An irreverent but stylishly sung Imeneo at the Royal Academy of Music

Imeneo, Handel’s penultimate opera, has a somewhat chaotic history.  It was the only one of Handel’s forty or so operas to be presented as an ‘operetta’ – perhaps to make…

Mark Padmore and Mitsuko Uchida bring darkness and dreams to Wigmore Hall

Mark Padmore continued his season-residency at Wigmore Hall with a programme of lieder by Beethoven and Schubert.  In the latter’s ‘Ihr Bild’, one of the Heine settings in Schwanengesang, the…

Laurence Equilbey and the Insula orchestra bring a very ‘human’ Fidelio to the Barbican Hall

Sometimes, less really is more.  Such was confirmed by this powerful and affecting concert performance at the Barbican Hall of Beethoven’s lone opera, Fidelio, by Laurence Equilbey’s Paris-based Insula orchestra…

Zipangu and Lonely Child: Two Claude Vivier masterpieces in magnificent performances by the London Sinfonietta

The Quebquois-born composer Claude Vivier – still largely neglected, despite many of his works having an almost fearless intensity entirely relevant for today – was the subject of a rare…

A glimpse of eternity: the LPO performs Birtwistle and Mahler

For many, the greatest English composer since Purcell and the greatest English composer of opera tout court, Harrison Birtwistle died little more than a fortnight before this concert. Even for…

More virtuosic feats from Tenebrae at Wigmore Hall

Tenebrae is one of the UK’s national treasures and like a perfectly manicured county cricket pitch barely a blade of grass is out of place.  Everything in this Wigmore Hall…

Damiano Michieletto’s Don Pasquale returns to the Royal Opera House

In one sense, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale hinges on a slap.  In a fit of pique, Norina lashes out at the eponymous wealthy, stubborn old man whom she’s duped, when he…

Schwanengesang and other lieder: Ian Bostridge and Imogen Cooper at Leeds Lieder 2022

The thirteen songs, setting poems by Rellstab and Heine, that Schubert’s publisher Tobias Haslinger grouped together, supplemented with an additional setting of Johann Seidl and published as Schwanengesang in 1829,…

The Revolution Smells of Jasmine: Wallis Giunta, Sean Shibe and Adam Walker at Leeds Lieder

The Irish-Canadian mezzo-soprano, Wallis Giunta, described her late-night programme with guitarist Sean Shibe and flautist Adam Walker as ‘the sound track of revolution … an homage to protest music in…

Song Illuminated: Samling Institute Showcase at Leeds Lieder 2022

English song of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries was the focus of this lunchtime recital by two Samling Artists, mezzo-soprano Shakira Tsindos and baritone Dominic Sedgwick, on the opening day…