Opera and Classical Reviews
David Miller

The Sixteen / Christophers @ Wigmore Hall, London

by Sam Smith

This concert by The Sixteen showed that it is slightly easier to divide two halves of an evening (broadly) between the religious and the secular,…



Street Scene @ Grand Theatre, Leeds

by Melanie Eskenazi

Opera North has scored another big hit with this superbly conducted, well sung and impeccably designed production of Kurt Weill’s ‘Broadway opera.’ In some ways...

The Turn Of The Screw @ Grand Theatre, Leeds

by Melanie Eskenazi

Opera North continues its superbly varied season with this revival of Alessandro Talevi’s much-praised production. Don’t go expecting the now fashionable onstage lake or much...

LSO / Rattle @ Barbican Hall, London

by Barry Creasy

Part serial, part late-Romantic, Alban Berg’s violin concerto stands at a musical crossroads; the harbinger of 20th century Modernism, it needs to be fully inhabited...

Die Walküre @ Teatro Real, Madrid

by Keith McDonnell

The Teatro Real is assembling its Ring Cycle one opera per season, concluding in 2022, conveniently coinciding with the company’s silver jubilee. As yet there’s...

Luisa Miller @ Coliseum, London

by Benjamin Poore

Verdi’s Luisa Miller is rarely staged in London, so this production from German-based Czech director Barbora Horáková, a longtime collaborator of Calixto Bieito, was sure...

The Bach Choir @ Royal Festival Hall, London

by Benjamin Poore

The chapter John Eliot Gardiner dedicates to Bach’s B Minor Mass in his book on the composer is titled ‘The Art of Perfection’. The Mass...

Lise Davidsen @ Barbican Hall, London

by Sam Smith

Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen sang Ariadne at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2017 and Freia, Ortlinde and Third Norn in Covent Garden’s 2018 Ring Cycle. Many...

LPO / Jurowski @ Royal Festival Hall, London

by Keith McDonnell

Beethoven here, Beethoven there – in fact he’s everywhere this year as the musical world throws itself headlong into Beethoven 250. It is, of course,...

OAE / Fischer @ Royal Festival Hall, London

by Keith McDonnell

Iván Fischer is renowned for re-examining familiar works, deconstructing them and even reconfiguring the orchestra, with players seated where you wouldn’t normally expect to see...

Raabe / Israel @ Wigmore Hall, London

by Barry Creasy

Max Raabe is mostly known for being the vocalist for Das Palast Orchester and their interpretations of ‘swing-style’ music from the Weimar Republic of the...

The Marriage of Figaro @ Grand Theatre, Leeds

by Melanie Eskenazi

Opera North’s genuinely funny, true ‘company’ version of Mozart’s great work would be an ideal introduction to opera as well as a definite crowd pleaser...

Royal Holloway in Concert @ St John’s Smith Square, London

by Barry Creasy

Over the past decade, the choir of Royal Holloway under Rupert Gough has made a name for itself, releasing 15 albums to date, not a...

Beethoven’s Major Heroes @ Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

by Benjamin Poore

‘You are invited to join us in the music-making’, Sir Roger Norrington told the audience before the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment launched Beethoven’s...

The Swingles / The King’s Singers @ Kings Place, London

by Barry Creasy

January usually sees the arrival of the London A Cappella Festival, but the organisers have decided to let 2020 lie fallow. As compensation, though, the...

La Nuova Musica / Bates @ Wigmore Hall, London

by Barry Creasy

Although there were some charming musical highlights to La Nuova Musica’s A French Affair on Thursday evening, the concert seemed to suffer from a lack...

La Traviata @ Teatro La Fenice, Venice

by Melanie Eskenazi

Robert Carsen’s production of La Traviata was the first staged work at the ‘new’ Fenice in 2004 and, although some of the concepts now look...

Sound Across a Century @ Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

by Benjamin Poore

Two concerts from the London Sinfonietta chart ‘the sound across a century’. This first, led by Thierry Fischer, explores one tendril of the twentieth-century avant-garde:...

Bach and the Divine: Solo Cantatas @ Milton Court, London

by Barry Creasy

  The baritone Benjamin Appl made his name singing Schubert Lieder, but his proficiency with works of an earlier era was demonstrated in his 2018...

Gerhaher / Huber @ Wigmore Hall, London

by Sam Smith

No one who heard Christian Gerhaher sing ‘Oh du mein holder Abendstern’ in Tannhäuser at the Royal Opera House in 2010 and 2016 will ever...

Sukanya @ Royal Festival Hall, London

by Steven Johnson

Shankar 100 is a year long series taking place at the Southbank Centre commemorating the centenary of the birth of Ravi Shankar. He may be...