An Enchanting, Must-See Magic Flute from ENO

Entertainment does not come much more laugh-out-loud than English National Opera’s current run of The Magic Flute, now in its third revival, and notwithstanding recent machinations over the company’s future.…

Benjamin Britten’s Canticles at the Temple Church

This first vocal recital of the year at the Temple Church featured all five of Britten’s Canticles, works spanning nearly three decades and closely connected to the operas from the…

Tosca returns to the Royal Opera House

For a successful theatre production to work well, Puccini once asserted, there were three fixed laws. He claimed these should be a necessity ‘to interest, to surprise, to move’. This…

The Handmaid’s Tale returns to English National Opera

Nearly upended by a proposed strike from ENO musicians, which was averted for the opening night, the revival of this production of Poul Ruders’ The Handmaid’s Tale, first unveiled in…

Powerful performances from The English Concert at the Wigmore Hall

Works written for performance in Hanover, Rome and London featured in this all-Handel programme given by the English Concert.  The evening’s second half was taken up by Dixit Dominus, dating…

Delius: A Mass of Life

‘The status attained by Frederick Delius as a composer ensures for every new work from his pen the respectful attention of all classes of musicians.  In the case of a…

Lawrence Foster conducts Kodály and Bartók on Pentatone

In a tribute essay to Kodály in the 1965 Aldeburgh Festival programme Benjamin Britten suggested, ‘There can be no composer of our century who has done more for the musical…

An imaginative disc of French sacred song from Ad Fontes

This recent compilation for solo voice, harp and organ is a delightful tour d’horizon of songs referencing the Virgin Mary, with works written by those associated with the French organist-composer…

Inspirational Christmas Oratorio from Masaaki Suzuki and the Choir and Orchestra of the OAE

Whether or not J.S. Bach’s seasonal work is an oratorio in the strict sense of the word is questionable, and for the purposes of a review, it is perhaps immaterial.…

Welsh National Opera: Ainadamar at the Mayflower, Southampton

Spain is ‘a country of death, a country open to death’ once declared the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca.  It’s an assertion that provides a foretaste of Ainadamar, Osvaldo…