Haute-couture opera with an industrial vibe: Costanzo, Handel and Glass at London’s Printworks

If one places in context where this program of Handel and Glass took place – the old and the contemporary – its historic setting seemed to have a real sense…

Characterful Mahler from Les Siècles, François-Xavier Roth and Sabine Devieilhe

Harmonia mundi’s recent disc of Mahler’s 4th Symphony provides a remarkably flowing and vivid account, fashioning a new perspective on a much-recorded work.  Inner detail is heard afresh with instruments…

The Unravelling Fantasia of Miss H: a powerful operatic tribute to Mary Frances Heaton

She stood up one Sunday in St George’s church, the parish church of Doncaster, and interrupted the sermon, accusing the preacher of being “a whited sepulchre, a thief, a villain,…

The Trocs go to the opera? Vinci’s Alessandro nell’Indie with five countertenors at Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival

This was a brilliantly theatrical and superbly sung recreation of an opera reflecting the work’s premiere by an all-male cast. Max Emanuel Cencic’s Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival takes place in…

Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at the Proms

John Eliot Gardiner surely named his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique with an intent that was thrillingly in evidence during this performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, the instrumentalists being joined by…

Three Britten cycles – manicured performances from Andrew Staples

Poets from W.H. Auden to Shakespeare and Goethe to Racine fired Benjamin Britten’s musical imagination and kindled an artistic response that had little equal among 20th-century British composers. Nowhere do…

Chineke! Voices and Orchestra at the Proms

Very much a concert of two (unequal) halves, I am afraid.  The first Proms performance of George Walker’s 1995 Lilacs promised and delivered much.  However, the following performance of Beethoven’s…

Opera Award Foundation announces 2022 bursary recipients

The Opera Awards Foundation today announces its latest bursary recipients. Established by Harry Hyman in 2012 to help aspiring young artists reach their professional potential, the Opera Awards Foundation is…

A Handelian capriccio from Bampton Classical Opera at the Barn at Old Walland

Georg Frideric Handel and Richard Strauss may make unlikely bedfellows, but for this inaugural performance at the Barn at Old Walland, in Wadhurst, Sussex, Bampton Classical Opera wittily presented Handel’s…

Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux Enfers charms at the Vache Baroque Festival

The myth of Orpheus and Euridice is dramatically and symbolically tailor-made for opera, so it’s no wonderthat so many composers have been inspired by Ovid’s tale, with its fatal snakebite,…