McVicar’s The Magic Flute returns to the Royal Opera House

David McVicar’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is well on its way to its 20th anniversary (the production debuted in 2003). The current revival (seen 19 December 2022) is…

The Rape of Lucretia at the Royal Opera House

This new Rape of Lucretia, seen first at Snape, now in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre, fittingly features singers from two young artists’ programmes: Britten Pears and Jette…

Richard Jones brings a wry twist to Alcina’s magic powers at the Royal Opera House

‘The Only Path’.  So reads the insignia emblazoned on the drop curtain, as the overture to Alcina strikes up in the Royal Opera House pit at the start of Richard…

In conversation with Mary Bevan

Operas sometimes seem like the proverbial London bus: you wait at the stop for ages and then three come along at once.  This year, the bus’s destination has been Alcina’s…

The Rape of Lucretia at Snape Maltings

The myth of Lucretia, first told by Livy, tells of the rape of Collatinus’s eponymous wife by his fellow soldier, Tarquinius, the son of the Etruscan king who rules over…

Robert Carsen’s new production of Aida at the Royal Opera House

Finding myself with an hour to kill before a performance of Robert Carsen’s new production of Aida at the Royal Opera House earlier this week, I settled down in a…

Chiaroscuro expressionism: Keith Warner’s Otello is revived at the Royal Opera House

Keith Warner’s Otello is a crucible of darkness and light.  The minimalism of Warner’s conception and design seemed even more striking to me during the opening night of this second…

Così fan tutte at the Royal Opera House

First unveiled in 2016, this second revival of Jan Philipp Gloger’s Così fan tutte remains self-consciously preoccupied with the question, ‘What is theatre?’  While his interview in the souvenir programme…

A Wounded Butterfly at Covent Garden

Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, beautiful though it is, presents issues for contemporary values; hence the current rethink of the Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier production.  The Royal Opera brought in Japanese…

Samson et Dalila at the Royal Opera House

To describe Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila as ‘old-fashioned’ doesn’t seem controversial.  The French composer’s score harks back to the past with its allusions to Handelian fugue and Bachian chorale, betraying…