Fidelio in San Francisco

A superb cast, a fine production, inspired conducting, classy orchestra and a classy chorus, a wired audience — it was Fidelio last night at the War Memorial Opera House. To…

everything grows extravagantly: an impressive new song-cycle by Cheryl Frances-Hoad at the Oxford Lieder Festival

The Oxford Lieder Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year; the Oxford Botanic Garden marks its 400th birthday.  Cheryl Frances-Hoad, in her third and final year as Oxford Lieder’s…

‘Songs of America’ at the Oxford Lieder Festival

Better—than Music!  For I—who heard it—I was used—to the Birds—before—This—was different—’Twas Translation—Of all tunes I knew—and more— […] Let me not spill—its smallest cadence—Humming—for promise—when alone—Humming—until my faint Rehearsal—Drop into…

Philip Glass’s Satyagraha still captivates at English National Opera

After an eighteen-month absence, at least at the Coliseum, English National Opera is back on home turf and marking its return to live performance with a reboot of Philip Glass’s…

Arias for Ballino: Opera Settecento at the London Handel Festival

Annibale Pio Fabri, known as ‘Ballino’, is not the best-known name amongst the singers who worked for Handel, yet on hearing him for the first time in 1729, Mrs Pendarves…

Ian Bostridge and Imogen Cooper travel ‘Over Silent Lands’ at the Oxford Lieder Festival

From Nordic songs to Nature’s spirit: after a day which focused on the music of Wilhelm Stenhammar and his Scandinavian compatriots, the fourth day of the Oxford Lieder Festival turned…

Scandinavian Landscapes at the Oxford Lieder Festival

The third day of this year’s Oxford Lieder Festival, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary, focused on Scandinavian song, in particular the music of Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871–1927).  This self-taught Swedish…

The English Concert perform Samson at the London Handel Festival

Handel’s dramatic talents as a composer ran to the expansive, in a way that Handel the promoter found tricky so that many of his works were trimmed and edited for…

Christina Gansch and Malcolm Martineau in Zemlinsky, Berg, and Mahler at Wigmore Hall

Song in particular and vocal music more generally were of great importance to Zemlinsky, Berg, and Mahler. In Zemlinsky’s case, more than half of his songs were composed in a…

La Voix Humaine by Opera Philadelphia

Francis Poulenc’s opera La Voix Humaine portrays a woman speaking on the phone for 45 minutes to a lover who is leaving her. After various technical and emotional travails, she…