A sensational Salomé from Lise Davidsen at Opéra Bastille

Over a century after its 1905 Dresden premiere, Richard Strauss’s Salomé still has the capacity to disturb. Given that audiences have pretty much seen everything on the operatic stage, should…

Despite some unevenness, vivid musical and dramatic interpretations remain intact for Vivaldi’s lively L’Olimpiade

For those of us with little or no interest in sport, an Olympics year does at least offer the opportunity for otherwise rarely seen operatic settings of Metastasio’s libretto L’Olimpiade, whose action…

Asmik Grigorian in Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera

Madama Butterfly is firmly ensconced among the top-ten “most performed” operas worldwide and the Met’s current production is nearly two decades old. Yet, over the past few weeks, the Met…

Teddy bears and flower arrangements: Larmes de Couteau and Full Moon in March at ROH’s Linbury Theatre

An evening of bracing 20th-century rules-out-the-window music-drama is always a good thing now and again, and the current production of a double bill – Bohuslav Martinů’s Larmes de Couteau and…

Jonas Kaufmann in Aida at the Bayerische Staatsoper

Aida, an opera that requires at least five fine Verdi voices, has fallen on hard times. Still, the cast announced for last Saturday’s performance at the Bayerische Staatsoper, headed by…

A sensational Nadine Sierra in Lucia di Lammermoor at the ROH

The periodic frustration one might feel with Katie Mitchell’s split stage concept for Donizetti’s romantic tragedy is a small price to pay for some stupendous singing. First unveiled in 2016,…

Florencia en el Amazonas in San Jose

Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas is having a moment. And just now at Silicon Valley’s Opera San Jose it was a quite wonderful moment — well cast, smart production…

“Birds and Balls” in San Francisco

Two recent one-acts cleverly combined by stage director Brian Staufenbiel into one grand, operatic sporting event. San Francisco’s alternative opera company, Opera Parallele pulled off a slam dunk show. It…

Some outstanding singing at the Royal Opera’s new Carmen

For any new staging of a work as familiar as Carmen there is an imperative to root out fresh perspectives, to pursue a previously unexplored angle; effectively to reinvent the…

A Mesmerising Death in Venice from Welsh National Opera

Like the protagonist in Thomas Mann’s eponymous novella, Benjamin Britten’s failing health made him keenly aware of his own mortality as he embarked upon one of the most challenging projects…