FranÁois Couperin by Florilegium, Wigmore Hall

Although FranÁois Couperin won his reputation as an esteemed composer at the
ostentatious and vainglorious court of Versailles, under the patronage of Louis XIV, the ‘Sun King’, his work is often surprisingly discreet and intimate.

Tosca, ENO

The swift return to the Coliseum of Catherine Malfitano’s production of Tosca, premiered in 2010, contrasts strongly with the increasingly disposable nature of many recent ENO productions.

Piotr Beczala

Piotr Beczala, the Polish lyric tenor, stars in the current La Traviata at the Royal Opera House, London.

Saul, Barbican Hall

Handel’s oratorio Saul was the first dramatic oratorio that he wrote with a strong libretto.

Xerxes in San Francisco

No cuts, not a single one, nearly four hours of non-stop arias, and its only hit tune happens within the first five minutes.

The Queen of Spades, Opera North

Opera North holds a special place in my affections: my first full opera in the theatre was the company’s Wozzeck, which I saw as a schoolboy at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield.

Patricia Petibon: MelancolÌa

Hugh the Drover Over the Pub

Imagine a tuneful eighteenth-century “ballad opera” of country
life, say Stephen Storace’s enduringly popular No Song No
, cross it with Cavalleria Rusticana, throw in a bit of
Rocky for good measure, and you have some idea of Ralph Vaughan
Williams’s first opera, Hugh the Drover, a “Romantic
Ballad Opera.”

Turandot in San Francisco

The magnificent David Hockney Turandot production burst again onto the War Memorial stage with a new cast and conductor that recaptured its potential to make this fairytale into great opera.

Lucia di Lammermoor, Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago staged Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di
as its second production of the current season with Susanna
Phillips taking on the role of the heroine torn between romantic love and familial pressures.