Magic and Music: Wexford Festival Opera 2022 – in conversation with Rosetta Cucchi

Magicians and monsters, gods and ghosts, witches and the wonderous: the mysterious and the marvellous are woven into the fabric of opera, the music itself expressing the enigmatic and ineffable…

Friendship in Song: An Intimate Art – the 21st Oxford Lieder Festival

Music is a profound means of forming conversations, connections and communities.  From the salon to the soirée, artists and friends have gathered to share music and ideas, politics and passions. …

Kaleidoscope: in conversation with Fatma Said

kaleidoscope (OED): ‘an optical instrument containing pieces of coloured glass which may be rotated into constantly altering, brightly coloured, symmetrical figures and reflections; a constantly changing group of bright colours…

The Vache Baroque Festival 2022: in conversation with co-founder Betty Makharinsky

The myth of Orpheus and the story of opera are inextricable.  Gifted the first musical instrument, the lyre, by his father, Apollo, Orpheus and his art represent man’s need to…

A premiere recording of Handel’s pasticcio, Caio Fabbricio, by London Early Opera

1733 was not a good year for George Frideric Handel.  His business affairs were in a shaky state, the collapse of the Royal Academy in 1728 having forced him, in…

Staging Handel’s Tamerlano: a conversation with Dionysios Kyropoulos

Tamerlane (1336-1405): Mongol conqueror, masterful military leader and tactician, murderous tyrant.  The son of a nomadic shepherd Taraqai – a minor nobleman from the Barlas tribe – Tamerlane (also known…

Mirages: Roderick Williams and Roger Vignoles explore the ‘art’ of French song

The repertory of French mélodie must comprise many thousands of songs.  The genre, which developed in the early 1800s and reached full maturity in the second half of the century, was…

Juliana: a ‘naturalistic tragedy’ for our times

In the Preface to his 1888 play, Miss Julie, August Strindberg argued for a new, less artificial form of dialogue – associative, flowing naturally, as in life: ‘I have avoided…

Music opens the doors of memory: new opera company, Theatre of Sound, launches with a radical retelling of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle

Forbidden chambers, corpses dangling from wall-hooks, pools of clotted blood, stigmata of guilt: ‘Bluebeard’, which first appeared in literary form in Charles Perrault’s seventeenth-century collection, Tales of Mother Goose, is…

Ephemera & Inventions: composer Tom Coult discusses two Oxford Lieder Festival premieres

‘Suppose you were to be roused from your sleep with the cry of “Fire!” and were informed that the house in which you had been sleeping was in flames, how…