Opera and Classical Reviews

Rigoletto @ Opera Holland Park, London

by Gareth Webb

Opera Holland Park attracts a certain type of audience and after too many bottles of burgundy from their Marks and Sparks picnic hampers, this stewed…



Prom 30: National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain – Sir Colin Davis @ Prom 30: N...

by Dominic McHugh

In the most impressive Prom of the season so far, Sir Colin Davis led the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in four works by...

Prom 28: Royal Scottish National Orchestra – Stephane Denéve @ Royal Albert ...

by Agnes Kory

Contradiction seems to have been an important characteristic of this concert. To start with, the name of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra puzzles me: how...

Prom 28: Royal Scottish National Orchestra – Stephane Denéve @ Royal Albert ...

by Agnes Kory

Contradiction seems to have been an important characteristic of this concert. To start with, the name of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra puzzles me: how...

Prom 27: BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Kazushi Ono: Hosokawa, Mahler and Shostakovich...

by Simon Thomas

In his Proms debut, Kazushi Ono, Musical Director of La Monnaie in Brussels, led the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a performance that started...

Prom 26: BBC Symphony Orchestra – Sir Andrew Davis @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Ben Hogwood

This was by some way the most baffling Prom of the season so far, itspromise of pomp, circumstance and humour never quite hitting the mark,despite...

Prom 24: Handel: Alexander’s Feast (orch. Mozart) – The English Concert/And...

by Dave Paxton

In the late 1730s, it was thought that Handel would never compose again. He was exhausted from stress, he had suffered a serious injury to...

Prom 25: London Sinfonietta – Oliver Knussen @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Ben Hogwood

Never ones to shirk a challenge, the London Sinfonietta opted for thesecond Proms season running to take a large scale 20th century vocal score head...

Prom 23: BBC Philharmonic – Vassily Sinaisky @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Ben Hogwood

There was something of a family tree linking this BBC Philharmonic prom,exploring the teacher-pupil relationship from Rimsky-Korsakov toShostakovich by way of Glazunov. In doing so...

Prom 22: BBC Philharmonic – Gianandrea Noseda @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Sara Miller

Prom 22 featured Haydn’s Mass in B flat major, ‘Heiligmesse’ (1796) and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C major, ‘Great’ (1825-6). This prom included two...

Prom 60: Orchestre National de France/Kurt Masur: Henze and Shostakovich @ Royal Albert...

by Simon Thomas

Veteran conductor Kurt Masur led the Orchestre National de France in a suite from Hans Werner Henze’s last opera and Shostakovich’s massive Leningrad Symphony. Henze...

Prom 21: BBC Symphony Orchestra/David Robertson – The Voice @ Royal Albert Hall, ...

by Sara Miller

On the surface, Prom 21 appeared to be a rather random selection of works. But scratch below the surface and a number of connecting themes...

Mozart’s Requiem @ Barbican Hall, London

by Yangen Xu

Since Mozart died writing a Requiem, there really cannot be any other possible way to end the Mostly Mozart Festival apart from the doom and...

Prom 57: Orchestre des Champs-Elysees/Philippe Herreweghe: Mozart @ Royal Albert Hall, ...

by Simon Thomas

Philippe Herreweghe and his Orchestre des Champs-élysées gave an all-Mozart programme that was beautifully precise but a little too controlled and ultimately not very engaging....

Prom 16: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – Sakari Oramo @ Royal Albert Hall...

by Yangen Xu

Although I was not surprised to find the ever-tolerant British public giving this concert the standard three-round applause at the end, it was nevertheless one...

Prom 17: English Baroque Soloists – John Eliot Gardiner @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Yangen Xu

If one ever needed evidence that good performances of sacred music had healing properties, one need look no further than this evenings concert. Apart from...

Prom 55: BBC Symphony Orchestra/Jukka-Pekka Saraste: Lindberg, Mendelssohn and Sibelius...

by Simon Thomas

This Finnish-dominated concert saw an exhilarating new work played alongside two warhorses, which ensured there were very few empty seats in the Royal Albert Hall....

Prom 15: BBC Concert Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth – Juan Diego Florez @ Royal Alber...

by Sara Miller

This prom had an intriguingly varied and unusual programme. It was also Barry Wordsworth’s final appearance with the BBC Concert Orchestra as its principal conductor....

Prom 14: BBC Symphony Orchestra/David Robertson @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Sara Miller

George Benjamin’s Dance Figures (2004) had its UK premiere at the Proms on Monday night. Prom 14 was a mixture of sub-standard performances and well-prepared...

Prom 13: BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dominic McHugh

There could have been no better send-off for outgoing BBC National Orchestra of Wales Principal Conductor Richard Hickox than this rip-roaring performance of William Walton’s...

Prom 11: BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dominic McHugh

This weekend, Richard Hickox steps down as Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in two concerts that represent quite aptly the music...