Royal Opera

Doing a disservice to a lovely opera: Angela Gheorghiu as Adriana Lecouvreur

The opera conductor who’s marginally less popular than Donald Trump

18 February 2017 9:00 am

The story so far: in 1986 English National Opera hired Jonathan Miller to direct Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. The…

The thrills are in the visuals: Philip Glass’s Les Enfants Terribles reviewed

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Kids: who’d have them? Certainly no one who has ever been to the opera. If they’re not murdering you, they’re…

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:…

All at sea: Rachel Kelly as Donna Elvira and Henk Neven as Don Giovanni in Northern Ireland Opera’s ‘Don Giovanni’

Oliver Mears’s limp Don Giovanni doesn’t bode well for the Royal Opera

26 November 2016 9:00 am

The last ten minutes of any Don Giovanni tell you more about a director than the previous two hours. Mozart’s…

Ben Baur’s stylish designs for ‘Così fan tutte’ at the Royal Opera House

Stylish designs undermined by elderly tempi: Royal Opera’s Così fan tutte reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

The subtitle for Mozart’s Così fan tutte may be ‘The School For Lovers’, but it’s as a school for directors…

Not so Super Mario: Vito Priante as Figaro in ‘Il barbiere di Siviglia’ at the Royal Opera House

Near-ideal première from our boldest opera company: WNO’s Merchant of Venice reviewed

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Alas, poor André Tchaikowsky. A survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, with an assumed name that probably did his musical career…

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…

Thomas Adès bottles it in his new opera: The Exterminating Angel reviewed

6 August 2016 9:00 am

In Luis Buñuel’s 1962 film, the ‘exterminating angel’ of the title is a mystery illness. A debilitating virus — much…

Brutality, brutalism and barbed wire: Maurizio Muraro as Ferrando in David Bösch’s ‘Il trovatore’

Placido Domingo was on vintage form in Royal Opera’s Nabucco

9 July 2016 9:00 am

Grey men in grey overcoats walking through grey architecture. If you had to pick an image to reflect the current…

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…

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…

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…

Conductor and orchestra played as if in love: Royal Opera’s Eugene Onegin reviewed

9 January 2016 9:00 am

It’s scene five of Kasper Holten’s production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Michael Fabiano’s Lensky is alone with a snow-covered…

Royal Opera’s Cavalleria rusticana isn’t nearly vulgar enough

12 December 2015 9:00 am

How often do you get a chance to see two operas by Leoncavallo in the same city in the same…

Anna Devin as Alcina and Nick Pritchard as Ruggiero in ‘La Liberazione di Ruggiero’ at Brighton Early Music Festival

Has there ever been a better time to be a lover of Baroque opera?

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Time was when early music was a 6 p.m. concert, Baroque began with Bach and ended with Corelli’s Christmas Concerto,…

Erwin Schrott as Figaro and Anita Hartig as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro

McVicar’s Figaro looks increasingly fossilised. Time for the Royal Opera to ditch it

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Is there a more extraordinary, more heart-stilling moment in all opera than the finale of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro?…

As good a treatment of a Bellini opera as we are likely to see: WNO's I puritani reviewed

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Bellini belongs to that category of not-quite-great operatic composers whose works are also very difficult to perform adequately, and don’t…

When is a rape not a rape? Fiona Shaw's Rape of Lucretia at Glyndebourne reviewed

11 July 2015 9:00 am

When is a rape not a rape? It’s an unsettling question — far more so than anything offered up by…

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

4 July 2015 9:00 am

There’s no such thing as a tasteful rape scene — or there certainly shouldn’t be. It’s an act of grossest…

The finest Tristan since Siegfried Jerusalem

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Which of Wagner’s mature dramas is the most challenging, for performers and spectators? The one you’re seeing at the moment,…

Inside Apollo’s head: designer Steffen Aarfing following Szymanowski’s stage instructions

‘Bewitching’: Krol Roger at the Royal Opera reviewed

9 May 2015 9:00 am

‘What gives your lies such power?’ asks the bewildered Sicilian leader in Szymanowski’s opera Krol Roger. The question is addressed…

Il Turco in Italia (Photo: Tristram Kenton)

Il turco in Italia, Royal Opera House, reviewed: bring sunglasses

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Big slats of orange, burning yellows, an Adriatic in electric blue: I wish I’d bought my sunglasses to the Royal…

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,…

Left to right: Peter Hoare (Fatty), Anne Sofie von Otter (Leocadia Begbick), Willard White (Trinity Moses)

Royal Opera's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny review: far too well behaved

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Brecht/Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny was premièred in 1930, Auden/Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in 1951. Twenty-one…