Amy Beach’s Cabildo at Wilton’s Music Hall: a Creole Beggar’s Opera

Pierre Lafitte (1770-1821) is a figure of swashbuckling legend.  The French-born New Orleans merchant mariner-cum-pirate and his brother Jean ran an illicit trading network in defiance of the American, Spanish…

Hurn Court Opera’s Dido and Aeneas

An outing to the handsome Romanesque-revival church in Wilton, Wiltshire for a performance of Dido and Aeneas by Hurn Court Opera provided food for thought.  Established in 2017, this Dorset-based…

Elizabeth Llewellyn and Simon Lepper open the 2021-22 Wigmore Hall season with Italian and English song

One year on from her Wigmore Hall debut, and following the release of her highly praised album of the songs of Samuel Taylor-Coleridge, Heart & Hereafter, soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn returned…

An intriguing debut album from L’Escadron Volant de la Reine – Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger: Il tedesco a Roma

Rome, the 1620s.  Johann Hieronymus (Giovanni Girolamo) Kapsberger, virtuoso theorbist, singer and esteemed composer is at the peak of his fame and influence. Born to German parents in Venice in…

Polished performances from Sir John Eliot Gardiner in Bach & Handel

There’s no denying the energy and precision Sir John Eliot Gardiner can still coax from the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, founded by him over fifty years ago.  In…

Tristan und Isolde: the London Philharmonic rise to epic heights, an inspired conductor … and two Tristans

I’m often left wondering with a great performance of Tristan und Isolde whether the true emotion of the work comes from the orchestra rather than the singers.  There were moments…

Two Shows at Salzburg’s Rock Riding School

Mind-blowing productions of Strauss’ Elektra staged by Krzysztof Warlikowski and Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza 1960 staged by Jan Lauwers. [Lead photo is a detail of the back wall of Elektra covered…

Songs of Travel and Home: a very personal debut album from baritone Julien Van Mellaerts

For his debut recital album, Julien Van Mellaerts has compiled a programme of English, French and New Zealand song which, the baritone explains, ‘shows a quasi-autobiographical insight into my life…

ENO pop up with Puccini at Crystal Palace Bowl

English National Opera seem to be making a summer habit of popping up with Puccini in London’s palace-parks.  After 2020’s hill-top drive-in La bohème at Alexandra Palace, this year the…

Opera on Location bring Debussy’s The prodigal son home to Sheffield

Located in one of Sheffield’s oldest industrial districts, Kelham Island Museum stands on a man-made island, the result of 12th-century engineering when a goit, or mill race, was constructed diverting…