The Sixteen release their fourth volume of Purcell’s Welcome Songs for King Charles II

Harry Christophers and The Sixteen have now reached volume 4 in their ongoing exploration of Henry Purcell’s Welcome Songs for Charles II.  Like the previous discs in the series, evolving…

A fresh look at Winter Words as ‘Summer at Snape’ continues

It may not have been possible for Snape Maltings to host the Aldeburgh Festival this year or last, but the Maltings have not been silent and the Summer at Snape…

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…

VOCES8 open Live for London Summer with a sprinkle of stardust

VOCES8’s new Live from London summer festival opened in ‘sparkling’ fashion with a characteristically mixed repertoire programme, entitled Stardust.  Much was reassuringly familiar, and very welcome: the perfect blending and…

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…

Mixed performances in a recent St Matthew Passion from Accentus

Claims to create ‘a new and fresh perspective’ in the pre-release publicity for this St Matthew Passion are bold.  We are led to expect ‘raging choirs, intimate chorales and emotionally…