Reviews Index

The Damnation of Faust @ Barbican Hall, London

by Barry Creasy

Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust  – part opera, part cantata and all extravagance – is the composer’s adaptation of the best bits of the classic…



Die Zauberflöte @ Royal Opera House, London


Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte has never been the easiest of pieces to stage. In nineteenth century Germany it became caught between the advocates of Italian and...

The School of Jealousy @ St John’s, Smith Square, London


Although his works are slowly being rediscovered, the neglect of Antonio Salieri for nearly two hundred years has to count as one of the greatest...

Prom 75: Last Night of the Proms 2017 @ Royal Albert Hall, London


One of the interesting features of the 2017 Last Night of the Proms was the extent to which it did not act as a summary...

Tritschler / Drake @ Wigmore Hall, London


Over in Kensington, the Last Night of the Proms was in full swing, with all its expected dramas; those who prefer a quiet life tend...

Prom 74: Vienna Philharmonic / Thomas @ Royal Albert Hall, London


Friday evening’s Prom was a journey back in time to the days when a good solid diet of well-known Austro-German composers was all anyone needed...

Prom 62: Chineke! / Edusei @ Royal Albert Hall, London


Wednesday evening’s late Prom was a debut for Chineke!, an orchestra founded in 2015 to showcase the works of BME composers, and whose membership –...

Prom 60: Oslo Philharmonic / Petrenko @ Royal Albert Hall, London


Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12 in D minor, Op. 112 was received rather coolly on its premiere in 1961, by the public and critics alike. It...

Prom 56: The Bohemian Reformation @ Royal Albert Hall, London


The martyrdom of the religious reformer Jan Hus in 1415 sparked a series of ‘Hussite’ wars in Bohemia, often seen as precursors to the Reformation;...

Proms at … Bold Tendencies Multi-Storey Car Park, Peckham, London


This is the second year of the ‘Proms at … ’ series, which sees the normal Saturday matinees at Cadogan Hall replaced by events held...

Prom 51: BBC Symphony Orchestra / Oramo @ Royal Albert Hall, London


Any performance of a work must pay attention to the intentions of the composer, even if these are not followed to the letter. This is...

Prom 48: A Patchwork Passion @ Royal Albert Hall, London


It seems odd to celebrate Luther’s uncorking of The Reformation 500 years ago by programming a pasticcio Passion (a Passion story pulled together from a...

Prom 46: Gurrelieder @ Royal Albert Hall, London


Next month Sir Simon Rattle takes up his post as the London Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Conductor, and if any doubts remained of this being a...

Prom 45: BBC Symphony Orchestra / Oramo @ Royal Albert Hall, London


It is impossible to attend a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor at the Proms without memories of past performances coming flooding...

Prom 38: Rachmaninov All-Night Vigil @ Royal Albert Hall, London


“Historically and geographically we are, in a way, bound up with Russian culture, which allows us to understand and perform this music with less effort”,...

Proms at … Southwark Cathedral, London


This is the second year in which the Proms’ Saturday matinees at Cadogan Hall have been replaced by ‘Proms at … ’ events, with five...

Prom 34: Oklahoma! @ Royal Albert Hall, London


Popular as these Broadway-style Proms are, they present a challenge, as the Royal Albert Hall doesn’t respond well to spoken dialogue – the sound system...

Prom 31: La damnation de Faust @ Royal Albert Hall, London


Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust is a légende dramatique, almost an anti-oratorio of sorts, but it remains theatrical in tone with all of the soloists...

Prom 30: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Karabits @ Royal Albert Hall, London


Audience members at Monday’s Prom could have been forgiven for thinking that they had arrived for the close of an earlier event, as the programming...

Orfeo ed Euridice @ Greenwood Theatre, London


Every year Longborough Festival Opera brings one of the productions that it stages in the Cotswolds to London, and this year it is the turn...

Prom 25: English Baroque Soloists / Gardiner @ Royal Albert Hall, London


This year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s opening salvo leading to the Reformation. Later this month, three Proms over a whole day will...