Usher Hall

Why this première felt important: James MacMillan’s Fifth Symphony reviewed

24 August 2019 9:00 am

All symphonies were sacred symphonies, once. Haydn began each day’s composition with a prayer, and ended every score with the…

West Side Story's flick-knife-to-the-guts thrill never landed its final blow

17 August 2019 9:00 am

It was as though Damien Hirst had confessed a secret passion for Victorian watercolours, or Lars von Trier had admitted…

Bracing and provocative – but would Wagner have approved? Arcola's Rheingold reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

When it comes to the opening of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, Mark Twain probably put it as well as anyone: ‘Out…

An exalted experience even without a convincing central character: Siegfried in Edinburgh reviewed

18 August 2018 9:00 am

There’s one big problem with Wagner’s Siegfried, and the clue’s in the name. None of Wagner’s mature works hangs so…

Opera in Edinburgh: even the best Stravinsky can’t beat mediocre Mozart

22 August 2015 9:00 am

Is Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress anything more than an exercise in style? ‘I will lace each aria into a tight…

Mariinsky’s Les Troyens — a bad night for Berlioz and Edinburgh

6 September 2014 9:00 am

I wonder whether grand opéra really takes war as seriously as this year’s Edinburgh Festival wanted it to. These vast…