It’s a Wonderful Life at English National Opera

For want of a mislaid £8000, both George Bailey’s company and his own reputation are on the brink of ruin, and he himself stands on a literal precipice, ready to…

The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Academy of Music

Blessed by varied approaches to its staging and performance, The Rake’s Progress seems to remain eternally itself (whatever that might mean, as a sometime Prince of Wales might have put…

Orpheus in the Underworld at the Royal College of Music

Identifying the influences which inform her new production of Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld at the Royal College of Music, director Louise Bakker cites ‘everything from Brideshead, Blackadder and…

The Rape of Lucretia at the Royal Opera House

This new Rape of Lucretia, seen first at Snape, now in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre, fittingly features singers from two young artists’ programmes: Britten Pears and Jette…

Elektra at Washington National Opera

Of standard repertoire operas, Richard Strauss’s Elektra may be the toughest to perform. It requires a gargantuan orchestra of extreme virtuosity, a conductor who can mold 100 minutes of increasing…

La traviata in San Francisco

Wondrous things do still happen at San Francisco Opera. Like the La traviata last night where conductor Eun Sun Kim built a perfect synergy with soprano Pretty Yende and tenor…

Orfeo ed Euridice in San Francisco

One of opera’s most awesome scores came, finally, to the the War Memorial Opera House stage, arriving with flying colors in stage director Matthew Ozawa’s fine new, bigtop-like production. An…

Glyndebourne travels to the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Desire, disease and death are inseparable in Puccini’s La bohème.  As Rodolfo says to Marcello in Act 3, when he explains why he is leaving Mimì, despite his love for…

Richard Jones brings a wry twist to Alcina’s magic powers at the Royal Opera House

‘The Only Path’.  So reads the insignia emblazoned on the drop curtain, as the overture to Alcina strikes up in the Royal Opera House pit at the start of Richard…

WNO’s La bohème at the Birmingham Hippodrome

Annabel Arden’s production of La bohème is ten years old now, but somehow I’ve contrived not to encounter it during my visits to the Birmingham Hippodrome during the last decade. …