Wagner

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…

The miracle of Longborough – the company that broke the mould for summer opera

8 June 2019 8:00 am

Richard Bratby on the company that broke the mould for summer opera

I genuinely liked Siegfried – which almost never happens: Royal Opera's Ring cycle reviewed

13 October 2018 9:00 am

‘On Brünnhilde’s rock I drew the breath that called your name; so swift was my journey here.’ It’s Act Two…

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…

A grim and impoverished place: Royal Opera’s new Lohengrin

Longborough continues to be a refuge for British Wagnerians fleeing idiotic productions

16 June 2018 9:00 am

Longborough Festival Opera, refuge for British Wagnerians fleeing unidiomatic musical performances and idiotically irrelevant and insulting productions, has rounded off…

How Debussy slipped past Wagner into the unknown

31 March 2018 9:00 am

A spectre haunted the first weekend of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Debussy Festival: the spectre of Richard Wagner.…

Celebrating Carter was one of the most energising musical occasions in years

3 February 2018 9:00 am

Das Rheingold at the Royal Festival Hall was, all told, a disappointment, but it might not have been had there…

Claude Debussy and his daughter Chouchou near Arcachon, France, 1915

Debussy, Tippett and Wagner: the musical treats of 2018

6 January 2018 9:00 am

Richard Bratby on the musical treats in store over the year to come

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…

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

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…

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…

The finest Wotan around: Latvian bass-baritone Egils Silins

I still have no idea what the LPO’s Belief and Beyond Belief season was about

6 May 2017 9:00 am

The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘Belief and Beyond Belief’ season is drawing to a close, without making it in any degree…

Salzburg did Wagner proud this Easter with a revival of a legendary production

29 April 2017 9:00 am

Herbert von Karajan established the Easter Festival in Salzburg 50 years ago with a production of Die Walküre that is…

BBC radio is at its best when it’s at its plainest

18 March 2017 9:00 am

It was the crime story that showed us just how much China has changed since its years of social, political…

Nothing could prepare me for so deep an abyss of idiocy: Royal Opera’s Die Meistersinger reviewed

18 March 2017 9:00 am

I don’t think that I have left a theatre many times feeling as depressed and irritated as after the Royal…

Frank Martin was mad to write an opera based on Tristan – but the results are worthwhile

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Frank Martin is one of those composers whose work seems to survive only by virtue of constantly renewed neglect. His…

I am pleased to have seen La finta giardiniera, and even happier that I shall never see it again

10 December 2016 9:00 am

For the past few weeks I have been working my way through Decca’s gigantic set of every note Mozart wrote…

Igor Stravinsky’s body being carried through Venice to the Basilica of San Zanipolo, where, by papal dispensation, a Russian Orthodox service was held

Southbank’s ‘Belief and Beyond Belief’ series is beyond parody

23 July 2016 9:00 am

A forthcoming ‘festival’ at the Southbank Centre exposes the secular mindset of Britain’s arts establishment, says Damian Thompson

Stuart Skelton (Tristan) and Heidi Melton (Isolde) in Anish Kapoor’s volcano

A lethally perverse production: ENO's Tristan and Isolde reviewed

18 June 2016 9:00 am

It is at the Coliseum that I have seen the most wonderful Tristan and Isoldes of my life, both of…

The conducting is as potent as Furtwängler’s: Opera North’s Ring reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

When I interviewed Richard Farnes in Leeds six years ago about Opera North’s project of performing the complete Ring, he…

‘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…

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…

Predictably meh: Scottish Ballet’s new Swan Lake reviewed

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Every ballet company wants a box-office earner. But why Scottish Ballet’s leader Christopher Hampson kept on at David Dawson until…

If you want to know how music really works listen to Classic FM not Radio 3

7 May 2016 9:00 am

He’s been billed as the new Pied Piper but it’s going to take a while for Tom Service to quite…