Opera + Classical Music Reviews

Stabat Mater review – voluptuous lamentations from Vox Luminis

by Barry Creasy

Music from the Middle Ages to the Baroque on the subject of ‘the Lamentation of Christ’ from the Belgian vocal and instrumental group



Tunde Jegede review – African chamber music for kora and cello

by Barry Creasy

Multitalented Tunde Jegede and NOK orchestra perform music with a unique fusion of African and European cultures

Cavalleria rusticana / Aleko review – Rustic Chivalry meets Russian Fate in doom-lade...

by Melanie Eskenazi

Opera North’s revival of Karolina Sofulak’s 2017 production foregrounds unexpected contrasts, with superb singing, original staging, and exceptional playing

The Barber of Seville review – English National Opera revives Jonathan Miller’s sta...

by Keith McDonnell

It may be approaching 40, but despite a little wear and tear round the edges, ENO’s legendary production provides the perfect foil for an energetic cast to bring this sparkling opera to life

LSO review – Bruckner 9 with happy ending

by Barry Creasy

The London Symphon Orchestra under Nathalie Stutzmann give an exemplary performance of Bruckner’s last symphony, rounded off with the composer’s 1883 Te Deum

Dunedin Consort review – celebrating 300 years since Bach began working in Leipzig

by Barry Creasy

Dunedin Consort in a programme of Bach cantatas for the season, with ‘guest’ appearances by Telemann and Graupner

Siegfried review – the latest instalment in Regents Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen...

by Sam Smith

A production that is as insightful as it is innovative

Jephte & Dido and Aeneas review – Joyce DiDonato returns to the Barbican as the ...

by Keith McDonnell

Purcell’s opera, Dido and Aeneas, thrills under Maxim Emelyanychev’s inspired direction, with Joyce DiDonato’s incandescent performance of the Carthaginian queen at its heart

Così fan tutte review – partner swapping in Leeds scandal

by Melanie Eskenazi

Opera North brings us Mozart with mixed results

Chineke! review – assured performances of Watts, Saint-Saëns and Coleridge-Taylor

by Barry Creasy

Saint-Saëns’ organ symphony sandwiched between a couple of works by youthful composers of today and yesteryear

The English Concert review – impeccable performances of Handel at Wigmore Hall

by Barry Creasy

Early works from Handel’s time in Rome and Hanover, as well as a later trio sonata from his later life in London make for a well balanced programme of pure delight

Elijah review – The London Symphony Orchestra and Antonio Pappano deliver the goods a...

by Sam Smith

A tour de force founded on outstanding musicality

Simply Quartet review – Haydn, Webern and Beethoven make Sunday morning complete at t...

by Sam Smith

The Simply Quartet is simply brilliant in this repertoire

The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions review – an explosive queer odyssey...

by Keith McDonnell

Philip Venables and Ted Huffman have turned this ‘70s cult book into an absorbing piece of music theatre that both challenges and beguiles its audience

La bohème review – Puccini’s most popular opera makes a welcome return to Covent G...

by Keith McDonnell

A fresh, energetic cast brings a youthful energy to Richard Jones’ staging of this perennial favourite at The Royal Opera House

Brentano String Quartet review – Beethoven with a sprinkling of Purcell, Bach and Mac...

by Sam Smith

One piece dominated this delightful Sunday morning concert

Rachmaninov Song Series review – art songs from 19th and 20th century Russia

by Barry Creasy

Soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan and baritone Andrey Zhilikhovsky explore the broad compass of Russian song with Iain Burnside (piano) and Michael Foyle (violin)

‘From My Homeland’ review – Nash Ensemble continue their Czech journey

by Barry Creasy

Chamber music by Dvořák, Suk and Brahms performed with intensity and passion

Elektra review – Christof Loy’s staging finally arrives at Covent Garden

by Keith McDonnell

Delayed four years due to Covid, The Royal Opera’s new Elektra is orchestrally outstanding, but vocally under par. Christof Loy’s highly anticipated staging of Strauss’ devastating one act opera finally appeared at The Royal Opera,...

Albert Herring review – Opera North brings Suffolk sunshine to warm your cockles in b...

by Melanie Eskenazi

An ‘in the round’ production which justifies Sviatoslav Richter’s view of Albert Herring as “The greatest comic opera of the 20th century”

Jenůfa review – Rattle returns to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra

by Keith McDonnell

Continuing his cycle of Janáček operas with the LSO, Simon Rattle tackles the Czech composer’s harrowing tale of Monrovian village life with mixed results