Prom 60: Bach and Bruckner

Bruckner, Bruckner, wherever one goes; From Salzburg to London, he is with us, he is with us indeed, and will be next week too. (I shall even be given the…

Prom 57: Semyon Bychkov conducts the BBCSO

Thomas Larcher’s Second Symphony (written 2015-16) here received its United Kingdom premiere, its first performance having been given by the Vienna Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov in June this year. A…

40 minutes with Barbara Hannigan…in rehearsal

One of the initiatives for the community at the Lucerne Festival is the ‘40 min’ series. A free concert given before the evening’s main event that ranges from chamber music…

Prom 54 – Mozart’s Last Year with the Budapest Festival Orchestra

The mysteries and myths surrounding Mozart’s Requiem Mass – left unfinished at his death and completed by his pupil, Franz Xaver S¸ssmayr – abide, reinvigorated and prolonged by Peter Shaffer’s…

High Voltage Tosca in Cologne

I saw two operas consecutively at Oper Koln. First, the utterly bewildering Lucia di Lammermoor; then Thilo Reinhardt’s thrilling Tosca. His staging was pure operatic joy with some Hitchcockian provocations.

Haitink at the Lucerne Festival

Bernard Haitink’s monumental Bruckner and Mahler performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) got me hooked on classical music. His legendary performance of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C-minor, where…

BBC Prom 45 – Jan·?ek: The Makropulos Affair

Karita Mattila was born to sing Emilia Marty, the diva around whom revolves Leoö Jan·?ek’s The Makropulos Affair (V?c Makropulos). At Prom 45, she shone all the more because she…

Two Tales of Offenbach: Opera della Luna at Wilton’s Music Hall

‘Two outrageous operas in one crazy evening,’ reads the bill. Hyperbole? Certainly not when the operas are two of Jacques Offenbach’s more off-the-wall bouffoneries and when the company is Opera…

Britten Untamed! Glyndebourne: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

This performance of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Glyndebourne was so good that it was the highlight of the whole season, making the term ‘revival’ utterly irrelevant. Jakub Hr?öa…

Salzburg encores

A staged piano recital and an opera as a concert.† Pianist Andr·s Schiff accompanied the Salzburg Marionette Theater at the Mozarteum Grosser Saal and Anna Netrebko sang Manon Lescaut at…