco Met Opera Live Callas, writing to her husband Meneghini from Naples in 1949, where she was performing a run…

Stuart Skelton as Tristan in the Met's Tristan und Isolde. Photo: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera

I’m sick of productions like the Met’s Tristan und Isolde

10 October 2016 12:07

Tristan und Isolde Met Opera Live I am sick to death of productions of Tristan und Isolde which leave me…

Nick Dwyer as Salieri in Grimeborn's production of Rimsky-Korsakov's Mozart & Salieri

One of Grimeborn’s most striking rediscoveries: Mozart & Salieri at the Arcola Theatre reviewed

11 August 2016 17:04

Mozart & Salieri Grimeborn, Arcola Theatre, until 13 August I have been a fairly conscientious reviewer of Dalston’s Grimeborn festival for…

Ben Johnson as Gabriel von Eisenstein, Robert Burt as Dr Blind, Susanna Hurrell as Rosalinda in Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus at Opera Holland Park

Will I ever see a production of Die Fledermaus that does this masterpiece justice?

1 August 2016 14:29

Die Fledermaus Opera Holland Park, until 5 August Johann Strauss’s opera Die Fledermaus is a masterpiece that I have had…

Tannhauser, c. Matthew Williams-Ellis

Longborough’s Tannhäuser is a major relief after ENO’s abysmal Tristan

16 June 2016 15:36

Tannhäuser Longborough Festival Opera, until 18 June The Longborough phenomenon continues, indeed if anything gets more remarkable each year. This…

Kathryn Rudge, Leah Marian Jones and David Soar with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Bellini's first opera Adelson e Salvini. Photo: Russell Duncan

Was Opera Rara justified in reviving Bellini’s first opera? Oh yes

16 May 2016 11:20

Adelson e Salvini Barbican First operas by composers who later became great or anyway expert in writing them tend to…


Manon Lescaut is a shambolic opera – but the Met’s production is mainly excellent

8 March 2016 11:29

Manon Lescaut Met Opera Live Puccini’s Manon Lescaut is his first opera worth seeing and hearing, and marks an astonishing…

Diana Damrau as Leila in the Met's Les pecheurs de perle

What a tawdry piece it is: Met Opera Live’s Les pêcheurs de perles reviewed

18 January 2016 12:57

Les pêcheurs de perle Met Opera Live This is the first production at the Metropolitan of Bizet’s early opera for…

Act II of the Met's Tannhäuser. Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

The Met’s Tannhäuser is outstanding – despite a vast and expressionless leading man

4 November 2015 16:13

This was a superb, thrilling performance, chiefly thanks to James Levine and his amazing orchestra – he got a tremendous…


What’s the point of the Met’s new Otello?

22 October 2015 17:04

The new production of Verdi’s Otello at the Met, with set designs by Ed Devlin, did make me wonder, as…

Anna Netrebko as Leonora and Dmitri Hvorostovsky as di Luna in Verdi's Il Trovatore. Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Anna Netrebko’s ascent to greatness: Il Trovatore at the Met reviewed

5 October 2015 13:26

The Met in HD series got off to an exciting start this year with Il Trovatore, an opera I adore…

Anna Harvey as the widow in Walton's The Bear at the Royal Academy of Music

Why do directors of comic opera encourage performers not to behave like human beings?

18 May 2015 12:25

The Royal Academy of Music’s Sir Jack Lyons Theatre is closing, whether for refurbishment or to make way for something…

Anna Netrebko in the Met's new production of Tchaikovsky's Iolanta. Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Iolanta/Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Met Opera Live, review: enterprising take on two masterpieces

17 February 2015 12:53

Iolanta / Duke Bluebeard’s Castle  Met Opera Live The Met’s antepenultimate relay of the season was an enterprising pairing of two operas, one…

Erin Morley as Olympia in the Met's Les Contes d’Hoffmann.
Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Met Opera Live, review: ‘superlative’

2 February 2015 13:44

Les Contes d’Hoffmann Met Opera Live This was another excellent performance from the Met, though that house’s addiction to enormously…

Renée Fleming is Hanna and Nathan Gunn is Danilo in Lehár's The Merry Widow. Photo: Brigitte Lacombe/Metropolitan Opera

Met Opera Live’s Merry Widow, review: kitsch, glorious kitsch

19 January 2015 11:54

The Merry Widow Met Opera Live ‘Even today, at 75, the waltz from The Merry Widow sends me into a…

A scene from Khovanskygate

Michael Tanner’s five least objectionable opera performances of 2014

30 December 2014 12:12

1. Khovanskygate A typically brilliant and wayward production by the Birmingham Opera Company of this unfollowable opera, with stupendous choral singing…