Verdi

Easily the best thing I’ve seen at the Grange Festival: Falstaff reviewed

15 June 2019 9:00 am

‘Tutto nel mondo e burla’ sings the company at the end of Verdi’s Falstaff — ‘All the world’s a joke’…

How good really was Berlioz?

23 February 2019 9:00 am

Hector Berlioz was born on 11 December 1803 in rural Isère. ‘During the months which preceded my birth my mother…

Verdi would have been disarmed: Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth

At last, a great achievement at the Royal Opera: Macbeth reviewed

31 March 2018 8:00 am

At last, a great time at the Royal Opera: a magnificent performance, in every way, of Verdi’s Macbeth, curiously but…

A mischievous, daring production that produces the goods: Iolanthe reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

‘Welcome to our hearts again, Iolanthe!’ sings the fairy chorus in Gilbert and Sullivan’s fantasy-satire, and during this exuberant new…

Ball breaker: Opera North’s production of Un ballo in maschera

Yet another dud Ballo in maschera: Opera North’s new production reviewed

10 February 2018 9:00 am

A chaste act of adultery and a silent conversation: these are the encounters at the heart of Un ballo in…

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

The maestro could hear if a single player was doing something wrong, even in the most noisy tutti

Toscanini and the morality of conducting

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Toscanini’s simple set of values made him certain of the rights and wrongs of everything, says Michael Tanner – except regarding women

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.…

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…

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…

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…

Nose job: Shostakovich’s ‘The Nose’ at the Royal Opera House

A terrifically good nose job: Royal Opera's The Nose reviewed

29 October 2016 9:00 am

The Royal Opera’s latest production is Shostakovich’s The Nose and to paraphrase Mark Steyn, whatever else can be said about…

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…

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…

In search of Mozart’s Tempest

16 July 2016 9:00 am

This must rank as the most heartbreaking example of premature chicken-counting in musical history. ‘Gotter has made a marvellous free…

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…

Think Brexiters are friendly and cheerful? Try manning a Remain stall

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Leave’s grumpy grassroots Sir: James Delingpole should join us at a Remain street stall. He would soon be disabused of…

‘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…

ENO’s production of ‘The Force of Destiny’ has a large, fidgety set and a projection of a vast horse’s head

That Force of Destiny isn’t a great evening is the fault of Verdi not ENO

14 November 2015 9:00 am

The Force of Destiny, ENO’s latest offering to its ‘stakeholders’, as its audiences are now called thanks to Cressida Pollock,…

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…

Royal Opera's Un ballo in maschera: limp, careless and scrappy

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Whether by chance or bold design, the Royal Opera’s two Christmas shows were written at precisely the same moment, between…

Anna Netrebko as Lady in Verdi’s ‘Macbeth’, Metropolitan Opera

Met Opera Live's Macbeth: Netrebko's singing stirred almost as much as her décolletage

1 November 2014 9:00 am

This season of live Met relays got off to a most impressive start, with an electrifying account of Verdi’s tenth…

Glyndebourne’s Turn of the Screw: horrors of the most innocent and creepy kind

25 October 2014 9:00 am

We all know that ‘They fuck you up your mum and dad’, but nowhere is this more reliably (and violently)…

Hye-Youn Lee as Violetta in ‘La traviata’

Opera North’s Coronation of Poppea: a premium-rate sex-line of an opera

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Virtue, hide thyself! The Coronation of Poppea opens with a warning and closes with a love duet for a concubine…

Alice Coote and Sarah Tynan in ‘Xerxes’ at ENO

Royal Opera's Rigoletto: your disbelief may wobble but your excitement won't

4 October 2014 9:00 am

One of the greatest tests of how an opera house is functioning is the quality of its revivals. Both the…