Royal Opera

Royal Opera’s Tannhäuser is one of the ugliest stagings I have set eyes on

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Cursed, or perhaps blessed, with almost no visual memory at all, I had almost completely forgotten what the Royal Opera’s…

Drowning in detail: Vicki Mortimer’s sets for Royal Opera’s production of ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’

Tame and drowning in detail: Royal Opera’s Lucia di Lammermoor reviewed

16 April 2016 9:00 am

Lucia di Lammermoor is one of the two or three Donizetti operas that have never fallen out of the repertoire,…

An unqualified triumph: Boris Godunov at the Royal Opera reviewed

19 March 2016 9:00 am

The Royal Opera has bitten the bullet so far as Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov goes, and opted to stage the original…

Unlikely to win converts: Royal Opera's L'Étoile reviewed

6 February 2016 9:00 am

It’s widely agreed that the most difficult form of opera to bring off is operetta, whether of the Austro-German or…

Conductor and orchestra played as if in love: Royal Opera’s Eugene Onegin reviewed

9 January 2016 9:00 am

It’s scene five of Kasper Holten’s production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Michael Fabiano’s Lensky is alone with a snow-covered…

Royal Opera’s Cavalleria rusticana isn’t nearly vulgar enough

12 December 2015 9:00 am

How often do you get a chance to see two operas by Leoncavallo in the same city in the same…

Anna Devin as Alcina and Nick Pritchard as Ruggiero in ‘La Liberazione di Ruggiero’ at Brighton Early Music Festival

Has there ever been a better time to be a lover of Baroque opera?

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Time was when early music was a 6 p.m. concert, Baroque began with Bach and ended with Corelli’s Christmas Concerto,…

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?…

As good a treatment of a Bellini opera as we are likely to see: WNO's I puritani reviewed

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Bellini belongs to that category of not-quite-great operatic composers whose works are also very difficult to perform adequately, and don’t…

When is a rape not a rape? Fiona Shaw's Rape of Lucretia at Glyndebourne reviewed

11 July 2015 9:00 am

When is a rape not a rape? It’s an unsettling question — far more so than anything offered up by…

The gang rape was the least offensive thing about Royal Opera's new William Tell

4 July 2015 9:00 am

There’s no such thing as a tasteful rape scene — or there certainly shouldn’t be. It’s an act of grossest…

The finest Tristan since Siegfried Jerusalem

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Which of Wagner’s mature dramas is the most challenging, for performers and spectators? The one you’re seeing at the moment,…

Inside Apollo’s head: designer Steffen Aarfing following Szymanowski’s stage instructions

‘Bewitching’: Krol Roger at the Royal Opera reviewed

9 May 2015 9:00 am

‘What gives your lies such power?’ asks the bewildered Sicilian leader in Szymanowski’s opera Krol Roger. The question is addressed…

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…

Tippett’s triumphant failure: Birmingham Opera Company’s The Ice Break reviewed

11 April 2015 9:00 am

The Ice Break is Michael Tippett’s fourth opera, first produced at Covent Garden in 1977 and rarely produced anywhere since,…

Left to right: Peter Hoare (Fatty), Anne Sofie von Otter (Leocadia Begbick), Willard White (Trinity Moses)

Royal Opera's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny review: far too well behaved

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Brecht/Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny was premièred in 1930, Auden/Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in 1951. Twenty-one…

Starry night: Iain Patterson as Sachs and Andrew Shore as Beckmesser in a triumphant ‘Mastersingers of Nuremberg’

Mastersingers of Nuremberg, ENO, review: ‘a triumph’

14 February 2015 9:00 am

ENO’s new production of Wagner’s The Mastersingers of Nuremberg is a triumph about which only the most niggling of reservations…

Royal Opera’s Orfeo, Roundhouse: shouts its agenda so loudly the music struggles to be heard

17 January 2015 9:00 am

What a week to stage an opera about art’s power to challenge institutional authority, oppression — even death itself. Orfeo’s…

Royal Opera's Un ballo in maschera: limp, careless and scrappy

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Whether by chance or bold design, the Royal Opera’s two Christmas shows were written at precisely the same moment, between…

Magnificent: Nina Stemme as Isolde and Stephen Gould as Tristan

Royal Opera’s Tristan und Isolde: an absurd production - but still a magnificent night

3 January 2015 9:00 am

Any adequate performance of Tristan und Isolde, and the first night of the Royal Opera’s production was at least that,…

Too worthy? Peter Sellars’s staging of John Adams’s ‘Gospel’

ENO’s Gospel According to the Other Mary: great music weighed down by a worthy staging

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Terrorism; East-West diplomacy; nuclear war: John Adams’s operas have poured music into the faultlines of 21st-century global politics, and the…

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…

Alice Coote and Sarah Tynan in ‘Xerxes’ at ENO

Royal Opera's Rigoletto: your disbelief may wobble but your excitement won't

4 October 2014 9:00 am

One of the greatest tests of how an opera house is functioning is the quality of its revivals. Both the…

Robo-Tell hits Welsh National Opera

27 September 2014 9:00 am

Is there a fundamental, insuperable problem with staging Rossini’s Guillaume Tell on a budget, without the resources to conjure up…

Eloquent: Allan Clayton as Cassio in Otello

Is Anna Nicole’s absurd life worth our while? Not as much as Otello’s

20 September 2014 9:00 am

So how did London’s two big opera companies launch their new seasons last week? Not perhaps in the way you…