Geoff Brown

Carry on Don

One of these days I will probably see a production of Don Giovanni set in a research station in the Antarctic. English Touring Opera, ambitious and valiant, haven’t gone that far yet. But Lloyd Wood’s new staging, part of an ETO threesome now hopping round the country, still makes the eyebrows shoot up. This time

Get me to an opera house

In anyone’s hands, Verdi’s Aida is not the easiest opera to raise up to greatness on the stage. How does a director spotlight hidden subtleties, musical or dramatic, in a libretto and subject so easily swamped by the spectacle of marching breastplates, roaring divas, Egyptian bling and the aroma and sway of live camels? Novice

Eastern promise | 16 July 2015

These are nervous times at the opera. When should we expect the gratuitous rape scene? Will the director relocate the action to a Croydon laundrette? Who might be booed, and for how long? With Opera Holland Park’s Lakmé, however, almost any of these diversions might actually be welcome — anything to save us from the

Blowing hot and cold | 11 June 2015

The opera director David Alden has never been one to tread the straight and narrow. Something kinky would emerge, I’m sure, even if he directed the Queen’s televised Christmas message. So matching him up at English National Opera with the madness, obsessions and phantasmagoria of Tchaikovsky’s whirring and troubling The Queen of Spades was simply

Off colour

Big slats of orange, burning yellows, an Adriatic in electric blue: I wish I’d bought my sunglasses to the Royal Opera’s latest revival of Il turco in Italia. Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s production of Rossini’s opera buffo first burst on to the Covent Garden stage in 2005, and its shrieking colours haven’t dimmed with