Opera

Benjamin’s Into The Little Hill is a masterpiece: Speech Acts at Shadwell Opera reviewed

15 April 2015 16:11

Speech Acts Shadwell Opera, Courtyard Theatre Election time is upon us again. But before we arrive at the main event…

La Donna del Lago, Met Opera, review: Colm Tóibín on a night of masterful singing

18 February 2015 11:13

This is an extract from this week’s magazine, available from tomorrow. La Donna del LagoMetropolitan Opera, New York, in rep…

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…

Andrea Chénier, Royal Opera House, review: like a Carry On – but without the jokes

21 January 2015 11:53

Andrea Chénier Royal Opera House, in rep until 6 February Who on earth could have predicted that a hoary old…

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…

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…

This opera is simplistic and dangerous. So is banning it

27 October 2014 12:39

My father’s house was razed In 1948 When the Israelis passed over our street I’ve never forgotten the opening lines to…

Why, if Cecilia Bartoli invites you to a party, you drop everything and go

9 October 2014 16:47

Classical music has a few certainties: Götterdämmerung will always be that little bit longer than you remember, it will reliably…

The Spectator at war: Bayreuth on the eve of war

23 August 2014 8:00

The Spectator, 22 August 1914: Inter arma silent Musae; but Bayreuth on the eve of the war showed very few…

Picnics are ridiculous. Don’t expect me or my dog to have any respect for them

16 June 2014 13:31

In the past few weeks my poor dog Maisie has been screamed at, threatened, vilified and monstered, just as she…

Why is the opera world so damn uptight?

12 June 2014 14:07

God, opera singers are touchy. You dare to analyse how they look, you dare to criticise the enormous subsidies they…

Expecting opera critics to be uniformly kind to singers defeats the point of their existence

23 May 2014 10:32

Should fat be an issue in opera? Are our opera critics overgrown schoolboys with a body fixation? To judge from reports and…

Opera tickets are too cheap

31 March 2014 17:55

A revival of Anna Nicole will open the Royal Opera House new season, it was announced today. And students will be…

Televising theatre and opera will not attract new audiences. It will repel them

28 March 2014 16:52

Always try to get the worst seats for the opera. Upper circle. Foyer. Toilet. The nearest bus stop. The further…

Opera takes on Islam

24 February 2014 14:51

You know how it is. You’re finishing off Friday prayers, wondering what to do with your evening. You notice some…

France’s cultural excess is immoral (but I still love it)

21 February 2014 12:11

For a committed, if unsuccessful, capitalist, I enjoy French culture an embarrassing amount – every last state-funded drop of it.…

Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

4 October 2013 17:18

The latest adaptation of one of Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh’s books is Filth  – a film so filthy that Deborah…

Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

20 September 2013 17:16

Yorkshire, says William Cook, is the sculpture capital of Britain. It was the birthplace of ‘Britain’s greatest sculptors, Barbara Hepworth…

Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

3 August 2013 13:36

‘Shakespeare’s Globe’, as the theatre has been called since it was founded in 1997, is unusual for a theatre in…

Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

13 July 2013 9:44

Deborah Ross reviews two films for us this week. The first is Pacific Rim, a ‘giant monsters v. giant robots’…