Reviews of live performances

Photo: Marc Brenner
Isabelle Kettle’s production is a Marriage of Figaro for our times. Such is the opera’s ubiquity that, necessarily, it has to be tweaked or updated somehow to be made more ‘relevant’, but...
Photo: buxtonoperahouse.org.uk
After the hiatus of a couple of years owing to disagreements among composer, librettist and their impresario, Richard D’Oyly Carte, Utopia, Limited (1893) marked a return to form by Gilbert and Sullivan...
Photo: Ali Wright.
Opera Holland Park’s double bill presents an intriguing pair of short operas by composers with seemingly little connection between them. But not only do they share themes of passion, hedonism,...
West Green House Opera – Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore
Victoria Newlyn’s production of Donizetti’s comic opera (1832) makes good use of West Green’s ‘theatre on the lake’, positioned upon the island in the latter, and fronting on to the...
Photo: Fenner Curtis
Francesca Caccini's La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina (1625) was the occasion for several firsts in operatic history - the first surviving opera written by a woman; after its premiere during the...
Photo: West Green House Opera
Such is the enduring appeal and ingenuity of Mozart’s first collaboration with Lorenzo Da Ponte that it generally survives whatever is thrown at it in terms of staging or performance...
Photo: www.bamptonopera.org
If the eighteenth-century Enlightenment project sought to return to first principles and restructure society according to the precepts of reason, then its exponents in the arts sought to achieve something...
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Although billed as a concert staging, the singers moved about, interacting, and singing from memory as they would in a full staging. There were missing elements, such as props, scenery...
Photo:Alessandro Dobici
More than two decades after its debut in France, Notre Dame de Paris, this splashy adaptation of Victor Hugo’s saga of the Parisian underworld set in 1482, has arrived in...
Photo:Frank Impelluso (ChamberMusicSociet
Summer breezes swept through Alice Tully Hall as five Chamber Music Society wind-players and Juho Pohjonen delivered masterly performances.  Things got off to a festive start with a perfectly paced...
Photo: David John King Photography
Hasse’s serenata Antonio e Cleopatra (1725) imagines the moment after the Battle of Actium when Mark Antony meets again his lover, Cleopatra, and they reflect on what fate now holds for them....
Photo: Clive Barda. The Royal Opera 2022 ROH
Those who reach the final curtain of Verdi’s late masterpiece and feel emotionally drained will have witnessed something remarkable. Those unmoved by their encounter may feel emotionally short-changed. Such was...
Photo: Genevieve Girling.
Just as Walter Scott romanticised and packaged the Scottish past within a particular historiographical manner in his popular novels, which many composers immediately adapted for the stage to great acclaim,...
Photo: Robert Workman.
Jonathan Dove and Alasdair Middleton’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park effectively constitutes an operatic ‘costume’ drama, to parallel the many similar series which regularly feature on television to popular acclaim. This...
Calidore string Quartett Photo: Marco Borggreve
Things got off to a bright start with a crisp and lively performance of the innovative second of Haydn’s ‘Sun’ String Quartets. Estelle Choi’s rendering of the cello solo, which...
Jenny Stafford as Ersilia.
‘Viva la Diva’ is, in this form, Kit Hesketh-Harvey’s winning version of Donizetti’s Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (1831) which satirises both the conventions of a provincial operatic company in attempting to...
Photo: BSO Press Office
I spent ten days at Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home, which brings performers, teachers and students together, enabling music-lovers to experience a wide range of activities and also...
Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Photo: HANS VAN DER WOERD
The curtain-raiser was an exciting rendition of the concert overture Le corsaire, which, unlike Symphonie fantastique, is not programmatic. Indeed, Berlioz did not confer that title, deceptively suggestive of swashbuckling...
Jaap van Zweden. Photo: Hans Vanderwoerd
While the New York Philharmonic’s Lincoln Center home is undergoing extensive renovation, the orchestra has been performing at Carnegie Hall along with various other venues around the city. This concert...
Bruno Eicher (violin), Zoë Martin-Doike (viola), Bryan Wagorn (piano), Joel Noyes (cello), Erik Ralske (French horn), and Anton Rist (clarinet) performing as part of the MET Orchestra Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall on June 9, 2022. Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera
This delightful concert brought together eleven members of the MET Orchestra. The evening opened with two of Jascha Heifetz’s transcriptions for violin and piano of selections from Porgy and Bess. As...
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