Reviews Index

Damrau / Kaufmann / Deutsch @ Barbican Hall, London

by Melanie Eskenazi

Auch kleine Dinge können uns entzücken… the opening line of Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch – ‘Even small things can delight us’ – is the perfect…



Iolanthe @ Coliseum, London


It is a deceptively difficult task for a major opera house to pull off Gilbert and Sullivan, because it is so easy for any production...

Mendelssohn: Elijah @ Barbican Hall, London


Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah seems to be a lot less fashionable these days. Gone are the times when many musical families had a senior member who...

Red Priest: The Baroque Bohemians @ Kings Place, London


Nobody is entirely sure where the well-known ‘gypsy’ sound of the 17th and 18th centuries came from; almost certainly not the Roma themselves, whose musical...

Orlando @ St John’s, Smith Square, London


This presentation of Handel’s Orlando of 1733 from La Nuova Musica highlighted the virtues of keeping things simple when doing so allows natural talent and...

Songs of the Sea @ Wigmore Hall, London


“I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky” Masefield’s well-loved opening to Sea Fever exemplifies Britons’ love of the...

Arcayürek / Lepper @ Wigmore Hall, London


A one-composer evening featuring some of Schubert’s most melancholy, sombre works might not seem the ideal way to spend a dreary Sunday evening, but this...

Das Rheingold @ Royal Festival Hall, London


This performance of Das Rheingold heralded the start of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s presentation of Der Ring des Nibelungen over four seasons, and constituted a...

Classical Opera / Page @ Wigmore Hall, London


This is the start of the fourth year of Classical Opera’s Mozart 250 series, in which it always presents works either written or performed exactly...

Alder / Baillieu @ Wigmore Hall, London


Reviewing her performance in the Proms Fidelio last year, we said that Louise Alder’s Marzelline, with her launching of the great Act I quartet, might...

Tosca @ Royal Opera House, London


One of the most heart-wrenching facts about Tosca is that a singer and painter who are simply going about their daily lives should find themselves...

A Child of Our Time @ Royal Festival Hall, London


In the days of vinyl, Mendelssohn’s violin concerto was sometimes paired with his incidental music for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’; at Monday night’s gala concert...

The Return of Ulysses @ Roundhouse, London


O Fortunat! O, O, Fortunat’ Ulisse! That most moving of phrases, uttered when the finally returned Ulisse realizes that his reunion with his wife and...

Salome @ Royal Opera House, London


It’s an unconventional staging, but every aspect grabs you from the first rapturous cries of the doomed Narraboth to the final frenzied raptures of Salome’s...

Breaking the Rules @ LSO St Luke’s, London


“All the music I’ve written for Him, and nothing in return!”  Thus railed Carlo Gesualdo about God in ‘Breaking the Rules’, Clare Norburn’s concert-drama, set...

Bach Christmas Oratorio @ St John’s Smith Square, London


The now well-established St John’s tradition of pairing the Christmas Oratorio with Messiah, performed on consecutive evenings and both featuring the Orchestra of the Age...

Rigoletto @ Royal Opera House, London


Rigoletto is a contender for the dubious honour of being the cruellest opera in the mainstream repertoire. While many works see the innocent suffer and...

Christmas Oratorio @ King’s Place, London


The jury is out on whether, because of the miserliness of the Leipzig bean-counters, Bach was ever reduced to one-to-a-part cantatas (at least on the...

Britten St Nicolas @ St John’s Smith Square, London


The first performance of Britten’s St Nicolas was the opening concert of the inaugural Aldeburgh Festival in June 1948, with Peter Pears as the soloist....

Wonderful Town @ Barbican Hall, London


What was not to like about this concert (verging on semi-staged) performance of Bernstein’s Wonderful Town, presented on the eve of his centenary year? The...

Ex Cathedra / Skidmore @ St John’s Smith Square, London


Christmas concerts aiming to replicate a more secular version of the King’s College Cambridge Nine Lessons and Carols service, are thick on the ground in...