The Unravelling Fantasia of Miss H: a powerful operatic tribute to Mary Frances Heaton

She stood up one Sunday in St George’s church, the parish church of Doncaster, and interrupted the sermon, accusing the preacher of being “a whited sepulchre, a thief, a villain,…

The Trocs go to the opera? Vinci’s Alessandro nell’Indie with five countertenors at Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival

This was a brilliantly theatrical and superbly sung recreation of an opera reflecting the work’s premiere by an all-male cast. Max Emanuel Cencic’s Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival takes place in…

Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at the Proms

John Eliot Gardiner surely named his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique with an intent that was thrillingly in evidence during this performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, the instrumentalists being joined by…

Chineke! Voices and Orchestra at the Proms

Very much a concert of two (unequal) halves, I am afraid.  The first Proms performance of George Walker’s 1995 Lilacs promised and delivered much.  However, the following performance of Beethoven’s…

A Handelian capriccio from Bampton Classical Opera at the Barn at Old Walland

Georg Frideric Handel and Richard Strauss may make unlikely bedfellows, but for this inaugural performance at the Barn at Old Walland, in Wadhurst, Sussex, Bampton Classical Opera wittily presented Handel’s…

Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux Enfers charms at the Vache Baroque Festival

The myth of Orpheus and Euridice is dramatically and symbolically tailor-made for opera, so it’s no wonderthat so many composers have been inspired by Ovid’s tale, with its fatal snakebite,…

A stirring The Dream of Gerontius from Edward Gardner and the LPO at the Proms

The final weeks of this Proms festival are serving up some terrific big choral works and, sitting in the stalls before this performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, how wonderful…

Bath Camerata on excellent form at Leominster Priory

Now in its fortieth year, the Presteigne Festival once again brought an eclectic mix of cultural events (music, film, art and poetry) to this unassuming Welsh border town.  Under the…

Stateliness and sincerity from John Butt and the OAE: Bach’s Mass in B Minor at the Proms

Why Bach wrote the B minor Mass is a puzzle that keeps musicologists occupied.  How to perform it today is a probably unresolvable question for practitioners.  The Mass began life…

Prom 49: An overwhelming ‘Resurrection’ Symphony from Sir Simon Rattle

There can be no better venue in London for a performance of Mahler’s ’Resurrection’ Symphony than the Royal Albert Hall.  Those fortunate enough to acquire tickets for this sell-out concert…