Ivan Hewett

In defence of the tyrannical male maestro

Praising the grand old maestri of the podium isn’t a good look, as they say on Twitter. Conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein and Georg Solti used to be lauded for the thrilling energy and sumptuous sound of their performances and recordings. These days if anyone mentions their names it’s only to list

Could a piece with no singing be the future of opera?

Nowhere are human beings so magnificently self-assertive as in opera.  Everything about operatic characters is outsize; their bodies, their flowing gowns and capacious cloaks, and their desires. No sooner has the hero set his eyes on the leading lady than he trumpets his desire to possess her; when the villain spots his victim, he tells