Puccini

Miraculous: Amanda Majeski as Katya Kabanova in Richard Jones’s Royal Opera production

One of the greatest operatic experiences of my life: Royal Opera’s Katya Kabanova reviewed

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Janacek’s upsetting opera Katya Kabanova, which hasn’t been seen in the UK for some time, turned up in two different…

Opera North’s Tosca will leave you quivering

29 September 2018 9:00 am

At the end of Act Two of Tosca there are some 30 bars of orchestral music — accompaniment to a…

Much is routine – and a fair amount is worse: Glyndebourne’s Madama Butterfly reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

There is no such thing as a moderately good performance of Madama Butterfly, or, to be more precise, it’s not…

Royal Opera’s Tosca is a sloppy affair

27 January 2018 9:00 am

One of the Royal Opera’s greatest virtues is the care it takes with its revivals, even those that are virtually…

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…

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…

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…

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:…

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…

‘Street in Auvers-sur-Oise’ by Vincent van Gogh

Why we love unfinished art

30 April 2016 9:00 am

An unfinished painting can provide a startling glimpse of the artist at work. But the common tendency to prefer it to a finished work is being taken to extremes, says Philip Hensher

The cast of ‘Suor Angelica’

Vocally and theatrically strong: Il trittico at the Royal Opera reviewed

5 March 2016 9:00 am

The setting for Il tabarro, the first drama in Puccini’s 1918 triptych of one-act operas, is not the Paris of…

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…

Northern Ireland Opera’s Turandot will fill you with awe and revulsion

7 November 2015 9:00 am

Chords as bright and sweet as pomegranate seeds burst and spill in Turandot, a splinter of bitterness at their centre.…

Puccini’s villain as swashbuckling hero

29 October 2015 9:00 am

You don’t need to know the opera Tosca to understand and enjoy this book about Puccini’s most notorious villain, Vitellio…

Tippett’s triumphant failure: Birmingham Opera Company’s The Ice Break reviewed

11 April 2015 9:00 am

The Ice Break is Michael Tippett’s fourth opera, first produced at Covent Garden in 1977 and rarely produced anywhere since,…

Opera North's Gianni Schicchi and La vida breve reviewed: a flawless double helping of verismo

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Is there a more beautiful aria than ‘O mio babbino caro’ from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi? There are more overwhelming moments…

Agents will be queuing up to sign this 26-year-old baritone from Sichuan

13 December 2014 9:00 am

The Royal Academy of Music’s end-of-term opera can always be looked forward to because it never disappoints: the repertoire is…

ENO’s The Girl of the Golden West is irresistibly seductive

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Puccini’s La fanciulla del West is, one suspects, one of those works that modern audiences struggle to keep a straight…

In defence of Puccini

23 August 2014 9:00 am

During my opera-going lifetime the most sensational change in the repertoire has, of course, been the immense expansion of the…

Kelly Cae Hogan (Lady Macbeth) and Béla Perencz (Macbeth)

ENO's Rodelinda: near-perfect singing, perfectly gimmicky direction

8 March 2014 9:00 am

I wasn’t going to write about Handel’s Rodelinda, wasn’t even intending to go, but thanks to the kindness of the…

Gwyn Hughes Jones as des Grieux with Chiara Taigi as Manon

Manon Lescaut is twerking — should we applaud or shudder? 

15 February 2014 9:00 am

Last seen clambering over the MDF wheelchair ramps of Laurent Pelly’s Royal Opera House production of Jules Massenet’s opéra comique,…

Let's make Andre Rieu the leader of the world 

15 February 2014 9:00 am

‘Please, I beg of you, take me to see André,’ was my mother’s heartfelt plea. And so it was that…

Winningly diminutive: Eri Nakamura as Liù

Turandot is a disgusting opera that is beyond redemption

21 September 2013 9:00 am

It’s a cynical start to the Royal Opera’s season to have this 1984 production of Puccini’s last opera Turandot. Not…