Prom 17: London premiere of Jennifer Walshe’s The Site of an Investigation

I am sure one could find something these two works had in common if one tried; one always can. The question is whether it would be anything more than a…

Wolf’s Mörike-Lieder: Anna Prohaska and Christian Gerhaher at Wigmore Hall

A decidedly superior Liederabend, in terms of verse, musical setting, and performance. Hugo Wolf remains a connoisseur’s composer: slightly perplexing, perhaps, but then there is no playing to the gallery,…

The Excursions of Mr Brouček at Grange Park Opera

Hats off to Grange Park Opera for unquestionably the best of the four ‘country house’ operas I have seen so far this season. First, and perhaps most important, with respect…

Georges Bizet’s Carmen at Opera Holland Park

Carmen was the last opera I saw before the end of the world.  Not necessarily what I would have chosen; for many of my friends it was Fidelio, whose absence…

A glimpse of eternity: the LPO performs Birtwistle and Mahler

For many, the greatest English composer since Purcell and the greatest English composer of opera tout court, Harrison Birtwistle died little more than a fortnight before this concert. Even for…

Lohengrin at the Royal Opera House

Considering the first night of David Alden’s (then) new production of Lohengrin in 2018, I found ‘a conceptual weakness at … [its] heart. I suspect it can be remedied: if…

The Royal Academy of Music celebrates 200 years with a triple bill and a new opera

Commissioning a new opera for its 200th anniversary, and then staging and performing it with such excellence, are laudable things for the Royal Academy of Music to have done.  If…

The Cunning Little Vixen at English National Opera

Failure to love the operas—more generally, the music—of Janáček would be a strange, soulless thing indeed. It seems more to be opera companies, strange, incomprehensible entities, than opera-goers, be they…

La bohème returns to ENO

This was, I think, the fourth time I have seen Jonathan Miller’s production of La bohème. It strikes me, in this revival directed by Crispin Lord, to have a good…

‘Hymns to the Virgin’: The Tallis Scholars at St John’s Smith Square

St John’s Smith Square’s 36th Christmas Festival has gone ahead as planned. That in itself is something to grant seasonal cheer, especially at what again is proving a trying time…