Opera

Two triumphant 'little greats' from Opera North

23 September 2017 9:00 am

It has been a reasonably good week for peripatetic opera-loving female-underwear fetishists. In La bohème at Covent Garden Musetta slipped…

Maria Callas as Anna Bolena

The unrepeated and unrepeatable brilliance of Maria Callas

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Michael Tanner on why the impact of Callas is unrepeated and unrepeatable

A DIY affair in the main – but I cried at the end: Royal Opera’s new La bohème reviewed

16 September 2017 9:00 am

The Royal Opera’s one production that, it has always confidently been claimed, need never be replaced has been replaced. John…

Was this forgotten operetta by the Waltz King the model for Der Rosenkavalier?

9 September 2017 9:00 am

‘First performance: Vienna, October 3, 1880’ declares the programme for Opera della Luna’s new production of Johann Strauss’s The Queen’s…

Hellbound: Christopher Maltman in Ivan Fischer’s new Don Giovanni for Edinburgh

The best Peter Grimes I’ve ever seen

19 August 2017 9:00 am

‘Peter Grimes!’ Ranked high above us in the Usher Hall — a mob smelling blood, hot for the kill —…

Andrew Shore, Alex Otterburn, Allison Cook and Susan Bullock (left to right) in Edinburgh Festival’s Greek

Terrific production of a bona fide modern classic: Edinburgh Festival’s Greek reviewed

12 August 2017 9:00 am

The Edinburgh International Festival began with a double helping of incest. Curiously, Greek — Mark-Anthony Turnage’s East End retelling of…

All the world’s a stage in OHP’s Zaza

A fascinating rediscovery: Opera Holland Park’s Zaza reviewed

29 July 2017 9:00 am

The strings sweep upwards, the horns surge, and Leoncavallo’s Zaza throws itself into your arms. We don’t know it yet,…

The amazing new Grange Park Opera has produced a largely successful Die Walküre

22 July 2017 9:00 am

The new Grange Park Opera at Horsley is amazing, as everyone who visits it must agree. In less than a…

Social comedy at its most lovingly, evocatively drawn: Albert Herring at Buxton Festival reviewed

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.…

Carry on camping: Michael Spyres as Mitridate in Mitridate, re di Ponto

A work as intrinsically uninteresting as this Mozart opera maybe needs trendy costumes

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Mitridate, re di Ponto was Mozart’s fifth opera, written and first produced when he was 14 years old. Absolutely amazing.…

That this Fidelio is merely frustrating counts as something of a success

1 July 2017 9:00 am

If you want to see an opera director kicking a genius when they’re down — and I mean really sticking…

One of the most exalting operatic experience I have had: Longborough’s Tristan reviewed

24 June 2017 9:00 am

In an essay called ‘Wagner’s fluids’, Susan Sontag concludes, ‘The depth and grandeur of feeling of which Wagner is capable…

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world: Barbara Hannigan (Ophelia) and Allan Clayton (Hamlet) in Hamlet at Glyndebourne

Shattering climaxes and showstopping singing: Glyndebourne’s Hamlet reviewed

17 June 2017 9:00 am

Brett Dean’s new opera for Glyndebourne is a big-hearted romantic comedy, sunny and life-affirming. Only joking — this is contemporary…

Love Handel: Christine Rice (Juno), Heidi Stober (Semele) and Jurgita Adamonyte (Ino) in Semele at Garsington

First-rate musical performance & production: Garsington’s Semele reviewed

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Handel’s Semele, one of the most enjoyable operas (or opera-oratorio, if you insist) in the repertoire, is, in its upshot,…

L’Orfeo is at its darkest and most painful outside the opera house: Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s concert staging reviewed

3 June 2017 9:00 am

The ancient Greeks had a word for it —katabasis, descending into the depths, to the underworld itself, in search of…

Insufferable rubbish: Glyndebourne’s Hipermestra reviewed

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Anyone who thinks they have experienced absolute boredom, or even doubts that such a state can exist, should go to…

Much of Scottish Opera’s Bohème is spot-on – but it begins with an act of petty vandalism

20 May 2017 9:00 am

When a composer begins an opera, they create a world. You don’t need a full-scale overture: the tear-stained violins that…

Gilbert & Sullivan’s characters never exist below the waist: ETO’s Patience reviewed

13 May 2017 9:00 am

English Touring Opera is playing safe this spring, with Tosca and Patience, and was rewarded, in Cambridge at least, with…

Sunyoung Seo as Liù, Alastair Miles as Timur and Rafael Rojas as Calaf in Opera North’s production of Turandot

Puccini at his most enjoyably reprehensible: Opera North’s Turandot reviewed

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Some opera-lovers prefer concert performances to full stagings. I don’t. It’s that whole Gesamtkunstwerk thing: opera needs to be seen…

The cast’s talents are not put to good use: Thomas Adès’s Exterminating Angel reviewed

29 April 2017 9:00 am

The Adèsives were out in force at Covent Garden last Monday for the UK première of their hero’s third opera,…

A marvellous occasion – but could it not have been pruned? Il ritorno d’Ulisse reviewed

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Monteverdi 450 — the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists’ tour of his three operas to 33 cities across two…

A ravishing Rameau premiere – pity the choreography was pure Bez

15 April 2017 9:00 am

The English weren’t the first cowpat composers. Jean-Philippe Rameau raised the art of frolicking in the fields to such heights…

Gresa Pallaska and Robert Jack in ‘The 8th Door’

Sung with such eloquence it makes you wish we heard more operas in Hungarian

8 April 2017 9:00 am

As we waited for curtain-up on Scottish Opera’s new production of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle a member of staff walked out…

Unbearable (in a good way): Opera Holland Park's La voix humaine reviewed

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Opera is littered with the bodies of abandoned women. Step over Dido and Gilda, and you’ll still stumble into Donna…

Slyly surreal: Christopher Alden’s Partenope at ENO

Denial has rarely looked so good: ENO’s Partenope reviewed

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Ceci n’est pas une Partenope. Forget the warring classical kingdoms of Naples and Cumae: this is surrealist Paris in the…