Reviews Index
Hannah Pedley

La belle Hélène @ Bloomsbury Theatre, London

by Sam Smith

Like Orphée aux enfers, written six years earlier, Offenbach’s La belle Hélène of 1764 is a parody of an ancient myth. Both employ Ludovic Halévy…



Peter Grimes @ Royal Festival Hall, London


One of the undoubtedly great productions during Edward Gardner’s tenure as Music Director of English National Opera was David Alden’s Peter Grimes. Gardner conducted the...

Seraphin Project / Lisney @ St John’s Smith Square, London


The Seraphin Project was set up under the aegis of King’s College Cambridge to foster musical collaboration across the generations, and to mix student musicians...

Il mondo della luna @ Britten Theatre, London


Haydn’s Il mondo della luna of 1777 utilises a libretto by Carlo Goldoni first written in 1750 and forming the basis for at least six...

Saint Cecilia @ Kings Place, London


The feast of St Cecilia, patron of musicians is in November, and The Sixteen opted to celebrate it with a programme of 20th and 21st-century...

Dame Sarah Connolly / Julius Drake @ Middle Temple Hall, London


This Temple Music recital which took place in the august, yet intimate, surroundings of Middle Temple Hall was a cause for rejoicing on so many...

Yuja Wang / Andreas Ottensamer @ Milton Court, London


Two world-class instrumentalists playing together can be risky; while no-one doubts their individual abilities, sometimes the chemistry doesn’t work, and chamber music cannot ever be...

LA Phil/Dudamel @ Barbican Hall, London


The LA Phil were in town for a short residency at the Barbican as part of a celebratory centenary tour with their music director, Gustavo...

Orphée @ Coliseum, London


Phillip Glass’ opera of Jean Cocteau’s 1950 masterpiece Orphée is the final piece in the puzzle of ENO’s four-piece semi-season devoted to the myth of...

Playing in the Dark @ Barbican Hall, London


An evening where Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries can rub shoulders with Sherwin’s A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Sullivan’s Nightmare Song seems an...

La fedeltà premiata @ Silk Street Theatre, London


There are many who wish for the same revival of interest in Haydn’s operas as Handel’s have enjoyed over the past fifty years. There is...

Chineke! / Edusei @ Queen Elizabeth Hall, London


There’s a comforting feeling that arises from attending a concert with old-fashioned programming. An overture, a concerto, a symphony. Classic stuff. Chineke!, however, is far...

Der Freischütz @ Barbican Hall, London


When Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique performed Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz on the penultimate night of the 2011...

The Apostles @ Royal Festival Hall, London


Elgar’s two synoptic New Testament oratorios The Apostles and The Kingdom tend to sit in the shadow of his The Dream of Gerontius (text now...

La bohème @ Opera North at Grand Theatre, Leeds


The conductor Carlo Rizzi said that if he could save only one opera from destruction, it would be La bohème, because it is “…the perfect...

Gabriel @ Barbican Hall, London


Although there is no scriptural name-check, the trope of the archangel Gabriel being God’s trumpeter is long-established: through Paradise Lost, Spirituals and even Cole Porter’s...

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella @ Cadogan Hall, London


Although State Fair was written to be a film, Cinderella was the only musical that Rodgers & Hammerstein produced specifically to be shown on American...

London Philharmonic Orchestra / Jurowski @ Royal Festival Hall, London


Mahler’s second symphony always presents a programming challenge; it can’t be split, it makes for a lengthy half-concert, and its tour-de-force nature puts many other...

The Mask of Orpheus @ Coliseum, London


The Mask of Orpheus was last fully staged before this reviewer was born. It has returned to the London Coliseum, where it was premiered, after...

Don Pasquale @ Royal Opera House, London


With its minimalist rotating set, topped with a roof outline in fluorescent strip-lights, Damiano Michieletto’s new production of Don Pasquale is a contemporary take on...

Un giorno di regno @ Cadogan Hall, London


Verdi wrote his first comedy Un giorno di regno in 1840, and his second Falstaff in 1893. He had been offered a range of comic...