Opera + Classical Music Reviews

Dunedin Consort review – celebrating 300 years since Bach began working in Leipzig

by Barry Creasy

Dunedin Consort in a programme of Bach cantatas for the season, with ‘guest’ appearances by Telemann and Graupner



Siegfried review – the latest instalment in Regents Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen...

by Sam Smith

A production that is as insightful as it is innovative

Jephte & Dido and Aeneas review – Joyce DiDonato returns to the Barbican as the ...

by Keith McDonnell

Purcell’s opera, Dido and Aeneas, thrills under Maxim Emelyanychev’s inspired direction, with Joyce DiDonato’s incandescent performance of the Carthaginian queen at its heart

Così fan tutte review – partner swapping in Leeds scandal

by Melanie Eskenazi

Opera North brings us Mozart with mixed results

Chineke! review – assured performances of Watts, Saint-Saëns and Coleridge-Taylor

by Barry Creasy

Saint-Saëns’ organ symphony sandwiched between a couple of works by youthful composers of today and yesteryear

The English Concert review – impeccable performances of Handel at Wigmore Hall

by Barry Creasy

Early works from Handel’s time in Rome and Hanover, as well as a later trio sonata from his later life in London make for a well balanced programme of pure delight

Elijah review – The London Symphony Orchestra and Antonio Pappano deliver the goods a...

by Sam Smith

A tour de force founded on outstanding musicality

Simply Quartet review – Haydn, Webern and Beethoven make Sunday morning complete at t...

by Sam Smith

The Simply Quartet is simply brilliant in this repertoire

The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions review – an explosive queer odyssey...

by Keith McDonnell

Philip Venables and Ted Huffman have turned this ‘70s cult book into an absorbing piece of music theatre that both challenges and beguiles its audience

La bohème review – Puccini’s most popular opera makes a welcome return to Covent G...

by Keith McDonnell

A fresh, energetic cast brings a youthful energy to Richard Jones’ staging of this perennial favourite at The Royal Opera House

Brentano String Quartet review – Beethoven with a sprinkling of Purcell, Bach and Mac...

by Sam Smith

One piece dominated this delightful Sunday morning concert

Rachmaninov Song Series review – art songs from 19th and 20th century Russia

by Barry Creasy

Soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan and baritone Andrey Zhilikhovsky explore the broad compass of Russian song with Iain Burnside (piano) and Michael Foyle (violin)

‘From My Homeland’ review – Nash Ensemble continue their Czech journey

by Barry Creasy

Chamber music by Dvořák, Suk and Brahms performed with intensity and passion

Elektra review – Christof Loy’s staging finally arrives at Covent Garden

by Keith McDonnell

Delayed four years due to Covid, The Royal Opera’s new Elektra is orchestrally outstanding, but vocally under par. Christof Loy’s highly anticipated staging of Strauss’ devastating one act opera finally appeared at The Royal Opera,...

Albert Herring review – Opera North brings Suffolk sunshine to warm your cockles in b...

by Melanie Eskenazi

An ‘in the round’ production which justifies Sviatoslav Richter’s view of Albert Herring as “The greatest comic opera of the 20th century”

Jenůfa review – Rattle returns to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra

by Keith McDonnell

Continuing his cycle of Janáček operas with the LSO, Simon Rattle tackles the Czech composer’s harrowing tale of Monrovian village life with mixed results

‘Hey for Christmas’ review – sacred and secular Yuletide music

by Barry Creasy

Siglo de Oro and Spinacino Consort recreate a 17th century Christmas house party full of both reverence and joy

Messiah review – Handel’s masterpiece raises the roof of Middlesbrough Town Hall

by Melanie Eskenazi

The trumpets sounded and we were raised, at least to standing, for the Hallelujah Chorus

Wolf Witch Giant Fairy review – 65 minutes of operatic enchantment at The Royal Opera

by Keith McDonnell

This knockout show for the festive season, aimed at the over fives, will delight audiences of all ages

Hansel and Gretel review – Hansel and Gretel lacks magic at The Royal Opera

by Keith McDonnell

Despite some fine singing, and exemplary conducting and playing, this performance failed to enchant or beguile as any halfway decent staging of this magical opera should

The Choir of New College, Oxford, ‘A Babe is Born’ review – a concert of two ...

by Barry Creasy

The choir, under director Robert Quinney, deliver excellent accounts of music from latter centuries at St John’s, Smith Square