Reviews of live performances

Photo: www.lpo.org.uk
This was Vladimir Jurowski’s second date with the LPO as Conductor Emeritus, together again to pursue their progress through the Bruckner Symphonies. The Sixth was preceded by a substantial first...
Photo: Will Figg. Willfigg.com
This concert concluded the Philadelphia Orchestra's year-long Beethoven series at Carnegie Hall with Yannick Nézet-Séguin leading an exhilarating performance of the Missa solemnis. Fast speeds were the rule in an...
Photo: Catherine-Ashmore www.eno.org
A birthing table, an insemination desk and a prayer machine are just three of the disquieting accessories making their appearance on the Coliseum stage. Then there’s the Wall, its sinister...
Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera
In this second cast of the Met Opera’s fourth revival of Richard Eyre’s 2014 production of Le nozze di Figaro, James Gaffigan and four of the five principals are making...
Photo: Chris Christodoulo
Fernando won’t be found in the official list of Handel’s operas as such, but neither is it anything so exciting as the discovery of a lost work. Rather it is the...
Photo: Jean-Luc Benazet.
Tamerlano is one of three masterpieces Handel composed consecutively in the mid-1720s for his company The Royal Academy, although compared with its more generally popular siblings Giulio Cesare and Rodelinda, this opera has been...
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As Chelsea Opera Group’s programme note rightly indicates, Oberto (1839) as his first opera is “what Giuseppe sounded like before he became Verdi”. In fact there are already many signs in it...
Photo: www.motlova.cz
Apparently, Jan Václav Voř­íšek was very good company, and so is his Symphony in D, sadly the only one the Bohemian composer wrote during his short life. He was born...
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The late Patrice Chéreau’s starkly sinister staging of Strauss’s Elektra, last seen at the Met in 2018, is back in the house for a second revival. Richard Peduzzi’s stripped-down set,...
Photo: sadlerswells.com
The British dance world emerged from the pandemic seemingly hell-bent on delivering programmes of angst and woe, oblivious to what its audiences actually needed: enjoyment and pleasure; London has been...
Photo: Matthew Thompson
A masque or pastoral opera, Handel’s Acis and Galatea would have been mounted with little or no staging or scenery when first performed at Cannons in 1718. No matter then that this...
Jonas Kaufmann, tenor and Diana Damrau, soprano accompanied by Helmut Deutsch on piano perform a recital in the Barbican Hall on Tuesday 29 March 2022. Photo by Mark Allan
The stellar trio of Diana Damrau, Jonas Kaufmann and Helmut Deutsch had a great success with their tour and recording of Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch, and they have adopted a similar...
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Janáček is certainly having his moment in opera houses around the UK. Both Welsh National Opera and the Royal Opera House are working through a series of his stage works,...
Schreker - Irrelohe. Photo Stofleth
When Franz Schreker composed Irrelohe in the early 1920s (premiered 1924) he had already achieved considerable success in Germany with a number of operas. But, although he used a mythical mediaeval setting...
Semyon Bychkov conducts the Czech Philharmonic – Dvořák & Janáček. Photo: Petr Kadlec
Two years ago, a concert given by the Czech Philharmonic and their music director Semyon Bychkov would have been a very hot ticket, something you could take for granted with...
Hunyadi László by Ferenc Erkel. Photo: Hungarian State Opera
Ferenc Erkel, virtually unknown outside Hungary, stands proud in the nation’s musical history as the composer of the national anthem and several nationalist operas. Bank Bán is perhaps his most...
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This is a welcome revival of Phelim McDermott’s colourful, penetrating staging of Mozart and Da Ponte’s most complex, enigmatic and mysterious collaboration. Set in and around a motel bordering on...
L to R: tenor Toby Spence, bass Franz Hawlata, and conductor Andris Nelsons in the Boston Symphony Orchestra's concert version of Berg's WOZZECK at Carnegie Hall, 3/15/22. Photo: Steve J. Sherman
A century has passed since Alban Berg finished composing Wozzeck; yet it can still seem remarkably modern, as it did in this concert performance. Shorn of the usual stage trappings,...
Royal College of Music - Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel
Opera’s favourite sibling rivals Hansel and Gretel have survived many hardships and indignities, and still they come up smiling in this new staging by Stephen Barlow for the Royal College...
Les Arts Florissants (William Christie: director, Rachel Redmond: soprano, Leo Jemison: boy soprano, James Way: tenor, Sreten Manojlović: bass baritone) present Handel’s pastoral ode of L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato in the Barbican Hall on Monday 14 March 2022. Photo by Mark Allan
Handel composed L’Allegro in 1740 – one year before Messiah, and the same in which his last opera was premiered – at a time of transition in his musical career. With the declining...
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