Opera + Classical Music Reviews

Ernani @ Coliseum, London

by Helen Wright

First performed at La Fenice in Venice in 1844, Ernani is early, unsophisticated Verdi and all the more fun for that. Why it is so rarely performed is a mystery. The plot (based on a…



St John Passion @ Coliseum, London

by Helen Wright

Celebrating Easter 2000 and the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death, the ENO made the bold decision to stage one of his great dramatic Passions, which normally unfold the Easter story in static performance. Of course...

The Silver Tassie @ Coliseum, London

by Helen Wright

After all the hype (including a CD of ‘highlights’ sent to ticket holders in advance) this World premiere was eagerly awaited but, perhaps inevitably, a disappointment. Turnage has been influenced by Britten but says that...

La bohème @ Coliseum, London

by Helen Wright

La Bohème, Puccini’s tale of the Bohemian life, has been updated to the 1950s and one suspects that this is more in the interests of saving costume budgets than giving a new perspective. The lives...

Gawain @ Coliseum, London

by Helen Wright

The music for Harrison Birtwistle’s opera about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was loudly heckled at its Covent Garden premiere in 1991, partly because parts of it are so complex – and so loud...

Alcina @ Coliseum, London

by Helen Wright

The trouble with Handel is that his original audiences didn’t have so many distractions. They were quite happy to sit for hours while his singers came on, sang a nice aria, sang it again with...