Rusalka at the Teatro Real in Madrid

For all the popularity of what might be termed its hit number, Dvořák’s opera Rusalka has a somewhat odd history in the UK.  It had to wait until 1959 before…

Heaven full of Stars: Vasari Singers celebrate 40 years of music-making

With this 40th-anniversary disc celebrating four decades since its formation by the still-current director Jeremy Backhouse, Vasari Singers is now officially middle-aged. But with this twenty-eighth CD, there’s no sign…

La Bohème at a Drive-in Movie Theater

Well, maybe it wasn’t an opera house, but it was somewhere to go for opera beyond your living room. It was festive indeed to join a few hundred diehard aficionados…

Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge / Stephen Layton Stephen Layton uncovers a rich seam of choral jewels in this collection of sacred music by Finnish choral composer and translator…

The Seven Deadly Sins: Opera North at Leeds Playhouse

Kurt Weill’s ballet chanté, Die sieben Todsünden (The Seven Deadly Sins), is a work of exile in troubled times, Weill and Brecht wrote it in 1933 in Paris shortly after…

Ariodante in concert’ at the Royal Opera House

Ariodante is surely one of Handel’s most ‘human’ dramas.  It’s not just that the libretto –anonymously adapted from Antonio Salvi’s Ginevra, principessa di Scozia, after Ariosto’s Orlando furioso – involves…

Liszt/Thalberg Opera Transcriptions & Fantasies: Marc-André Hamelin

‘Thalberg is the first pianist in the world – Liszt is unique.’  So declared, somewhat ambiguously, the impressively named Princess Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso in her Parisian salon after hearing…

Nicky Spence and Julius Drake bring Gypsy magic and mystery to Wigmore Hall

‘You noticed a nice passage in my Diary of One Who Disappeared?  You know, it would be like under that fir tree of mine in my forest.  And there’s another…

King’s College Cambridge: Bruckner – Mass No.2 in E minor/Motets

While religious convictions are not necessarily a prerequisite for composers of sacred music (the agnosticism of Vaughan Williams was no barrier to his Mass in G minor nor Fauré’s atheism…

Blue Electric at the Playground Theatre

“But, why?” “Because I said so …” The recurring refrain of the heated conversations between Maya – a rebellious teenager struggling through the angst of adolescence – and her domineering…