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…

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…

Glyndebourne’s Così fan tutte provides welcome reassurance and orderliness

When I last saw Nicholas Hytner’s 2006 Glyndebourne production of Così fan tutte – at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury during the 2017 autumn tour, at the time reportedly the…

Musically, a first-rate Midsummer Night’s Dream from The Grange Festival

Thank goodness for modern technology and sophisticated recording techniques, without which this production of Pears’s and Britten’s cherry-picked edit of Shakespeare’s play might have been scuppered.  A month before curtain-up…

Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the Grange Festival

Stephen Lawless’ production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut opened at the Grange Festival on 26 June 2021, the third of this year’s three opera productions all originally planned for 2020. Elin Pritchard was…

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Ivan the Terrible at Grange Park Opera

Rimsky-Korsakov wrote 15 operas yet few have attained any sort of currency outside of Russia. As part of its Spaced Season 2021, Grange Park Opera presented Rimsky-Korsakov’s Ivan the Terrible…

An excellent Figaro at Opera Holland Park

What a welcome return to Holland Park this proved to be. Glorious weather helped, of course—quite a change from an earlier visit to Glyndebourne with altogether necessary overcoat and umbrella—but…