The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Academy of Music

Blessed by varied approaches to its staging and performance, The Rake’s Progress seems to remain eternally itself (whatever that might mean, as a sometime Prince of Wales might have put…

The Rape of Lucretia at the Royal Opera House

This new Rape of Lucretia, seen first at Snape, now in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre, fittingly features singers from two young artists’ programmes: Britten Pears and Jette…

Chineke! Voices and Orchestra at the Proms

Very much a concert of two (unequal) halves, I am afraid.  The first Proms performance of George Walker’s 1995 Lilacs promised and delivered much.  However, the following performance of Beethoven’s…

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…