Peter Grimes at the Royal Opera House

“What harbour shelters peace, away from tidal waves, away from storms?”  The opening moments of Deborah Warner’s new production of Britten’s Peter Grimes at the Royal Opera House make it…

Werther in Marseille

The Opéra de Marseille assembled a fine cast to perform the Massenet masterpiece in a prize winning production from Nancy. Bordeaux tenor Thomas Bettinger poured his heart out as the…

A brilliant Hansel and Gretel from Stephen Barlow and the Royal College of Music

The escalating cost of living crisis may soon result in many children in the UK sharing Hansel’s hunger pangs: ‘O Gret, it would be such a treat, if we had…

Pelléas et Mélisande in Montpellier

A third staging of French stage director Benjamin Lazar’s poetic and sophisticated production (Malmö in 2017 and Karlsruhe in 2019), highly refined in Montpellier by an early music tenor as…

The cock crows: English Touring Opera presents Rimsky-Korsakov’s satire on incompetent autocracy

Rimsky-Korsakov’s 1907 fantasy-fable, The Golden Cockerel, brings together folklore and fact, angling Pushkin’s 1834 surreal satire on a Russian autocracy led by Nicholas I towards the Tsarist regime of Nicholas…

Mixed performances in Menotti and Weir from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama

In food terms this was a programme comprising starter and main course, a well-designed menu beginning with a romantic comedy and followed by a picaresque meditation on fate with much…

The Cunning Little Vixen at English National Opera

Failure to love the operas—more generally, the music—of Janáček would be a strange, soulless thing indeed. It seems more to be opera companies, strange, incomprehensible entities, than opera-goers, be they…

Covent Garden’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ Rigoletto

In his first production since taking up his appointment as Director of Opera in 2017,Oliver Mears’s thought-provoking staging clearly acknowledges Rigoletto as a timeless classic.  His presentation debuted in September…

Werther in Monte-Carlo

A superb cast, an inspired maestro, an intimate theater, an operatic masterpiece (the eighteenth of Massenet’s thirty-six operas), Werther in Monte-Carlo was a thrilling bombardment of emotional crises.  From the…

Nadine Benjamin triumphs in ENO’s La bohème

The fifth revival of Jonathan Miller’s well worn-in production of Bohéme has brought with it a number of revelations.  On the first night (February 3), it was the conducting of…