Royal opera house

Swaggerific display of pumping chests and crotch-grabbing struts: NYDC's Speak Volumes reviewed

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Last week I attended a dance performance in person for the first time since March last year. If you’d asked…

The finest Falstaff you’ll see this summer

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Comedy’s a funny thing. No, seriously, the business of making people laugh is as fragile, as mercurial as cryptocurrency —…

The promoter the critics love to hate: an interview with Raymond Gubbay

19 June 2021 9:00 am

Richard Bratby talks to one of Britain’s most successful impresarios about his promoter’s nose, Arts Council spinelessness and ENO madness

Hit every auditory G-spot simultaneously: CBSO/Hough/Gardner concert reviewed

29 May 2021 9:00 am

Rejoice: live music is back. Or at least, live music with a live audience, which, as Sir Simon Rattle admitted,…

Sensual and silky: the Royal Ballet returns to Covent Garden

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Wayne McGregor’s Morgen! and Frederick Ashton’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits are the first pieces of live dance — streamed…

After weeks of silence, Royal Opera reopened with a whimper

20 June 2020 9:00 am

It was the fourth time, or maybe the fifth, that I found myself reaching for the tissues that I began…

Antonio Pappano on diversity, a new Ring cycle and defending Verdi from dodgy directors

29 February 2020 9:00 am

After a record 18 years – and counting – as music director, Antonio Pappano talks to Norman Lebrecht about life after Covent Garden and how opera is beyond younger audiences

The audience were in tears: Christian Gerhaher/Gerold Huber at the Wigmore Hall reviewed

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

‘Popular’ classical music is a relative term. Show me someone who thinks Beethoven is surefire box office, and I’ll show……

Daffy charm and diabolo tricks: Bolshoi’s The Bright Stream reviewed

17 August 2019 9:00 am

The Bright Stream is a ballet about a collective farm. Forget everything you know about collectivism — the failed harvests,…

Silly but stellar: Bolshoi Ballet’s Spartacus reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

It’s togas-a-go-go as the Bolshoi bring Yuri Grigorovich’s 1956 ballet Spartacus to the Royal Opera House. Oh dear, I did…

Clare Presland as Susanna in Il segreto di Susanna at Opera Holland Park Image: © Ali Wright

It’s not fair – I liked Il segreto di Susanna before it was cool: OHP’s double bill reviewed

3 August 2019 9:00 am

Should a secret pleasure ever be shared? Spoiler alert: Susanna’s secret, unknown to her husband Gil, is that she smokes.…

Miraculous: Amanda Majeski as Katya Kabanova in Richard Jones’s Royal Opera production

One of the greatest operatic experiences of my life: Royal Opera’s Katya Kabanova reviewed

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Janacek’s upsetting opera Katya Kabanova, which hasn’t been seen in the UK for some time, turned up in two different…

Artists of the Royal Ballet against the easel-worthy backcloths of John Macfarlane’s ravishing designs for Swan Lake

Proper tutus, gorgeous designs, first-rate dancing: Royal Ballet’s new Swan Lake reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

The Royal Ballet’s 2016 Frankenstein was a masterclass in how not to make narrative dance and the news that Liam…

The glums: Marisol Montiel and Ana Luisa Montiel in Taryn Simon’s ‘An Occupation of Loss’

Grief-conjurors, space-mincers and earth-shovellers: performance roundup

19 May 2018 9:00 am

They enter two by two. Grannies, mainly. Headscarved, mainly. Some locking arms. A bit glum. Like rejects from Noah’s ark.…

A delicious operatic ragout of horror: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk reviewed

21 April 2018 9:00 am

There is famously no door into the late-night diner of Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’. Its three silent patrons are trapped behind…

Reducing the lead to an demented rape victim is just what ballet needs: The Wind reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

A kindly cowboy, an East Coast bride, adultery, murder and madness. The Wind, Dorothy Scarborough’s 1925 Texas gothic novel (and…

The glorious Grand Pas from Paquita, part of the Mariinsky’s triple bill

Not vintage Mariinsky

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Not really a vintage Mariinsky season — an odd choice of repertoire and some hit-and-miss male casting — but the…

Mad about the boy

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Tall, handsome boys with long legs and beautifully arched feet do not grow on trees (if only). Every ballet director…

Not a repertory piece but in its dignity it earns respect: Royal Opera’s Oedipe reviewed

28 May 2016 9:00 am

For years I have been telling people that they should listen to, in the absence of staged performances, Enescu’s opera…

Vile body: Steven McRae as the Creature in ‘Frankenstein’

The Royal Ballet is literally losing the plot

21 May 2016 9:00 am

If a football manager produces a string of losses, the writing is on the wall and out he goes. He’s…

Predictably meh: Scottish Ballet’s new Swan Lake reviewed

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Every ballet company wants a box-office earner. But why Scottish Ballet’s leader Christopher Hampson kept on at David Dawson until…

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?…

The rotten fruits of Peter Maxwell Davies’s modernism

9 April 2016 9:00 am

The intransigence of Maxwell Davies, Boulez and Stockhausen is coming home to roost. Here were three composers, famous if not…

A new dance piece in which race definitely matters: Ballet Black’s Triple Bill reviewed

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Ballet’s romantic mantra could be summed up by John Keats’s ballad ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’, in which a young…

Choristers from the English National Opera (Photo: Getty)

ENO must go

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Last week Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, revealed that opera receives just under a fifth of the…