Barbican

I can't recommend this Cole Porter musical highly enough: Anything Goes, at the Barbican, reviewed

6 August 2022 9:00 am

The Barbican’s big summer show is billed on the website as ‘the sold-out musical sensation, Anything Goes’. The term ‘sold-out’…

Even Nelsons’s miscalculations are fascinating: Leipzig Gewandhaus/Andris Nelsons, at the Barbican, reviewed

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Imagine growing up with a whole orchestra as your plaything. Richard Strauss’s father was the principal horn of the Munich…

A spirited attempt to fix a show that’s never really flown: Utopia, Limited reviewed

9 April 2022 9:00 am

Utopia, Limited (1893) is a rare bird, and one that every Gilbert and Sullivan completist simply has to bag. The…

Felt like being caught on the moors in a storm: Keeley Forsyth, at the Barbican, reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

It took a moment to realise Keeley Forsyth was there. There were already three musicians, faint figures on a dark…

Wispy, gauzy beauty: This Is The Kit, Barbican, reviewed

5 June 2021 9:00 am

On the way home from This Is The Kit’s show at a socially distanced Barbican, I listened to Avalon by…

What's an art form that feels unpopular and pointless, but isn't? Video art

12 December 2020 9:00 am

How did the universe begin? Did the great god Bumba vomit us up, as the Kuba believe? Or did we…

Unobtrusively filmed, powerfully performed but still unsatisfying: LSO's Bluebeard reviewed

7 November 2020 9:00 am

The timing couldn’t be better. Just as the gates clang shut on another national lockdown, trapping us all indefinitely with…

One of the few genuine British visionaries at work today: Richard Dawson at the Barbican reviewed

31 October 2020 9:00 am

How hard must it be to make music that sounds like no one else? And how unrewarding, often, as well?…

There’s a magic to hearing music in such small audiences: Divine Comedy reviewed

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Three shows in a week! Why, it was just like the first week of March. There was, however, little of…

Meet the unrivalled Sun King of early music, William Christie

23 November 2019 9:00 am

It’s morning in the garden of William Christie, and he’s talking about home improvements. ‘I planted three pines up there…

Musical shapeshifters: I Faglioni performing Leonardo: Shaping the Invisible at Milton Court Concert Hall Credit: Mark Allan/Barbican

The Holy Grail of concert-going: I Fagiolini deliver serious musicianship that never takes itself too seriously

11 May 2019 9:00 am

We’ve all read the article. It does the rounds with the dispiriting regularity of an unwanted dish on a sushi…

Hrachuhi Bassenz as Amelia Grimaldi in Elijah Moshinsky's Boccanegra for the Royal Opera. Photo: Clive Barda

Real psychological horror and a mesmerising heroine: ENO’s Lucia di Lammermoor reviewed

3 November 2018 9:00 am

How do you solve a problem like Lucia? Murder, madness, abuse, possibly even incest, all set to a soundtrack of…

A woman-child of dangerous assurance: Allison Cook as Salome in Adena Jacobs’s new production for English National Opera. [Catherine Ashmore]

A fascinating failure, but a failure nonetheless: ENO’s Salome reviewed

6 October 2018 9:00 am

Yes, Oscar Wilde never wrote it. No, Strauss didn’t intend it. In fact, the composer famously demanded the Dance of…

Sir Simon Rattle conducts the LSO at the Barbican

Rattle’s recapitulation: LSO/Simon Rattle at Barbican reviewed

22 September 2018 9:00 am

A pregnant silence, a peaty belch from the tuba, and the scrape of brass on brass as gears lock into…

Life is a cabaret: Barry Humphries and Meow Meow

Barry Humphries on Trump, transgender ‘rat-baggery’ and causing maximum offence

21 July 2018 9:00 am

‘I’m an amateur,’ Barry Humphries tells me. The Australian polymath uses the word in its older sense of ‘enthusiast’ rather…

Cold and confusing: Garsington’s Die Zauberflöte reviewed

9 June 2018 9:00 am

The picnic hamper’s open, the bubbly is chilled, and country house opera is starting to eat itself. When you arrive…

Dudamel’s Amériques made The Rite of Spring sound like Einaudi

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Apparently it’s called ‘expectation management’. Pollux, Esa-Pekka Salonen’s new work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, takes its name from…

Gorgeous but exhausting: Jurowski/LPO at Royal Festival Hall reviewed

9 December 2017 9:00 am

To get a flavour of Joseph Marx’s An Autumn Symphony, picture the confectionery counter in a grand Viennese café. Beneath…

Beauty and the beast

30 September 2017 9:00 am

I was going to start with a little moan. About the shouty marketing, the digital diarrhoea, the sycophantic drivel, which,…

Director’s cut

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Much fuss has been made of the title given to Sir Simon Rattle on arrival at the London Symphony Orchestra.…

Hadyn recreated

22 July 2017 9:00 am

‘Rarely, rarely, comest thou, Spirit of Delight!’ wrote Elgar, quoting Shelley, at the top of his Second Symphony. He should…

A genuine oddity

22 July 2017 9:00 am

The most compelling pop singers in music right now — at least in the branch where pop singers still play…

They like to move it: voguing at Club a la Mode, New York, 1998

Yes sir, we can boogie

15 July 2017 9:00 am

It’s dance — but not as you know it. A giddy mass of flying limbs, sashaying hips and pouty faces.…

Three hours of vomit, fellatio and menstruation: Isabelle Huppert on Phaedra(s)

4 June 2016 9:00 am

A blushing James Woodall is riveted by Isabelle Huppert’s performance in Phaedra(s)

Is there a funnier opera than Gerald Barry’s Importance of Being Earnest?

9 April 2016 9:00 am

Comic opera is no laughing matter. Seriously, when was the last time you laughed out loud in the opera house?…