Tannhäuser at the Royal Opera House

‘R. slept well and has decided to have a massage only once a day,’ writes Cosima Wagner in one of her last diary entries, from Venice, only twenty days before…

Peter Grimes in Paris

That the Four Sea Interludes and the Passacaglia from Peter Grimes have become orchestral showpieces attests to the opera’s musical might, manifest just now at the Palais Garnier by British…

Tristan et Isolde in Paris

A few weeks ago it was one act per night in Los Angeles, in Paris just now it is all three acts at once, as it had been back in…

McVicar’s The Magic Flute returns to the Royal Opera House

David McVicar’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is well on its way to its 20th anniversary (the production debuted in 2003). The current revival (seen 19 December 2022) is…

Lohengrin at Bayerische Staatsoper

Pity the modern European stage director confronted with Lohengrin. The music is famously seductive, but the plot is abhorrent. What is one to make of a saint who arrives on…

It’s a Wonderful Life at English National Opera

For want of a mislaid £8000, both George Bailey’s company and his own reputation are on the brink of ruin, and he himself stands on a literal precipice, ready to…

The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Academy of Music

Blessed by varied approaches to its staging and performance, The Rake’s Progress seems to remain eternally itself (whatever that might mean, as a sometime Prince of Wales might have put…

Orpheus in the Underworld at the Royal College of Music

Identifying the influences which inform her new production of Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld at the Royal College of Music, director Louise Bakker cites ‘everything from Brideshead, Blackadder and…

The Rape of Lucretia at the Royal Opera House

This new Rape of Lucretia, seen first at Snape, now in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre, fittingly features singers from two young artists’ programmes: Britten Pears and Jette…

Elektra at Washington National Opera

Of standard repertoire operas, Richard Strauss’s Elektra may be the toughest to perform. It requires a gargantuan orchestra of extreme virtuosity, a conductor who can mold 100 minutes of increasing…