Seven Ages: a magical and consoling journey through life’s hopes, fears and humility

I hate to fall back on cliché, but this really was a ‘dream-team’ recital at Middle Temple Hall, in which tenor Mark Padmore, baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Julius Drake…

Nardus Williams’ debut solo recital at Wigmore Hall

A solo debut recital at Wigmore Hall is a big occasion, and soprano Nardus Williams can be forgiven for looking a little nervous as she ventured onto the platform, with…

Russian pessimism, potently performed by countertenor Hamish McLaren

There was no musical equivalent in Russia of the outpouring of Romantic lieder which occurred in Western Europe, as, inspired by the greatest poets of the day, song after song…

Great Women: the words and lives of four powerful 20th-century Irish women are brought to life by composer Gráinne Mulvey and soprano Elizabeth Hilliard

Born Constance Gore-Booth in County Sligo in February 1868, Countess Constance Markievicz was a co-commander in the 1916 Easter Rising and the first Irish woman elected to Parliament.  Alongside Markievicz…

‘All shall be well’: ORA Singers and Zeb Soanes reassure and inspire

The optimistic words of Julian of Norwich (1342-c.1417) might seem out of place in the modern world.  Yet, Mother Julian, as the English anchorite and mystic came to be known,…

A fresh look at Winter Words as ‘Summer at Snape’ continues

It may not have been possible for Snape Maltings to host the Aldeburgh Festival this year or last, but the Maltings have not been silent and the Summer at Snape…

Dramatic darkness and vocal delights as Kasper Holten’s Don Giovanni returns to the Royal Opera House

So, after a Così that was wonderfully serene but somewhat serioso, now a Don Giovanni that impresses vocally but seems to have lost some of its giocoso.  Kasper Holten’s production…

VOCES8 open Live for London Summer with a sprinkle of stardust

VOCES8’s new Live from London summer festival opened in ‘sparkling’ fashion with a characteristically mixed repertoire programme, entitled Stardust.  Much was reassuringly familiar, and very welcome: the perfect blending and…

Glyndebourne’s Così fan tutte provides welcome reassurance and orderliness

When I last saw Nicholas Hytner’s 2006 Glyndebourne production of Così fan tutte – at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury during the 2017 autumn tour, at the time reportedly the…

Handel’s London Altos: Iestyn Davies at Kings Place

At Kings Place it’s currently half-portions and double-helpings: to ‘get round’ the 50% capacity restrictions, the answer is simply to perform the concert twice – and Iestyn Davies and the…