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Elsewhere

Garsington's Fidelio in Concert: BBC Radio 3 broadcast

Garsington Opera is delighted to announce that its Fidelio in Concert will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 26 September, 6.30pm.

Full cast and creative team announced for ENO Drive & Live at Alexandra Palace

The English National Opera (ENO) announces the full details of the first ENO Drive & Live - Europe's first live drive-in opera production that audiences can safely experience from their cars.

Monteverdi: The Ache of Love - Live from London

There’s a “slide of harmony” and “all the bones leave your body at that moment and you collapse to the floor, it’s so extraordinary.”

ROF Streams Rossini’s
La cambiale di matrimonio

The Rossini festival of Rossini’s hometown, Pesaro, streams the premiere of its new production of La cambiale di matrimonio, Rossini’s second opera on August 8 (and briefly “on demand” after).

Glyndebourne Open House - Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Brett Dean’s Hamlet

Glyndebourne has announced the next two opera titles in its virtual festival, Glyndebourne Open House - Handel’s Giulio Cesare (pictured) and Brett Dean’s Hamlet.

Guildhall School of Music & Drama announces free, digital Autumn events season

Guildhall School of Music & Drama today announces its Autumn Season of events, which will all be delivered digitally and free of charge.

Guildhall School creates new edition of Handel cantata

A new edition of Handel’s cantata Mi palpita il cor has been created by a group of students from Guildhall School’s Historical Performance department during lockdown.

Grange Park Opera announces 2021 season

It’s been a ‘challenging’ year, but what has kept us going is to focus on the future: 2021 at Grange Park Opera, Surrey, 10 June - 17 July.

After Silence: VOCES8

‘After silence, that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music.’ Aldous Huxley’s words have inspired VOCES8’s new disc, After Silence, a ‘double album in four chapters’ which marks the ensemble’s 15th anniversary.

Beethoven's Songs and Folksongs: Bostridge and Pappano

A song-cycle is a narrative, a journey, not necessarily literal or linear, but one which carries performer and listener through time and across an emotional terrain. Through complement and contrast, poetry and music crystallise diverse sentiments and somehow cohere variability into an aesthetic unity.

Snape Maltings Concert Hall to reopen for live performances with audience from 7 August

Britten Pears Arts is thrilled to announce that it will host live music-making again in Snape Maltings Concert Hall from Friday 7 August, becoming one of the first venues in the UK to return to regular concerts for a live audience.

The Grange Festival presents Precipice, an outdoor promenade performance

On 21, 22 and 23 August 2020, The Grange Festival will present Precipice, an outdoor immersive promenade performance using the many varied natural stages offered by the buildings and gardens at The Grange in Hampshire. Created by the critically-acclaimed director Sinéad O’Neill and designed by Joanna Parker, the performance will last one hour and a small audience of up to 60 people will be guided through the sequence of events with spoken text by the actor, writer and director Tonderai Monyevu. There will be four performances each day.

Opera Holland Park returns for a series of outdoor performances this summer

Opera Holland Park (OHP) will present a series of outdoor performances this summer in the space where the theatre normally stands. The company held its first concert since lockdown this weekend. The performance sold out in less than 90...

Fidelio: semi-staged live performance at Garsington

Garsington Opera will be giving semi-staged performances of Beethoven’s Fidelio in the Opera Pavilion at Wormsley on 12, 14, 18 & 20 September 2020.

First-ever global online vocal festival anounced: singing returns

Live from London is a new, paid-for online festival from the VOCES8 Foundation, featuring some of the world's finest vocal ensembles including VOCES8, I Fagiolini, Stile Antico, The Swingles, The Sixteen, Chanticleer and more.

Salzburg Elektra premiere to be streamed

Stage director Krzysztof Warlikowski offers a happy ending, he hints, to Richard Strauss’ monumental tragedy Elektra at the Salzburg Festival, streamed live at its premiere on August 1 from the Felsenreitscchule at 5 PM Central European Time.

Classical Opera and The Mozartists launch their ‘Pay it Forward’ Appeal

As their concerts have been cancelled for the rest of the year, Classical Opera and The Mozartists have launched an innovative appeal to generate funds for their freelance artists, who have been severely affected and are unlikely to receive any share of the government’s pledged funding for the arts.

A virtual ‘Der Lindenbaum’: Streetwise Opera bring the 2020 Ryedale Festival Online to a restful close

Streetwise Opera were joined by baritone Roderick Williams, the Brodsky Quartet and Genesis Sixteen for a special ‘virtual’ performance of Schubert’s ‘Der Lindenbaum’, the fifth song of the composer’s song-cycle Winterreise, bringing this year’s Ryedale Festival Online to a pensive close.

Two more new titles announced for Glyndebourne Open House

Glyndebourne has announced the next two opera titles in its virtual festival, Glyndebourne Open House - Verdi’s Falstaff and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress (pictured).

Music for a While: Rowan Pierce and Christopher Glynn at Ryedale Online

“Music for a while, shall all your cares beguile.”


OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Reviews

10 Aug 2020

Monteverdi: The Ache of Love - Live from London

There’s a “slide of harmony” and “all the bones leave your body at that moment and you collapse to the floor, it’s so extraordinary.” »

Recently in Reviews

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05 Aug 2020

After Silence: VOCES8

‘After silence, that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music.’ Aldous Huxley’s words have inspired VOCES8’s new disc, After Silence, a ‘double album in four chapters’ which marks the ensemble’s 15th anniversary. »

02 Aug 2020

Beethoven's Songs and Folksongs: Bostridge and Pappano

A song-cycle is a narrative, a journey, not necessarily literal or linear, but one which carries performer and listener through time and across an emotional terrain. Through complement and contrast, poetry and music crystallise diverse sentiments and somehow cohere variability into an aesthetic unity. »

26 Jul 2020

Music for a While: Rowan Pierce and Christopher Glynn at Ryedale Online

“Music for a while, shall all your cares beguile.” »

25 Jul 2020

Flax and Fire: a terrific debut recital-disc from tenor Stuart Jackson

One of the nicest things about being lucky enough to enjoy opera, music and theatre, week in week out, in London’s fringe theatres, music conservatoires, and international concert halls and opera houses, is the opportunity to encounter striking performances by young talented musicians and then watch with pleasure as they fulfil those sparks of promise. »

18 Jul 2020

Carlisle Floyd's Prince of Players: a world premiere recording

“It’s forbidden, and where’s the art in that?” »

13 Jul 2020

John F. Larchet's Complete Songs and Airs: in conversation with Niall Kinsella

Dublin-born John F. Larchet (1884-1967) might well be described as the father of post-Independence Irish music, given the immense influenced that he had upon Irish musical life during the first half of the 20th century - as a composer, musician, administrator and teacher. »

13 Jul 2020

Haddon Hall: 'Sullivan sans Gilbert' does not disappoint thanks to the BBC Concert Orchestra and John Andrews

The English Civil War is raging. The daughter of a Puritan aristocrat has fallen in love with the son of a Royalist supporter of the House of Stuart. Will love triumph over political expediency and religious dogma? »

07 Jul 2020

Beethoven’s Choral Symphony and Choral Fantasy from Harmonia Mundi

Beethoven Symphony no 9 (the Choral Symphony) in D minor, Op. 125, and the Choral Fantasy in C minor, Op. 80 with soloist Kristian Bezuidenhout, Pablo Heras-Casado conducting the Freiburger Barockorchester, new from Harmonia Mundi. »

07 Jul 2020

A Musical Reunion at Garsington Opera

The hum of bees rising from myriad scented blooms; gentle strains of birdsong; the cheerful chatter of picnickers beside a still lake; decorous thwacks of leather on willow; song and music floating through the warm evening air. »

04 Jul 2020

Taking Risks with Barbara Hannigan

A Louise Brooks look-a-like, in bobbed black wig and floor-sweeping leather trench-coat, cheeks purple-rouged and eyes shadowed in black, Barbara Hannigan issues taut gestures which elicit fire-cracker punch from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. »

30 Jun 2020

Alfredo Piatti: The Operatic Fantasies (Vol.2) - in conversation with Adrian Bradbury

‘Signor Piatti in a fantasia on themes from Beatrice di Tenda had also his triumph. Difficulties, declared to be insuperable, were vanquished by him with consummate skill and precision. He certainly is amazing, his tone magnificent, and his style excellent. His resources appear to be inexhaustible; and altogether for variety, it is the greatest specimen of violoncello playing that has been heard in this country.’ »

28 Jun 2020

'In my end is my beginning': Mark Padmore and Mitsuko Uchida perform Winterreise at Wigmore Hall

All good things come to an end, so they say. Let’s hope that only the ‘good thing’ part of the adage is ever applied to Wigmore Hall, and that there is never any sign of ‘an end’. »

27 Jun 2020

Those Blue Remembered Hills: Roderick Williams sings Gurney and Howells

Baritone Roderick Williams seems to have been a pretty constant ‘companion’, on my laptop screen and through my stereo speakers, during the past few ‘lock-down’ months. »

22 Jun 2020

Iestyn Davies and Elizabeth Kenny bring 'sweet music' to Wigmore Hall

Countertenor Iestyn Davies and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny kicked off the final week of live lunchtime recitals broadcast online and on radio from Wigmore Hall. »

18 Jun 2020

Bruno Ganz and Kirill Gerstein almost rescue Strauss’s Enoch Arden

Melodramas can be a difficult genre for composers. Before Richard Strauss’s Enoch Arden the concept of the melodrama was its compact size – Weber’s Wolf’s Glen scene in Der Freischütz, Georg Benda’s Ariadne auf Naxos and Medea or even Leonore’s grave scene in Beethoven’s Fidelio.  »

15 Jun 2020

From Our House to Your House: live from the Royal Opera House

I’m not ashamed to confess that I watched this live performance, streamed from the stage of the Royal Opera House, with a tear in my eye. »

12 Jun 2020

Woman’s Hour with Roderick Williams and Joseph Middleton at Wigmore Hall

At the start of this lunchtime recital, Roderick Williams set out the rationale behind the programme that he and pianist Joseph Middleton presented at Wigmore Hall, bringing to a close a second terrific week of live lunchtime broadcasts, freely accessible via Wigmore Hall’s YouTube channel and BBC Radio 3. »

07 Jun 2020

Francisco Valls' Missa Regalis: The Choir of Keble College Oxford and the AAM

In the annals of musical controversies, the Missa Scala Aretina debate does not have the notoriety of the Querelle des Bouffons, the Monteverdi-Artusi spat, or the audience-shocking premiere of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. »

02 Jun 2020

Two song cycles by Sir Arthur Somervell: Roderick Williams and Susie Allan

Robert Browning, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Charles Kingsley, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, A.E. Housman … the list of those whose work Sir Arthur Somervell (1863-1937) set to music, in his five song-cycles, reads like a roll call of Victorian poetry - excepting the Edwardian Housman. »

27 May 2020

Roger Quilter: The Complete Quilter Songbook, Vol. 3

Mark Stone and Stephen Barlow present Volume 3 in their series The Complete Roger Quilter Songbook, on Stone Records.  »

26 May 2020

Richard Danielpour – The Passion of Yeshua

A contemporary telling of the Passion story which uses texts from both the Christian and the Jewish traditions to create a very different viewpoint. »

25 May 2020

Les Talens Lyriques: 18th-century Neapolitan sacred works

In 1770, during an extended tour of France and Italy to observe the ‘present state of music’ in those two countries, the English historian, critic and composer Charles Burney spent a month in Naples - a city which he noted (in The Present State of Music in France and Italy (1771)) ‘has so long been regarded as the centre of harmony, and the fountain from whence genius, taste, and learning, have flowed to every other part of Europe.’  »

18 May 2020

Herbert Howells: Missa Sabrinensis revealed in its true glory

At last, Herbert Howells’s Missa Sabrinensis (1954) with David Hill conducting the Bach Choir, with whom David Willcocks performed the piece at the Royal Festival Hall in 1982. Willcocks commissioned this Mass for the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester in 1954, when Howells himself conducted the premiere. »

17 May 2020

Natalya Romaniw - Arion: Voyage of a Slavic Soul

Sailing home to Corinth, bearing treasures won in a music competition, the mythic Greek bard, Arion, found his golden prize coveted by pirates and his life in danger. »

06 May 2020

Le Banquet Céleste: Stradella's San Giovanni Battista

The life of Alessandro Stradella was characterised by turbulence, adventure and amorous escapades worthy of an opera libretto. Indeed, at least seven composers have turned episodes from the 17th-century Italian composer’s colourful life into operatic form, the best known being Flotow whose three-act comic opera based on the Lothario’s misadventures was first staged in Hamburg in 1844. »

27 Apr 2020

Purcell’s The Indian Queen from Lille

Among the few compensations opera lovers have had from the COVID crisis is the abundance – alas, plethora – of streamed opera productions we might never have seen or even known of without it. »

11 Apr 2020

Ethel Smyth: Songs and Ballads - a new recording from SOMM

In 1877, Ethel Smyth, aged just nineteen, travelled to Leipzig to begin her studies at the German town’s Music Conservatory, having finally worn down the resistance of her father, General J.H. Smyth. »

11 Apr 2020

Wagner: Excerpts from Der Ring des Niebelungen, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Järvi, RCA-Sony

This new recording of excerpts from Wagner’s Der Ring des Niebelungen is quite exceptional - and very unusual for this kind of disc. The words might be missing, but the fact they are proves to have rather the opposite effect. It is one of the most operatic of orchestral Wagner discs I have come across.  »

10 Apr 2020

Wagner: Die Walküre, Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Simon Rattle, BR Klassik

Simon Rattle has never particularly struck me as a complex conductor. He is not, for example, like Furtwängler, Maderna, Boulez or Sinopoli - all of whom brought a breadth of learning and a knowledge of composition to bear on what they conducted. »

29 Mar 2020

Dvořák Requiem, Jakub Hrůša in memoriam Jiří Bělohlávek

Antonín Dvořák Requiem op.89 (1890) with Jakub Hrůša conducting the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The Requiem was one of the last concerts Jiří Bělohlávek conducted before his death and he had been planning to record it as part of his outstanding series for Decca.  »

26 Mar 2020

Philip Venables' Denis & Katya: teenage suicide and audience complicity

As an opera composer, Philip Venables writes works quite unlike those of many of his contemporaries. They may not even be operas at all, at least in the conventional sense - and Denis & Katya, the most recent of his two operas, moves even further away from this standard. But what Denis & Katya and his earlier work, 4.48 Psychosis, have in common is that they are both small, compact forces which spiral into extraordinarily powerful and explosive events.  »

15 Mar 2020

A new, blank-canvas Figaro at English National Opera

Making his main stage debut at ENO with this new production of The Marriage of Figaro, theatre director Joe Hill-Gibbins professes to have found it difficult to ‘develop a conceptual framework for the production to inhabit’.  »

14 Mar 2020

Massenet’s Chérubin charms at Royal Academy Opera

“Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio … Now I’m fire, now I’m ice, any woman makes me change colour, any woman makes me quiver.” »

07 Mar 2020

Bluebeard’s Castle, Munich

Last year the world’s opera companies presented only nine staged runs of Béla Bartòk’s Bluebeard’s Castle.  »

03 Mar 2020

The Queen of Spades at Lyric Opera of Chicago

If obsession is key to understanding the dramatic and musical fabric of Tchaikovsky’s opera The Queen of Spades, the current production at Lyric Opera of Chicago succeeds admirably in portraying such aspects of the human psyche.  »

03 Mar 2020

WNO revival of Carmen in Cardiff

Unveiled by Welsh National Opera last autumn, this Carmen is now in its first revival. Original director Jo Davies has abandoned picture postcard Spain and sun-drenched vistas for images of grey, urban squalor somewhere in modern-day Latin America.  »

02 Mar 2020

Lise Davidsen 'rescues' Tobias Kratzer's Fidelio at the Royal Opera House

Making Fidelio - Beethoven’s paean to liberty, constancy and fidelity - an emblem of the republican spirit of the French Revolution is unproblematic, despite the opera's censor-driven ‘Spanish’ setting.  »

02 Mar 2020

A sunny, insouciant Così from English Touring Opera

Beach balls and parasols. Strolls along the strand. Cocktails on the terrace. Laura Attridge’s new production of Così fan tutte which opened English Touring Opera’s 2020 spring tour at the Hackney Empire, is a sunny, insouciant and often downright silly affair.  »