Reviews of live performances

The Royal Opera's production of The Magic Flute. Photograph: ROH 2021
Sir David McVicar’s stagings of this opera of Mozart’s and of Le nozze di Figaro have become Covent Garden classics, gifts that keep on giving since they were first seen...
The Royal Opera's production of Rigoletto. Photograph: ROH / Ellie Kurttz
A full house for this season-opening new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto. It is Director of Opera Oliver Mears’s first production for his company, and is the first time that Antonio...
Die Walküre at Hackney Empire Bethan Langford, Elizabeth Karani, Katie Stevenson Photograph: Alex Brenner, Arcola
Grimeborn Opera’s Die Walküre was scheduled for last year, following its Das Rheingold in 2019, both in the reduced version – of cast and material, originally conceived for City of...
Longborough Festival 2021 – Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen Photohtaph: Matthew Williams-Ellis
More than a year of Covid-induced lockdowns and restrictions have made many yearn for, among other things, nature and the sociability of live performance in the theatre. The Cunning Little Vixen ostensibly...
The Gods triumphant and The People desperate, Birmingham Opera Company, RhineGold, 2021©Andrew Fox
It was three decades ago when the then City of Birmingham Touring Opera mounted its first production of Wagner’s Ring cycle as a statement of intent that the now Birmingham...
West Green House Opera – Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin Photograph: Jon Hobley
West Green’s unique selling point among the summer opera festival venues is its exquisite gardens that are lit at nightfall. Normally, the audience do not see this until they leave...
West Park Opera's production of La serva padrona. Photograph: Jon Hobley
The influence of Pergolesi’s comic intermezzo La serva padrona (1733) grew out of all proportion to its modest scale and pretensions. Its two parts (lasting around forty minutes altogether) were designed to...
Douggie McMeekin as Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Pravessh Rana as Frederick the Great), Simon Russell Beale as Johann Sebastian Bach Bach & Sons, Bridge Theatre Photograph: Manuel Harlan
Bach & Sons is a new play (opening night performance on June 29) about Johann Sebastian Bach, his absolute devotion to his music, and his consequently antagonistic relationship with two...
West Green House Opera's production of Puccini's La rondine Photograph: John Hobley
La rondine (1917) is probably the least performed and familiar of Puccini’s mature operas, but each time it receives an outing it is revealed as a quintessential work of that...
Bampton Classical Opera -- Ella Taylor (Paris) with Lucy Anderson (Helen), 'Paris and Helen' Photograph: Jeremy Gray
Paris and Helen (Paride ed Elena, 1770) was the third of the ‘Reform’ operas by Gluck and his librettist Raniero da Calzabigi (after Orfeo and Alceste) but it retains some...
Matthew Taylor Photograph: Juliet Taylor
Things may be in the process of changing, but the past months has seen any number of online events – with this concert of British music by the BBC National...
Buxton International Festival Samuel Boden as Acis and Anna Dennis as Galatea in Acis & Galatea Photograph: Genevieve Girling
It would be too obvious a ploy to locate Handel’s Arcadian masque Acis and Galatea in any significant way in Buxton itself, at the heart of the Peak District, one...
Buxton International Festival Camilla Seale as Le Prince Charmant, Nikki Martin as Marie (Cendrillon) Photograph: Genevieve Girling
Pauline Viardot’s version of the Cinderella story (1904) is better described as a salon or drawing room opera, since it lasts for only a little over an hour (hence no...
David Webb, Eleanor Dennis, Graeme Broadbent in The Dancing Master, Buxton International Festival. Photograph: Genevieve Girling
How times change! Malcolm Arnold’s opera, The Dancing Master, was intended for broadcast on BBC television in 1952 but was dropped because its adaptation of a racy Restoration play by...
LFO 2021 – Cosi fan tutte Photograph: Matthew Williams-Ellis
Transliterated as ‘Women are Human’ in this wonderfully witty and idiomatic translation by Amanda Holden, Sam Brown’s brilliant new production of Così fan tutte might also be said to demonstrate...
Artists of the Royal Ballet in Anemoi, The Royal Ballet ©2021 ROH. Photograph: Alice Pennefather
This third and last of The Royal Ballet’s mixed bills this season promised much and delivered considerably less.  What seemed on paper as an exciting mix of works proved to...
Enterprising to a T, English National Ballet has taken an otherwise empty Royal Festival Hall for a couple of weeks with a potpourri medley of excerpts from some of their...
Vadim Muntagirov, Anna Rose O'Sullivan, Yasmine Naghdi, Mayara Magri in Apollo photo by Helen Maybanks ROH
A collective sigh of relief was to be heard in Floral Street after the performance of The Royal Ballet’s second ‘come back’ programme; after all, their first had been a...
Longborough Festival Opera – Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre. Photograph: Jorge Lizalde
The grand scale of a Wagner music drama may seem an improbable undertaking so soon into the gradual easing of England’s Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. But Longborough has extensive experience in...
21st-Century Choreographers. Photograph: Tristram Kenton
It is hard to imagine a more downbeat, low-key, dispiriting evening with which to mark the return to the stage of a great ballet company.  The underlying concept of the...
Share This
Skip to content