Opera and Classical Reviews

Prom Saturday Matinee 4: Orchestra of St John’s – Lubbock/Wallfisch: Mozart and Wallfisch @ Cadogan Hall, London

by Simon Thomas

Mozart’s incidental music for Thamos, King of Egypt was a revelation in the BBC Proms fourth and final Saturday Matinee at Cadogan Hall. This little-known…



Prom 65: Berlin Philharmonic – Simon Rattle @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dominic McHugh

Simon Rattle’s second concert with the Berlin Philharmonic ended with the players shaking hands before they left the stage, as is often the custom in...

Lloyds TSB Scotland Concert: Philharmonia/Mackerras, Llyr Williams, BBCSO/Jir

by Dave Paxton

In the last of the three-in-one concerts this year at the Edinburgh Festival, we heard Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.Normally this would be an event on its...

La Juive

by Dominic McHugh

We’re only five days into it, but already the Royal Opera’s French-themed 2006-7 season has justified itself.The first of two concert performances of Fromental Halvy’s...

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

by Dave Paxton

Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is not only one a highlight of Russian opera, but one of the greatest pieces of theatre ever written. It...

Die Zauberfl

by Dave Paxton

Claudio Abbado‘s recording of The Magic Flute has been one of the most astonishing CD releases of 2006.Rarely has the great German Singspiel seemed so...

Gaddafi: A Living Myth

by Simon Thomas

With Gaddafi: A Living Myth, English National Opera has succeeded in reaching a new audience. Whatever its shortcomings as a work of art, and some...

Prom 64: Berlin Philharmonic – Sir Simon Rattle @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dominic McHugh

It’s taken 64 concerts to get there, but at last the Proms was host to a Mozart performance of which they can be proud. Sir...

Faust @ Royal Opera House, London

by Dominic McHugh

It seems appropriate that the Royal Opera should start its French-themed season with Gounod’s Faust, perhaps the grandest of all grand operas. Over the coming...

La finta giardiniera

by Dominic McHugh

The 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birthday has reaped far too many duds so far notably the Barbican’s concert performances of Il re pastore, Zaide and...

Berliner Philharmoniker/Simon Rattle @ Usher Hall, Edinburgh

by Dave Paxton

British conductor Simon Rattle has been the focus of stern debate in Germany for a while now.Problems started when leading German critic Manuel Brug entitled...

Anne Schwanewilms @ Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

by Dave Paxton

On Thursday morning, the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh was filled with the gorgeous sound of soprano Anne Schwanewilms.In this programme of Lieder by Strauss and...

Prom 61: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – Leonard Slatkin @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by William Norris

After a two-year absence, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra made a much anticipated return to the BBC Proms, their worldwide reputation as one of America’s leading...

LLoyds TSB Scotland Concert: SCO/Mackerras, NS/Zehetmair, Philharmonia/Blomstedt @ Ushe...

by Dave Paxton

The Lloyds TSB Scotland concerts have used an innovative new format at the Edinburgh Festival this year.In place of the usual single concert, we have...

Prom 58: BBC Concert Orchestra – Charles Hazlewood @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dave Paxton

Jazz is an art form intended to ‘lure the working class into a bourgeois world’. At least that was the claim made by conductor Charles...

Prom 59: Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra – Ivor Bolton @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Sara Miller

It is common to hear a good orchestra. It is less usual to find one which is so good that it manages to outshine the...

Prom 56: NDR Symphony Orchestra – Christoph von Dohnányi @ Royal Albert Hall...

by Yangen Xu

This review for Prom 56 will be the last review I write for musicOMH.com before I go back to my homeland, and I was inevitably...

Prom 54: Minnesota Orchestra – Osmo Vänskä @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dave Paxton

The Prommers were out in force on Thursday evening to watch Osmo Vänskä conduct the Minnesota Orchestra. We had the usual antiphony of shouting between...

Prom 52: BBC Symphony Orchestra – H K Gruber @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Ben Hogwood

When a concert beginning at 10 p.m. is subtitled ‘a night of musicalsubversion’, the audience has every right to recoil in its seats. Thankfully H...

Prom 53: London Philharmonic Orchestra – Vladimir Jurowski @ Royal Albert Hall, L...

by Ben Hogwood

The works in this dramatic Prom were linked by the sound of bells,whether explicitly in Rachmaninov’s choral symphony, in Shakespeare’s’surly sullen bell’ as realised by...

Prom 51: Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester – Philippe Jordan @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dominic McHugh

One of the Proms’ primary concerns is to promote young performers, and this concert ceded the platform to the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, founded by Claudio...