Leeds Lieder Festival: Benjamin Britten’s Five Canticles

Benjamin Britten’s five Canticles span his compositional career, from 1947 to 1974, and reflect the eclectic musical, poetic and cultural influences and idioms which he integrated into an independent expressive…

Natalya Romaniw and Iain Burnside: a wonderful lunchtime recital at Leeds Lieder 2021

Natalya Romaniw’s compelling but frustratingly foreshortened debut as Cio-Cio San at English National Opera in February 2020 was one of the last live performances I heard before the theatres of…

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Ivan the Terrible at Grange Park Opera

Rimsky-Korsakov wrote 15 operas yet few have attained any sort of currency outside of Russia. As part of its Spaced Season 2021, Grange Park Opera presented Rimsky-Korsakov’s Ivan the Terrible…

An excellent Figaro at Opera Holland Park

What a welcome return to Holland Park this proved to be. Glorious weather helped, of course—quite a change from an earlier visit to Glyndebourne with altogether necessary overcoat and umbrella—but…

Dido’s Ghost: music and myth, remembered and relived

If you’re a fan of postmodern magic realistic fiction – think Salman Rushdie, Italo Calvino, Gabriel García Márquez et al – then you’ll love Errollyn Wallen new opera Dido’s Ghost,…

Covid’s Metamorphoses: an anniversary Song Gala at Wigmore Hall leads the way to hope and renewal

A programme entitled Covid’s Metamorphoses might not seem a very auspicious way to celebrate a 120th anniversary, but, curated by pianist Graham Johnson, this special Song Gala placed themes of…

Handel in Rome: Ensemble Marsyas at Wigmore Hall

All roads lead to Rome.  And, that’s where George Frideric Handel, not yet 22 years of age, arrived at the end of 1706.  Eager to perfect his skills in composition…

Met Stars Live in Concert: Three Divas

From Four Wagnerians to Three Divas; from the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden to the 250-year-old theatre of Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles.  And, for Christine Goerke, from the opera stage…

Kát’a Kabanová at Glyndebourne: a caged bird sings

“I’d go out into the garden early in the morning, just as the sun was rising, I’d fall to my knees and pray and weep, and I wouldn’t know what…

A new La clemenza di Tito from Richard Jones at the ROH

Over fifteen months since I had last set foot in an opera house—for Carmen at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden—it felt extraordinary to be back. All else would be secondary.…