Reviews of live performances

Photo: Russell Duncan
Offenbach’s La Princesse de Trébizonde was a notable success at its premiere in 1869, until the outbreak of the Franco-Prussiona War the succeeding year. Despite equal acclaim around Europe and further afield,...
Photo: Chris Lee
With this concert, billed as “A Celebration on Spanish Music” and commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Sister City Agreement between Madrid and New York City, the Orchestra of the...
Photo: Lidia Crisafulli
This has been Ethel Smyth’s year (and probably not before time): Glyndebourne opened back in May with an eye-catching production of The Wreckers which was then taken to the Proms, and that...
Photo: The Photography Shed
Charpentier’s chamber opera (c.1686) setting the same myth that inspired several composers in the first generation of operatic history is a compact work, lasting barely an hour, but Jeanne Pansard-Besson’s...
Photo: Craig Fuller
Two operas here – one written over a century before the present day, the other nearly two centuries ago – show that women dealing with ‘toxic masculinity’ is nothing new,...
Photo: Alastair Muir.
First, all praise to British Youth Opera for seemingly being the only company in the country mounting a stage-work by Vaughan Williams in the 150th-year of his birth. Anniversaries need...
© Glyndebourne Productions Ltd. Photo: Bill Cooper.
Poulenc’s double-bill of La Voix humaine and Les Mamelles de Tirésias gives us extremes of what it can be to be a woman, enough to keep Women’s Hour on the...
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...
BSOConcerts126 1400x934 1
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,...
Share This