Mortality and meaning: Welsh National Opera’s superb Makropulos Case at the Birmingham Hippodrome

Elina Makropulos, the ‘heroine’ of Leoš Janáček’s 1925 opera The Makropulos Case (Věc Makropulos), has been alive for 337 years, her longevity prolonged by an experimental potion given to her…

To La Scala Picturehouse, for an intriguing triple bill at Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Nino Rota’s one-act radio opera, Il due timidi, was composed for Radio Audizioni Italiane and first broadcast in November 1950.  Its first London performance took place at the Scala Theatre…

Ernani at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Giuseppe Verdi’s early masterpiece Ernani returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago in a production featuring several outstanding singers. The role of Ernani is sung by Russell Thomas, the part of…

The Rape of Lucretia at Snape Maltings

The myth of Lucretia, first told by Livy, tells of the rape of Collatinus’s eponymous wife by his fellow soldier, Tarquinius, the son of the Etruscan king who rules over…

Ghosts, guilt and giggles: two contrasting Pocket Operas at Wexford Festival Opera

The opening weekend of Wexford Festival Opera 2022 offered not just three operas on the main stage of the National Opera House, but also a lunchtime recital, pop-up events around…

Félicien David’s Lalla-Roukh at Wexford Festival Opera: a forgotten gem

On 23rd September 1876, the ‘Occasional Notes’ column in The Musical World reported that after a performance of the opera Lalla-Roukh by Félicien David (1810-76), one of the musicians made…

Operatic Shock Treatment: Salomé in Paris

A new production of Richard Strauss’s Salomé is playing at Paris’s Opera Bastille. Stage Director Lydia Steier, an American working mostly in Germany, has designed it to shock audiences. In…

Tristan und Isolde at Seattle

Seattle Opera has long championed the operas of Richard Wagner. Legendary impresarios Glynn Ross and Speight Jenkins – the latter, at 85, still cutting a dapper figure in the audience…

Halévy’s La tempesta opens the 71st Wexford Festival Opera

“Be not afeard,” Caliban reassures the comic conspirators, Stephano and Trinculo, “This isle is full of noises,/ Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.”  Indeed, the whole…

Dialogues des Carmelites in San Francisco

Poulenc’s masterpiece (1957), Camus’ La Chute (The Fall) Nobel Prize for Literature (1957), Bernstein’s West Side Story (1957), Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street (1954). San Francisco Opera…