Natalya Romaniw and Iain Burnside: a wonderful lunchtime recital at Leeds Lieder 2021

Natalya Romaniw’s compelling but frustratingly foreshortened debut as Cio-Cio San at English National Opera in February 2020 was one of the last live performances I heard before the theatres of…

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Ivan the Terrible at Grange Park Opera

Rimsky-Korsakov wrote 15 operas yet few have attained any sort of currency outside of Russia. As part of its Spaced Season 2021, Grange Park Opera presented Rimsky-Korsakov’s Ivan the Terrible…

An excellent Figaro at Opera Holland Park

What a welcome return to Holland Park this proved to be. Glorious weather helped, of course—quite a change from an earlier visit to Glyndebourne with altogether necessary overcoat and umbrella—but…

Dido’s Ghost: music and myth, remembered and relived

If you’re a fan of postmodern magic realistic fiction – think Salman Rushdie, Italo Calvino, Gabriel García Márquez et al – then you’ll love Errollyn Wallen new opera Dido’s Ghost,…

Lucile Richardot – a class act in Berio To Sing

This recent disc of Luciano Berio’s vocal music showcases the talents of the French mezzo-soprano Lucile Richardot and the vocal and instrumental ensemble Le Cris de Paris.  It begins with…

The music of celebrated American organist/choirmaster Gerre Hancock

This recent recording from New York’s Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys is an affectionate tribute to the work of Dr. Gerre Hancock (1934-2012).  The Texas-born musician was a…

Covid’s Metamorphoses: an anniversary Song Gala at Wigmore Hall leads the way to hope and renewal

A programme entitled Covid’s Metamorphoses might not seem a very auspicious way to celebrate a 120th anniversary, but, curated by pianist Graham Johnson, this special Song Gala placed themes of…

Handel in Rome: Ensemble Marsyas at Wigmore Hall

All roads lead to Rome.  And, that’s where George Frideric Handel, not yet 22 years of age, arrived at the end of 1706.  Eager to perfect his skills in composition…

Rossini’s Maometto II, in its Full Original Naples Version, Comes to Life Thanks to Flexible Young Singers at the “Rossini in Wildbad” Festival

I have written with enthusiasm about numerous recordings from the Rossini festival that is held each summer – well, except 2020 – in Wildbad (in Germany’s Black Forest region). One…

Met Stars Live in Concert: Three Divas

From Four Wagnerians to Three Divas; from the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden to the 250-year-old theatre of Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles.  And, for Christine Goerke, from the opera stage…