Nardus Williams’ debut solo recital at Wigmore Hall

A solo debut recital at Wigmore Hall is a big occasion, and soprano Nardus Williams can be forgiven for looking a little nervous as she ventured onto the platform, with…

Le nozze di Figaro at the Aix Festival

Mozart meets hysteria in this new staging of his masterpiece by Dutch metteur en scène Lotte de Beer, to the quick and just baton of conductor Thomas Hengelbrock and his Balthaser…

Russian pessimism, potently performed by countertenor Hamish McLaren

There was no musical equivalent in Russia of the outpouring of Romantic lieder which occurred in Western Europe, as, inspired by the greatest poets of the day, song after song…

The Cunning Little Vixen at Opera Holland Park

Our present condition lends us, perhaps more than ever, to think of what has led us here, how things really are now, and where the world will take us next.…

Innocence at the Aix Festival

This was the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s new opera that will come soon to Helsinki, Amsterdam, London, New New York and San Francisco, its co-commissioners. Finland born composer Saariaho…

El Nour: impressive debut CD by Fatma Said

There cannot be many sopranos whose debut CD takes the listener on a cultural tour around the Mediterranean.  And what a fascinating exploration this is by a rising star who…

‘All shall be well’: ORA Singers and Zeb Soanes reassure and inspire

The optimistic words of Julian of Norwich (1342-c.1417) might seem out of place in the modern world.  Yet, Mother Julian, as the English anchorite and mystic came to be known,…

The Sixteen release their fourth volume of Purcell’s Welcome Songs for King Charles II

Harry Christophers and The Sixteen have now reached volume 4 in their ongoing exploration of Henry Purcell’s Welcome Songs for Charles II.  Like the previous discs in the series, evolving…

A fresh look at Winter Words as ‘Summer at Snape’ continues

It may not have been possible for Snape Maltings to host the Aldeburgh Festival this year or last, but the Maltings have not been silent and the Summer at Snape…

Tristan und Isolde at the Aix Festival

Soprano Nina Stemme, tenor Stuart Skelton, bass Franz-Josef Selig and conductor Simon Rattle create a Tristan of transcendent music in a revelatory staging by Simon Stone. The London Symphony Orchestra…