Verdi’s Macbeth opens Lyric Opera of Chicago 2021–22 Season

With a new production by Sir David McVicar of Giueppe Verdi’s Macbeth Lyric Opera of Chicago has opened its new season and recommenced live performances on stage with audience. In…

Mid Wales Opera tour Puccini’s dark-hued Il tabarro

Mid Wales Opera is back!  Celebrating its 30th anniversary, this enterprising touring company launched its autumn season with Puccini’s one act tragedy Il tabarro.  It was given at Brecon’s Theatr…

Handelian magic from English Touring Opera at the Hackney Empire

‘A production in which there is more invention, variety, and good composition, than in any one of the musical dramas of Handel which I have yet carefully and critically examined.’…

Christian Gerharer and friends at Wigmore Hall

This recital looked somewhat ‘epic’ on the page and fulfilled its promise in performance, presenting three major chamber works, each encompassing expressive heights, and nadirs, and unified by the nocturnal…

Mattila and Grigorian excel in Claus Guth’s new production of Jenůfa at Covent Garden

When Gabriela Preissová’s play, Její pastorkyňa (Her Stepdaughter), was produced for the first time, on 9th November 1890 at the National Theatre in Prague, it provoked a fierce debate between the advocates…

Edward Gardner conducts a magnificent The Midsummer Marriage to open his first season at the LPO

The last time I heard Michael Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage was when I reviewed Graham Vick’s 1996 Covent Garden production.  Visually spectacular – that vast Stockhausen-like globe, split open temple…

Gluck’s Paris and Helen: Bampton Classical Opera at St John’s Smith Square

Greek heroes are not unaccustomed to squaring up to the whims of gods and fortune, but in bringing Christoph Willibald Gluck’s account of the elopement of Paris, son of King…

Profound questions from Ondřej Adámek and the LSO, at the Barbican

An obvious risk, and frustration, in asking infinitely profound questions is that one knows they cannot be answered.  The title of Ondřej Adámek’s orchestral song-cycle, Where Are You?, poses one such…

Oliver Mears’ Rigoletto at Covent Garden: a superb drama of darkness and light

It was an absolute delight to be back at the Royal Opera House for the opening night of the 2021-22 season, but also somewhat disorientating.  A full auditorium; convivial operagoers…

A wonderful recital of French song from Sabine Devieilhe and Alexandre Tharaud at Wigmore Hall

When I heard the French soprano Sabine Devieilhe make her solo debut at Wigmore Hall in May 2018, the only quibble I had with her charming programme, Les Salons de…