Prom 18: Mahler, Symphony No.3

Bernard Haitink has what is absolutely necessary, yet more often than not lacking, to conduct a Mahler symphony, indeed to conduct any symphony worthy of the name: the ability to hear it in a single span and to communicate in performance that ability. That is not, of course, in itself enough to ensure a successful, let alone a great, performance, but its absence will be fatal.

Munich Opera Festival Baroque Concert: Music from the Court of Louis XIV

In many respects, this second ‘Festspiel-Barockkonzert’ made for an intriguing pendant to the previous night’s premiere of Les Indes galantes. All of the music was earlier than Rameau’s opÈra-ballet, some of that in the first half – the programme was broadly but not pedantically chronological – considerably earlier.

Les Indes galantes, Bavarian State Opera

Baroque opera has long been an important part of the Bavarian State Opera’s programming. And beyond the company itself, Munich’s tradition stretches back many years indeed: KubelÌk’s Handel with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, for instance.

Don Giovanni, Bavarian State Opera

All told, this was probably the best Don Giovanni I have seen and heard. Judging opera performances – perhaps we should not be ‘judging’ at all, but let us leave that on one side – is a difficult task: there are so many variables, at least as many as in a play and a concert combined, but then there is the issue of that ‘combination’ too.

Il barbiere di Siviglia, Glyndebourne Festival Opera at the Proms

For its annual visit to the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, Glyndebourne brought its new production of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, an opera which premiered 200 years ago.

BÈatrice and BÈnÈdict at Glyndebourne

‘A caprice written with the point of a needle’: so Berlioz described his opera BÈatrice and BÈnÈdict, which pares down Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing to its comic quintessence, shorn of the sub-plots, destroyed reputations and near-bloodshed of Shakespeare’s original.

Der fliegende Holl‰nder, Bavarian State Opera

‘This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.’ It is, perhaps, a line quoted too often; yet, even though it may not have been entirely accurate on this occasion, it came to my mind. Its accuracy might be questioned in several respects.

Die Fledermaus, Opera Holland Park

With the thermometers reaching boiling point, there’s no doubt that summer has finally arrived in London. But, the sun seems to have been shining over the large marquee in Holland Park all summer.

Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance

The champagne corks popped at the close of this year’s Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance at the Royal Opera House, with Prince Orlofsky’s celebratory toast forming a fitting conclusion to some superb singing.

Prom 2: Boris Godunov, ROH

Bryn Terfel is making a habit of performing Russian patriarchs at the Proms.