Reviews Index

Pelléas et Mélisande @ Garsington Opera, Wormsley

by Melanie Eskenazi

The woods decay, the woods decay and fall, / The vapours weep their burthen to the ground… Tennyson’s poem about the decay of all that…



Bryn and Zen @ Grange Park Opera, West Horsley


Had this concert appeared at the Wigmore Hall it would have left everyone scratching their heads at the choice of programme. As an extra event...

Jenůfa @ Grange Park Opera, West Horsley


Janáček’s heroine teaches the village girls to read and write so that they may ‘better themselves,’ or in other words get away from this severe,...

Charlie Parker’s Yardbird @ Hackney Empire, London


Although the European premiere of this opera about the eponymous jazz composer and saxophonist, which was originally commissioned by Opera Philadelphia, is taking place at...

Apollo et Hyancinthus @ St. John’s, Smith Square, London


The latest event in Classical Opera’s Mozart 250 series, in which the concerts always feature compositions written a quarter of a millennium before the current...

Carmen @ The Grange Festival, Alresford


No-one could accuse director Annabel Arden and designer Joanna Parker’s production of Carmen of not being innovative or accessible. Whether it is entirely successful is...

Hamlet @ Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Lewes


Who is Hamlet? Is he a noble, “sweet prince” whose moral scruples will not allow him to sweep to his revenge in the traditional manner...

A Celebration of Rodgers & Hammerstein and Rodgers & Hart @ The Grange Festiv...


The idea of the perfect orchestra for the music in question performing in the perfect venue might conjure up thoughts of the Berliner Philharmoniker playing...

Tosca @ Grange Park Opera, West Horsley Place


We’ve previously remarked that Wasfi Kani could probably persuade you to part with your Labrador, so it did not come as too much of a...

Verdi’s Messa da Requiem @ The Grange Festival, Alresford


The Grange Festival’s first season sees it complement its main opera productions with two one-off concerts. One is an evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein (and...

Tristan und Isolde @ Longborough Festival Opera, Longborough


Tristan und Isolde is far more emotion than action driven, and this may explain why the simplicity of Carmen Jakobi’s staging for Longborough Festival Opera...

Gabrieli / McCreesh @ St John’s Smith Square, London


The Virgin Mary is a regular subject of concerts of shorter choral works, and singers from Gabrieli under Paul McCreesh put together a well-judged programme...

Radamisto @ Milton Court Theatre, London


To set an opera in a museum is not an entirely original idea, as it was one employed by Opera Holland Park in 2015 for...

Le Nozze di Figaro @ Garsington Opera, Wormsley


Who are these dangerous subversives, setting Mozart’s bittersweet comedy in the century in which it was written, with sets and costumes bereft of barbed wire,...

Duruflé and Fauré Requiems @ Royal Festival Hall, London


Half a century separates the Parisian Requiems of Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Duruflé, and, although they are settings of the same textual model (both omit...

Semele @ Garsington Opera, Wormsley


Semele is perhaps the perfect work for this ethereal opera house in its arcadian setting, and the intimacy of contact between stage and audience possible...

Don Giovanni @ Opera Holland Park, London


Don Giovanni can work in any number of times and places, provided that the social hierarchies that underpin the story are not sacrificed. Oliver Platt’s...

La rondine @ Opera Holland Park, London


Puccini’s La rondine is rather more emotion than action driven. The Brief Encounter-esque plot, in which Magda, the mistress of the banker Rambaldo Fernandez, momentarily...

Stile Antico @ Wigmore Hall, London


Stile Antico’s concert ‘Divine Consolations’ on Tuesday evening contained a selection of choral music on a funerary theme, from both the Catholic and Protestant traditions....

La traviata @ Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Lewes


Tom Cairns’ Glyndebourne Festival Opera production of La traviata, which premiered in 2014 and subsequently enjoyed a touring version, now returns to its original home....

Hipermestra @ Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Lewes


There is nothing quite like a Cavalli opera at Glyndebourne, and equally nothing quite like any baroque opera in this house under the direction of...