Jonas Kaufmann in Aida at the Bayerische Staatsoper

Aida, an opera that requires at least five fine Verdi voices, has fallen on hard times. Still, the cast announced for last Saturday’s performance at the Bayerische Staatsoper, headed by…

London Handel Festival International Singing Competition Final

With an internationally renowned jury, the London Handel Festival International Singing Competition carries a fair amount of clout. Jurors were: David Gowland (chairman, Artistic Director of the Jette Parker Scheme…

A sensational Nadine Sierra in Lucia di Lammermoor at the ROH

The periodic frustration one might feel with Katie Mitchell’s split stage concept for Donizetti’s romantic tragedy is a small price to pay for some stupendous singing. First unveiled in 2016,…

Handel’s Arianna:  An unforgettable close to the London Handel Festival’s ‘Spring Awakenings’ festival

This is not the London Handel Festival’s first stab at Handel’s unjustly neglected opera, Arianna in Creta; it was previously staged at the Royal College of Music in March 2014.…

Verdi, La traviata in Venice

The opening reception of the Biennale had ended early, Teatro La Fenice was dark, and I found myself with an unexpectedly free evening in Venice. Musica a Palazzo is one…

Florencia en el Amazonas in San Jose

Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas is having a moment. And just now at Silicon Valley’s Opera San Jose it was a quite wonderful moment — well cast, smart production…

“Birds and Balls” in San Francisco

Two recent one-acts cleverly combined by stage director Brian Staufenbiel into one grand, operatic sporting event. San Francisco’s alternative opera company, Opera Parallele pulled off a slam dunk show. It…

Some outstanding singing at the Royal Opera’s new Carmen

For any new staging of a work as familiar as Carmen there is an imperative to root out fresh perspectives, to pursue a previously unexplored angle; effectively to reinvent the…

Bach’s Easter Music from the Choir and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

If Holy week is usually a time for Christian meditation, this concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall given by the Choir and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment traded solemn…