Opera

English Touring Opera’s Il tabarro was the most convincing I have seen

17 May 2018 21:52

Il tabarro & Gianni Schicchi Cambridge Arts Theatre English Touring Opera brought its production of two of the operas in…

Wholly gripping: Glyndebourne on Tour’s Hamlet reviewed

20 November 2017 16:57

Hamlet Theatre Royal, Norwich, and touring until 1 December I had mixed feelings about Brett Dean’s Hamlet as I went…

Why do the British have such terrible taste in voices?

12 May 2017 12:58

When it comes to voices, the words of the apocryphal Times headline come to mind: ‘Fog in the Channel; Continent cut…

A thoroughly entertaining shot of Mozartian optimism: Mid Wales Opera’s Magic Flute reviewed

22 February 2017 12:21

The Magic Flute Mid Wales Opera, touring until 4 May The backdrop is a hexagonal matrix, glowing in neon blue.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

There’s nothing transgressive about opera using sex to sell tickets

26 May 2016 16:58

Fluffy bunnies. Human-size, pink and white fluffy bunnies. Twerking. The image has never left me, ever since an ill-fated date…

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…

Hit-and-miss Handel at the Göttingen Festival

13 May 2016 15:19

Ask anyone to name the greatest classical composers and certain names are bound to come up – Mozart, Wagner, Beethoven,…

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…

Could a piece with no singing be the future of opera?

18 February 2016 17:28

Nowhere are human beings so magnificently self-assertive as in opera.  Everything about operatic characters is outsize; their bodies, their flowing…

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…

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’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…

Boo the knee-jerk reaction to William Tell not the rape scene

1 July 2015 13:05

‘I blame Princess Diana’, was my guest’s response to it all. Certainly, there is much we might lay at the…

The gang rape was the least offensive thing about Royal Opera’s new William Tell

30 June 2015 16:14

Guillaume Tell Royal Opera House, in rep until 17 July There’s no such thing as a tasteful rape scene — or…

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…