Opera

Had the air of a Blue Peter Christmas special: Grange Festival's The Yeomen of the Guard reviewed

2 July 2022 9:00 am

The Yeomen of the Guard has been called the ‘English Meistersinger’ but the more you think about that, the dafter…

Letters: How to face death

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Be prepared Sir: The advice of Jeremy Clarke’s Aunty Margaret that he ‘must “get right with the Lord” as a…

A thoroughly enjoyable grand old heap of nothing: The Excursions of Mr Broucek reviewed

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Sir David Pountney, it appears, has been to Prague. He’s booked himself a mini-break, he’s EasyJetted out, and after (one…

The opera that wouldn’t die

18 June 2022 9:00 am

Richard Bratby on the resurrection of wunderkind Erich Korngold’s long-neglected masterpiece

A completely satisfying operatic experience: Opera North’s Parsifal reviewed

18 June 2022 9:00 am

When Parsifal finally returns to Montsalvat, it’s Good Friday. He’s trodden the path of suffering but now the sun is…

Serves Ethel Smyth's opera magnificently: Glyndebourne's The Wreckers reviewed

4 June 2022 9:00 am

You’ve got to hand it to Dame Ethel Smyth. Working in an era when to be a British composer implied…

Too affectionate, not enough cruelty: Don Pasquale, at the Royal Opera House, reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

There are many things to enjoy in the Royal Opera’s revival of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, but perhaps the most surprising…

Why I booed Birtwistle

7 May 2022 9:00 am

Keith Burstein recalls a key moment in the battle for emancipation from the ivory tower of atonalism

A fine cast, superbly conducted – just don't overthink the production: Royal Opera's Lohengrin reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

To be a Wagnerite is to enter the theatre in a state of paranoia. Mainstream culture has decided that Wagner…

Pitch-black satire drenched in an atmosphere of compelling unease: ETO's Golden Cockerel reviewed

2 April 2022 9:00 am

Blame it on Serge Diaghilev. Rimsky-Korsakov died in 1908 and never saw the première of his last opera, The Golden…

Comes so close to greatness but succumbs to prejudice: Royal Opera's Peter Grimes reviewed

26 March 2022 9:00 am

No question, the Royal Opera is on a roll. Just look at the cast list alone for Deborah Warner’s new…

Spot-on in almost every way: Scottish Opera's A Midsummer Night’s Dream reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Scottish Opera’s new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream seems to open in midwinter. Snow falls, fairies hurl snowballs…

Astonishing, if unnecessary, grandstanding: Barbara Hannigan's La voix humaine reviewed

12 March 2022 9:00 am

I think it was when she leaned forward and balanced on one leg that Barbara Hannigan jumped the shark. It…

Deserves to become an ENO staple: The Cunning Little Vixen reviewed

26 February 2022 9:00 am

Spoiler alert. The last words in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen come from a child playing a frog. The story…

Old-school excess, star power and spectacle: Royal Opera's Tosca reviewed

19 February 2022 9:00 am

London felt like its old self on Friday night. Possibly it was just me; when you visit the capital once…

Turns Handel into a Netflix thriller: Royal Opera's Theodora reviewed

12 February 2022 9:00 am

The Royal Opera has come over all baroque. In the Linbury Theatre, they’re hosting Irish National Opera’s production of Vivaldi’s…

Clear, complex and gripping: Opera North's Rigoletto reviewed

29 January 2022 9:00 am

Say what you like about that Duke of Mantua, but he’s basically an OK sort of bloke. A bit of…

Not pleasant, and not in tune, but unarguably compelling: Royal Opera's Nabucco reviewed

22 January 2022 9:00 am

Nabucco, said Giuseppe Verdi, ‘was born under a lucky star’. It was both his last throw of the dice and…

A booster shot of sunlight: Unsuk Chin's new violin concerto reviewed

15 January 2022 9:00 am

Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra began the year with a world première. Unsuk Chin’s Second Violin Concerto…

40 per cent sublime, 60 per cent ridiculous: ENO's The Valkyrie reviewed

27 November 2021 9:00 am

It’s the final scene of The Valkyrie and Wotan is wearing cords. They’re a sensible choice for a hard-working deity:…

Hockney’s Rake’s Progress remains one of the supreme achievements

20 November 2021 9:00 am

With Glyndebourne’s The Rake’s Progress, the show starts with David Hockney’s front cloth. The colour, the ingenuity, the visual bravura:…

This is how G&S should be staged: ENO's HMS Pinafore reviewed

6 November 2021 9:00 am

Until 1881, HMS Pinafore was the second-longest-running show in West End history. Within a year of its première it had…

Very much NSFW: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet/Quatuor Danel at Wigmore Hall reviewed

30 October 2021 9:00 am

‘Drammatico’, wrote César Franck over the opening of his Piano Quintet, and you’d better believe he meant it. The score…

We'll be talking about Royal Opera's Jenufa two decades from now

16 October 2021 9:00 am

Leos Janacek cared about words. He’d hang about central Brno, notebook in hand, eavesdropping on conversations and trying to capture…

Hits you where it hurts: Welsh National Opera's Madam Butterfly reviewed

9 October 2021 9:00 am

‘It’s generally agreed that in contemporary practice, this opera proposes significant ethical and cultural problems,’ says the director Lindy Hume…