Concert Reviews

LFO 2023 The Fairy Queen Photo: Matthew Williams-Ellis
We have become accustomed over the summer (and even before that) to social events being disrupted by Just Stop Oil demonstrations. Polly Graham's production of The Fairy Queen for Longborough amusingly forestalls...
Photo: Julian Guidera
Alim, the eponymous king of Lahore of Massenet’s third opera for Paris (1877) must be a glutton for punishment. Audiences of 19th century opera, in particular, are used to melodramatic stories...
Carlos Acosta and Laura Rodríguez in Mermaid © ROH 2023. Photo: ©Tristram Kenton
Any self-respecting divo must allow himself several farewells at the end of his performing career, so it is unsurprising that, since his retirement from The Royal Ballet in 2015, Carlos...
Photo: Jake Wiltshire
Chemistry and music perhaps seem an odd combination, though fans of Ken Russell will recall that, in his documentary film Elgar, he included an amusing scene about that composer's love of...
Glyndebourne Productions Ltd. Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
For Glyndebourne's first staging of Handel's Semele (1744), Adele Thomas draws some insightful connections between the cautionary tale of its scenario and her own personal experience. Her upbringing in an industrial part of south Wales inspires the backdrop...
Sweeney Todd
Almost unceasing rainfall during this performance provided, perhaps, an aptly gloomy backdrop for West Green’s production of Sweeney Todd at its theatre on the lake, partly exposed to the elements as the...
Bampton Opera Salieri 'At the Venice Fair' Ensemble
Salieri’s sixth opera, La fiera di Venezia (1772) is set during Venice’s famous Ascension Day ceremony (the Festa della Sensa) rather than at carnival time earlier in the year and is rendered here...
Photo: Talitha Khachik
Queer Voices (Skeive Stemmer) is Norway's first and only 'queer' opera company, which aims to reinterpret the operatic repertoire in line with untypical, non-binary angles on gender, sexuality and power...
Photo: Steve Pisano
Dating from 1850, Crispino e la Comare (Crispino and the Fairy), a whimsical satire and the final opera composed by the Ricci brothers, soon became wildly popular in Italy and...
Photo: Steve Pisano.
Teatro Nuovo opens its 2023 season with Gaetano Donizetti’s rarely heard Poliuto. First staged in New York in 1859 at the Academy of Music, then the city’s premier opera venue,...
L'Orfeo Photo Credit: Matthew Williams-Ellis
So well-known is the myth of Orpheus (not least because it was treated as the subject of several of the earliest operas) and so urgently direct is its retelling by...
Elliot Madore, Patrick Carfizzi and Amitai Pati in Così fan tutte at Tanglewood Photo: Hilary Scott.
In this concert staging of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, the singers moved about in front of the orchestra, interacting and singing from memory as they would in a full staging....
Summer Series Lineup Photo: efglondonjazzfestival.org
For many jazz fans, the classic template for a tenor saxophone jazz quartet is the John Coltrane Quartet (1960-65); so it’s sobering to think that the Branford Marsalis Quartet, founded...
L to R Joseph Doody as Allesandro and George Curnow as Agenore in Buxton International Festival's Il re pastore Credit Genevieve Girling.
Mozart’s Il re pastore (1775) stands in a line of artistic works which contrast the innocent pleasures of an existence at one with nature, with the tensions and artificiality of life at...
Ellie Neate as Lisa (foreground) with cast in Buxton International Festival's La sonnambula. Credit Genevieve Girling
The assumptions of many nineteenth-century operas are often difficult now for contemporary sensibilities to countenance, with their heroines expected to behave impeccably in conforming with male expectations, and maligned or...
Andris Nelsons conducts Prokofiev with Daniil Trifonov at Tanglewood opening night. Photo: Hilary Scott
As a curtain-raiser to launch their 2023 Tanglewood Season, Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra appropriately chose a “fanfare for brass and percussion” – Wynton Marsalis’s Herald, Holler and...
Photo: Juliet Hargreaves
The Sorcerer (1877) was Gilbert & Sullivan’s third collaboration, marking a milestone in their partnership as it was their first full length drama and achieved a notable success, buoying them to...
Photo: Southbankcentre.co.uk
Maurizio Pollini was back in London – following a year of ill-health and cancellations. His programme was all familiar repertoire, and there was a large audience to welcome the eighty-one-year-old...
Photo: Clive Barda
Few musical dramatists were quite so alert to the complexities and subtleties of Mozart’s great Italian operas with Lorenzo da Ponte as Richard Strauss at the turn of the twentieth-century...
Sir Simon Rattle ends his final concert as LSO Music Director with Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie, joined by pianist Peter Donohoe and Ondes-Martenot player Cynthia Millar. Preceded by Betsy Jolas Ces belles années… (world premiere) with Faustine de Monès: soprano in the Barbican Hall on Wednesday 14 June 2023 Photo by Mark Allan
Of all the concerts being promoted as Sir Simon Rattle’s last as LSO music director this repeat of the previous night’s Barbican Hall event was perhaps the most plausible contender....
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