Mozart

A devastating Jenufa - if you could hear it

5 December 2015 9:00 am

About 15 minutes into act one of Jenufa, the student in the next seat leaned over to her companions and…

Northern Ireland Opera’s Turandot will fill you with awe and revulsion

7 November 2015 9:00 am

Chords as bright and sweet as pomegranate seeds burst and spill in Turandot, a splinter of bitterness at their centre.…

Going ape: Bertie Carvel as Yank

Glyndebourne caters to the lower-middle classes not past-it toffs

7 November 2015 9:00 am

What is Glyndebourne? A middle-aged Bullingdon. That’s a common view: a luxury bun fight for past-it toffs who glug champagne,…

Detail of the bridge of the kora, a harp made from calabash and cow hide, with strings aligned in a perpendicular plane

The polyphonous Babel of global music

17 October 2015 8:00 am

‘Following custom, when the Siamese conquered the Khmer they carried off much of the population, including most of their musicians,…

Erwin Schrott as Figaro and Anita Hartig as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro

McVicar’s Figaro looks increasingly fossilised. Time for the Royal Opera to ditch it

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Is there a more extraordinary, more heart-stilling moment in all opera than the finale of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro?…

Opera in Edinburgh: even the best Stravinsky can’t beat mediocre Mozart

22 August 2015 9:00 am

Is Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress anything more than an exercise in style? ‘I will lace each aria into a tight…

Christopher Turner as Artemidoro, the romantic lead transformed into a raving hippy in Trofonio’s ‘cave’

Don’t listen to Amadeus - this Salieri opera is better than Mozart

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Magical transformations are a commonplace of opera. We see our heroes turned into animals, trees, statues; witness wild beasts turned…

Lunch with a claret fit for gods, heroes and David Cameron

20 June 2015 9:00 am

I cannot remember a jollier lunch. There are two brothers, Sebastian and Nicholas Payne, both practical epicureans. They have made…

ENO’s Queen of Spades: I wanted to grab David Alden’s production by the neck and shake out its silly clutter

13 June 2015 9:00 am

The opera director David Alden has never been one to tread the straight and narrow. Something kinky would emerge, I’m…

I fear for this year’s Proms

6 June 2015 9:00 am

As Sepp Blatter has so affectingly remarked, the organisation he formerly headed needs evolution, not revolution. There is a consensus…

Il Turco in Italia (Photo: Tristram Kenton)

Il turco in Italia, Royal Opera House, reviewed: bring sunglasses

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Big slats of orange, burning yellows, an Adriatic in electric blue: I wish I’d bought my sunglasses to the Royal…

Even a perfect opera such as Don Giovanni improves with a good red

4 April 2015 9:00 am

End of season is always bittersweet, the melting snows a bit like autumn leaves. But the days are longer and…

An artistic crime is committed at the Royal Festival Hall

31 January 2015 9:00 am

In one of the more peculiar concerts that I have been to at the Royal Festival Hall, Vladimir Jurowski conducted…

Those ancient Greeks were bores — but things are looking up

31 January 2015 9:00 am

Thick snow is falling hard and heavy, muffling sounds and turning the picturesque village postcard beautiful. I am lying in…

Agents will be queuing up to sign this 26-year-old baritone from Sichuan

13 December 2014 9:00 am

The Royal Academy of Music’s end-of-term opera can always be looked forward to because it never disappoints: the repertoire is…

Is this 65-year-old British pianist the next big thing in classical music?

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Earlier this month the Wigmore Hall was sold out for a Schubert recital by a concert pianist whose only solo…

Franco Fagioli: a controversial Idamante in ‘Idomeneo’ at the Royal Opera House

Royal Opera’s Idomeneo: get seats but make sure they’re facing away from the stage

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Mozart’s first great opera, Idomeneo, is not often performed, and perhaps it’s better that way. It should be seen as…

Why it's good to remember that Bach could be a tedious old windbag

7 June 2014 9:00 am

When I was first learning about classical music, 50 years ago, the scene was more streamlined than it is now.…

Don Giovanni at his unsexiest

8 February 2014 9:00 am

Every time there’s a new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni I have to ask the same question: why is this…

How Claudio Abbado bridged old and new

1 February 2014 9:00 am

Not long ago the great conductors of classical music were general practitioners. They expected to give satisfactory interpretations of music…

Taki: Come on then Saatchi, name a time and place. I'm serious, are you? 

25 January 2014 9:00 am

OK, folks. We’ve had enough of Hollande and his rather silly antics, although I do understand the man. Ever younger…

Alexander Chancellor: A slice of Italy in Milton Keynes

30 November 2013 9:00 am

Back home from a week in Italy, I almost feel that I haven’t left. For I go almost at once…

The ENO's Magic Flute ignores everything that makes Mozart's opera great

16 November 2013 9:00 am

A new production of The Magic Flute is something to look forward to, if with apprehension. How many aspects of…