Opera Holland Park’s new staging of The Barber of Seville provides food for thought

Ingénues might be forgiven for wondering why Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville isn’t named after the romantic hero who fights tooth and nail to win the object of his…

A fine cast of young singers persist within a distracting interpretation of Handel’s magical opera

Even by the standards of Baroque opera, Alcina – Handel’s third, and perhaps greatest and most ingenious operatic adaptation from Ariosto’s epic Orlando furioso – comprises quite an array of…

A Sign of the Times: the LAPO’s remarkable Fidelio

After a traditionally-framed concert the night before – a John Williams ‘Overture’ (Olympic Fanfare), a ‘Concerto’ (Gabriela Ortiz’s Altar de cuerda) and Dvořäk’s symphony, ’From the New World’ – tradition…

Andrea Chénier: A final flourish for Pappano at the Royal Opera

Andrea Chénier is perhaps not an opera for purists, but there is no denying that it ends in a blaze of glory. Chénier and his beloved Maddalena exultantly greet the…

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,…