Opera and Classical Reviews

Prom 3: Wagner – Siegfried @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dominic McHugh

After Simon Rattle’s fresh period-instrument account of Das Rheingold in 2004 and last year’s starry Die Walküre, it was back to a solid and conventional…



Prom 2: Mozart the Dramatist – Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Sir Roger Norrington @ ...

by Dominic McHugh

After a drab start to the Proms last night, Sir Roger Norrington galvanised the festival into the kind of gear it should be in, and...

Prom 1: First Night of the Proms – BBC Symphony Orchestra/Jir

by Dominic McHugh

To open the world’s biggest classical music festival, the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s new Chief Conductor, the Czech Jir Belohlávek, combined music that celebrated the year’s...

Love Counts

by Ben Hogwood

A brave move, pitching an opera’s opening nightagainst the first night of the Proms, but the UKpremiere of the second staged collaboration betweenMichael Nyman and...

English Chamber Orchestra/Roy Goodman/Hilary Hahn @ Barbican Hall, London

by Yangen Xu

Is it just me, or is there a Nationalist agenda here?Why, in a ‘Mostly Mozart’ concert, did the programme feature only one work by Mozart,...

Don Pasquale

by Agnes Kory

Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at the Royal Opera House is delightful entertainment of a high quality.I enjoyed the evening, so my reservations should not discourage anybody...

King Arthur @ Coliseum, London

by Helen Wright

Is it coincidence that ENO’s first-ever production of King Arthur, a joyous (if heavily rose-tinted) celebration of Britain, opens during the World Cup? Director and...

Philharmonia Orchestra/András Schiff @ Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

by Agnes Kory

There is certainly no shortage of anniversaries and their celebrations. The classical music year 2006 is dominated by Mozart (born 250 years ago) and, to...

Nixon In China @ Coliseum, London

by Helen Wright

John Adams’ extraordinary opera, conceived by the Director and long-term collaborator Peter Sellars, is revived at the Coliseum – miss it at your peril.This work...

Zaide @ Barbican Hall, London

by Dominic McHugh

Ever controversial, radical American director Peter Sellars opened this performance with a half-hour talk on slavery in the 21st century, with help from representatives from...

The Sound of Colour: Kandinsky and Schoenberg 1911 -1912 @ Almeida Theatre, London

by Agnes Kory

This concert formed part of Tate Modern’s current Kandinsky exhibition and justifiably so.After hearing Schnberg’s Second String Quartet (1907 – 08), Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky...

James Lisney @ Wigmore Hall, London

by Sara Miller

It was the twentieth anniversary of James Lisney’s Wigmore Hall debut on July 4, and he marked it by a triumphant tribute to his great,...

Primavera Chamber Ensemble @ Wigmore Hall, London

by Sara Miller

The Primavera Chamber Ensemble and Massimo Mercelli are world-renowned and in this concert they graced the stage of the Wigmore Hall.The programme was varied and...

The Fiery Angel

by Ben Hogwood

Much has been made of the supposed rivalry between the Kirov and Bolshoitheatres, with both visiting London at the same time for short seasons ofopera...

Katerina Izmaylova

by Agnes Kory

Shostakovich’s Katerina Izmaylova (composed in 1963) is usually described as the revised version of the composer’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (completed in 1932).However, perhaps it...

The Nose @ Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, London

by Simon Thomas

The Opera Group gives the big guns a run for their money with Shostakovich’s early comedy

Boris Godunov

by Agnes Kory

The Bolshoi Opera’s production of Boris Godunov, in place since 1948, is a luxurious feast for the ears and eyes but it is less satisfactory...

The Nose

by Ben Hogwood

Of all Shostakovich’s compositions, The Nose is surely the closest he came to committing outright musical rebellion.In choosing to adapt NikolayGogol’s tale for the stage...

Royal String Quartet/C

by Sara Miller

Whilst most of the UK was watching England’s defeat in the football on Saturday, the Wigmore Hall was presenting an evening dedicated to Mozart’s victory...

Wagner: Die Walk

by Dominic McHugh

track listingCD1. Act 1CD2. Act 2 (part 1)CD3. Act 2 (part 2)CD4. Act 3This new Die Walkre marks the beginning of the first complete recording...

Cos @ Opera Holland Park, London

by Dominic McHugh

Holland Park is the ideal setting for Cos fan tutte in many ways. As the light of a summer’s evening fades to dark, so too...