The Excursions of Mr Brouček at Grange Park Opera

Hats off to Grange Park Opera for unquestionably the best of the four ‘country house’ operas I have seen so far this season. First, and perhaps most important, with respect…

A Wounded Butterfly at Covent Garden

Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, beautiful though it is, presents issues for contemporary values; hence the current rethink of the Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier production.  The Royal Opera brought in Japanese…

Thrilling Macbeth from the Grange Festival

Verdi’s operatic makeover of Shakespeare’s Scottish play was given a highly charged staging at the Grange Festival when I caught up with it on its second night.  From the Preludio’s…

Georges Bizet’s Carmen at Opera Holland Park

Carmen was the last opera I saw before the end of the world.  Not necessarily what I would have chosen; for many of my friends it was Fidelio, whose absence…

Oedipus Rex at the San Francisco Symphony

Plague infested Thebes, plague infested San Francisco. Esa Pekka Salonen has brought his Peter Sellars staged Oedipus Rex and concluding Stravinsky prayer, Symphony of Psalms, to Davis Hall. Salonen, now…

Tamerlano at The Grange Festival: superb singing but somewhat staid production

One might say of Daniel Slater’s production of Handel’s Tamerlano at The Grange Festival that the staging offers nothing about which to complain and that the singing gives much to…

Don Giovanni at San Francisco Opera

The crowning jewel of Mozart’s operas has arrived at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco Opera now completing, finally, the Covid thwarted rollout of an integrated Mozart/DaPonte trilogy.  The…

A double bill of Monteverdi and Weill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama

The London Conservatoires frequently serve up some of the most interesting operatic fare in the capital: unusual programmes, often in eclectic pairings, presented in inventive stagings – and, of course,…

Garsington Opera: Così fan tutte

Dismissed by Beethoven and Wagner, it has taken nearly two centuries for Così fan tutte to emerge from society’s censor and for Mozart’s genius for expressing human nature through sublime…

Monteverdi’s Orfeo at Garsington Opera

What is most striking about John Caird’s new production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo at Garsington Opera is the extent to which it reminds us that the humanist theories informing the aesthetic…