Concert Reviews

One of the pleasures of Opera Holland Park has been its scheduling of Italian stage-works that have little or no performance history in the UK (or, for that matter, outside...
Succinctness is usually a positive quality of Verdi’s operas, with a fine balance struck between musical interest and dramatic efficiency. In the case of his eighth stage-work, Alzira (1845), concision...
Richard Strauss’s conflation of buffa and seria could have been written with summer festivals in mind, with an entertainment specifically planned for post-dinner-interval uplift mirrored by the Opera’s unseen guests...
The Bennewitz Quartet has a notably warm sound which makes exciting forte passages glow brightly. There is a unified quality to this ensemble and on the occasions where the leader...
Having temporarily retired his alter egos, Dame Edna Everage, Sir Les Patterson, Sandy Stone, et al, Barry Humphries has turned to the music of the Weimar Republic in order to...
This program of Leonard Bernstein’s vocal music was highlighted by Trouble in Tahiti, directed by Jamie Bernstein, the composer’s daughter. Beforehand she introduced nine of her father’s songs, for which...
Indefatigable in its championing of rare repertoire, Buxton International Festival has brought out from oblivion the only opera by the little-known Giuseppe Brescianello on the occasion of its tercentenary anniversary....
In a spoken introduction, Jeremy Denk said he juxtaposed the first three works to contrast their composers’ different perceptions of time. He began with Mozart, the A-minor Rondo’s sorrowful aspect...
Pushkin’s writings have given rise to over a hundred operas, most of them Russian, to which tally this newcomer by Konstantin Boyarsky and Marita Phillips can be added. Their opera...
Wigmore Hall’s director John Gilhooly is to be commended for conceiving this bold event. "After I saw Anita Lasker-Wallfisch's address to the Bundestag, I felt it had to be heard...
The austere magnificence of The Grange sits a little oddly with the eclecticism and informality of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide but if this one-off, not-quite concert performance fell between several stools...
It is fitting for Tanglewood to host a celebration of the Leonard Bernstein centennial, since he played a major role in the development of this great music center, and it...
The second of this year’s revived Shakespeare-in-opera offerings from Robert Carsen (after English National Opera’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Spring), is the second revival of The Royal Opera’s...
With Steven Osborne you get a no-frills pianist of integrity and enquiry, willing to explore and take risks, no repertory too little or too large, no style beyond his understanding....
Baroque specialist Sandrine Piau turned her attention to more-recent repertoire with an emotionally probing and vocally sparkling Wigmore Hall recital, a spellbinding and intimate programme entitled “Chimère”, of nineteenth- and...
Fiddler on the Roof is a musical set in 1905 in the village of Anatevka in the Pale of Settlement, a western region of Imperial Russia within which Jews were...
Reviewed from live BBC Radio 3 broadcast... The opening concert of this year’s Cheltenham Music Festival appeared more attractive on paper than it proved to be in performance – at...
This was the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s “Opening Night at Tanglewood”, beginning with Andris Nelsons leading a lively rendition of the Overture to The Magic Flute. Lang Lang, sidelined for a...
A murder mystery doesn’t necessarily sound like an idea that will work, but there have been stranger inspirations for opera plots. Rory Mullarkey has adapted Roberto Bolaño’s novel skilfully. Each...
To really enjoy The King and I it is probably best to put the politics to one side and instead marvel at Rodgers & Hammerstein’s immortal music and lyrics. In...
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