Il Viaggio, Dante in Aix

A world premiere, the tenth opera of 67 year old, prolific French composer Pascal Dusapin in a production that will move on to Paris, Saarbrücken and Luxembourg. In the staging…

Hasse’s Antonio e Cleopatra at the Buxton International Festival

Like Handel before him, Johann Hasse (some 14 years Handel’s junior) left his native Germany to get some Italianate polish.  His first major work was the serenata Antonio e Cleopatra,…

La donna del lago at the Buxton International Festival

Rossini’s operas for Naples, where he was music director of the Royal theatres from 1815 to 1821 represent an important strand in the development of his opera.  There he had…

“Resurrection” in Aix

Gustav Mahler himself once offered a program guide to his magnificent symphonic resurrection, later renounced. Just now at the Aix Festival stage director Romeo Castellucci has tried again, and maybe…

Chiaroscuro expressionism: Keith Warner’s Otello is revived at the Royal Opera House

Keith Warner’s Otello is a crucible of darkness and light.  The minimalism of Warner’s conception and design seemed even more striking to me during the opening night of this second…

Idomeneo at the Aix Festival

Idomeneo, said to be one of the great operas of all times in a magnificent production at Pierre Audi’s Aix Festival. Though the Mozart opera seria itself had been filtered…

Ponchielli’s La Gioconda at Grange Park Opera

La Gioconda (1876) is a rare visitor to opera stages in the UK and this Grange Park Opera production, originally scheduled for the 2020 season, offers a welcome opportunity to…

Salome at the Aix Festival

A ponderous reading of the Strauss score, a meticulous, methodical staging of the Oscar Wilde  drama. A radiant Salome, an unleashed Herod. Unsettling, sentient scenography. Unexpected magnificence. High, very high…

Outstanding Turn of the Screw from Garsington

Set within acres of verdant parkland and a lake, Garsington’s glass-sided auditorium surely makes the perfect location for Britten’s chamber opera, especially when dusk approaches on the Wormsley Estate. As…

Sumptuous artifice and sweet melancholy: Alcina at Glyndebourne

Lucidity is not a common characteristic of the Baroque opera libretto, and the anonymous text of Handel’s Alcina – drawn from an episode in Ariosto’s Orlando furioso – twists and…