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…

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…

‘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,…

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…

Falstaff at the Aix Festival

It was inevitable. If stage director Barrie Kosky famously ravaged Wagner’s only comedy at Bayreuth, then he must do the same to Verdi’s only comedy. It happened just now in…

Dramatic darkness and vocal delights as Kasper Holten’s Don Giovanni returns to the Royal Opera House

So, after a Così that was wonderfully serene but somewhat serioso, now a Don Giovanni that impresses vocally but seems to have lost some of its giocoso.  Kasper Holten’s production…

VOCES8 open Live for London Summer with a sprinkle of stardust

VOCES8’s new Live from London summer festival opened in ‘sparkling’ fashion with a characteristically mixed repertoire programme, entitled Stardust.  Much was reassuringly familiar, and very welcome: the perfect blending and…