Michael Tanner

Simon Callow tries (again) to get inside Wagner’s head

18 February 2017 9:00 am

The dust cover features one of the best-known caricatures of Richard Wagner, his enormous head in this version opened like…

Ravishing music, but read the plot first: Opera North’s Hansel and Gretel reviewed

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Fully to enjoy Opera North’s new production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel you need to take a trinocular perspective on…

Not many concerts should be as devastating as this: Philharmonia Orchestra/Nelsons reviewed

28 January 2017 9:00 am

It used to be said that Bruckner composed the same symphony nine times, whereas, thanks to the comparative frequency of…

A memorable evening, though not one I’d want to repeat: Le grand macabre reviewed

21 January 2017 9:00 am

The Barbican website warns us that Ligeti’s opera Le grand macabre ‘contains very strong language and adult themes’. The strong…

I am pleased to have seen La finta giardiniera, and even happier that I shall never see it again

10 December 2016 9:00 am

For the past few weeks I have been working my way through Decca’s gigantic set of every note Mozart wrote…

A noble flop: Royal Opera's Les Contes d'Hoffmann reviewed

3 December 2016 9:00 am

As the dreaded season of goodwill approaches, the Royal Opera has mounted two revivals of pieces that are interestingly contrasted:…

Intimations of perplexity: Joanna Dudley in ‘Lulu’ at ENO

A work of enormous allure – and repulsiveness: ENO's Lulu reviewed

19 November 2016 9:00 am

I wonder why ENO has invested in a new production of Berg’s Lulu, when the previous one, which we first…

Bears only a passing resemblance to Mozart's opera: ENO's Don Giovanni reviewed

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Richard Jones’s new production of Don Giovanni at ENO bears some passing resemblances to the opera as envisaged by its…

Sonya Yoncheva is sensational in Royal Opera’s triumphant new Norma

17 September 2016 9:00 am

The Royal Opera has opened the season with a triumph, and in one of the most difficult of operas, Bellini’s…

The day I tried to rescue the alcoholic former Master of the Queen’s Music

10 September 2016 9:00 am

I was looking forward to going to Malcolm Williamson’s opera English Eccentrics set to a text by Edith Sitwell at…

A thrilling production: Opera Holland Park’s Queen of Spades reviewed

20 August 2016 9:00 am

Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades is probably his greatest opera, certainly the one in which his characteristic strengths are on…

Michael Tanner won't forget Dorset Opera's thrilling Macbeth

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Dorset Opera seems to receive far less coverage than the rest of the country-house summer shows, although it is in…

Stuart Skelton (Tristan) and Heidi Melton (Isolde) in Anish Kapoor’s volcano

A lethally perverse production: ENO's Tristan and Isolde reviewed

18 June 2016 9:00 am

It is at the Coliseum that I have seen the most wonderful Tristan and Isoldes of my life, both of…

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…

‘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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

Norma at the ENO (Photo: Alastair Muir)

Long live ENO!

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The three most moving, transporting death scenes in 19th-century opera all involve the respective heroines mounting a funeral pyre —…

Unlikely to win converts: Royal Opera's L'Étoile reviewed

6 February 2016 9:00 am

It’s widely agreed that the most difficult form of opera to bring off is operetta, whether of the Austro-German or…

Annemarie Kremer as Maddelena. Photo Credit: Robert Workman

Miserable libretto, music to match: Andrea Chénier reviewed

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Opera North continues to be the most reliable, inspiring, resourceful and enterprising opera company in the United Kingdom, and all…

Spare us this unanimous chorus of praise for Pierre Boulez

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Pierre Boulez, who died last week at the age of 90, would have been the last person, one hopes, to…

Powerful and upsetting: Pelléas et Mélisande at the Barbican reviewed

16 January 2016 9:00 am

There are some operas, as there are some people, that it is impossible to establish a settled relationship with, and…