Michel-Richard de Lalande: Grands Motets

During the 17th century, daily religious observance was a regular feature at the French court.  In the royal chapel Louis XIV was a habitual presence for Low Mass where custom…

Prom 24: Mendelssohnian playfulness and Mahlerian darkness

A premiere, an outstanding debut and a distinctive symphonic account formed a programme given by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under its principal conductor Ryan Bancroft in the third…

L’elisir d’amore delights at West Green House Opera

The grounds of West Green House in leafy Hampshire drew from director Victoria Newlyn an inspired staging of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore.  Situating this 1832 comic opera on a Mediterranean cruise…

René Jacobs revisits Bach’s Mass in B minor

Having enjoyed René Jacobs’ superb recording of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis which was issued by harmonia mundi in 2021, I was looking forward to this new account of Bach’s Mass in B…

Resurrexi! The Choir of Keble College, Oxford

There have been some fine recordings in recent years from the Choir of Keble College, Oxford, and this is the first disc directed by Paul Brough who succeeded Matthew Martin…

Heinrich Schütz: David & Salomon – selections from the Psalms of David and Song of Solomon

This first foray into the music of Heinrich Schütz from Les Cris de Paris is an absolute winner, a superb addition to the composer’s discography of more than 100 recordings.…

Outstanding Turn of the Screw from Garsington

Set within acres of verdant parkland and a lake, Garsington’s glass-sided auditorium surely makes the perfect location for Britten’s chamber opera, especially when dusk approaches on the Wormsley Estate. As…

Così fan tutte at the Royal Opera House

First unveiled in 2016, this second revival of Jan Philipp Gloger’s Così fan tutte remains self-consciously preoccupied with the question, ‘What is theatre?’  While his interview in the souvenir programme…

Handsome performances in Verdi’s Otello from Grange Park Opera

Shadows, suspicion and saintliness each find a tragic outlet in Grange Park Opera’s Otello – Verdi’s late masterpiece, prompted by his publisher and premiered in 1887 following a period of…

Thrilling Macbeth from the Grange Festival

Verdi’s operatic makeover of Shakespeare’s Scottish play was given a highly charged staging at the Grange Festival when I caught up with it on its second night.  From the Preludio’s…