sat 25/10/2014

Alexandra Coghlan

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Bio
Alexandra is the classical music critic of the New Statesman, and has written on arts for The Times, The Independent, The Guardian, Prospect, Gramophone, Opera Now, The Oxford Times and The Monthly. She was formerly Performing Arts Editor at Time Out, Sydney. She writes about classical music, theatre and film for theartsdesk.

Articles by Alexandra Coghlan

The Marriage of Figaro, English National Opera

To take Figaro – the ultimate operatic assault on class distinctions and social hierarchies – and set it on a giant revolve is a gesture as wilful as it is elegant. Not only are divisions of above...

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The Trial, Music Theatre Wales, Linbury Studio Theatre

According to the programme essay, Philip Glass describes his latest opera as “serious, but also hilariously funny”. All I can say is, if The Trial is his idea of thigh-slapping hilarity then never,...

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Alcina, The English Concert, Bicket, Barbican Hall

What’s the collective noun for mezzo-sopranos? A "warble"? A "might"? A "trouser"? Whatever it is, it doesn’t get a lot of usage outside a choral context. Where in opera would you ever find multiple...

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Henry IV, Donmar Warehouse

It’s hard to believe that almost two years have passed since Phyllida Lloyd’s Julius Caesar at the Donmar Warehouse. Harriet Walter’s stricken face as the play ended is still burningly fresh in the...

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L'Incoronazione di Poppea, The Academy of Ancient Music, Howarth, Barbican Hall

Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea is an opera with a one-track mind. The music throbs and pulses with dancing desire, suspensions and elaborate embellishments defer gratification, while...

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Piau, Les Paladins, Correas, Wigmore Hall

2014 is the 250th anniversary of the death of Jean-Philippe Rameau, France’s baroque giant and maverick. To say that the UK celebrations have been muted is to put in generously, reconfirming a...

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'For classical musicians, Radiohead are the band'

The first time I interviewed Richard Tognetti he told me a story. Prior to touring the Australian Chamber Orchestra to Japan, the group’s leader and artistic director was discussing publicity with a...

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DiDonato, Lyon Opera Orchestra, Minasi, Barbican Hall

At the end of last night’s giddy, triumphant concert at the Barbican, Joyce DiDonato was presented with a bouquet by a member of the audience. It included, among more conventional flowers, a tomato...

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Xerxes, English National Opera

Nicholas Hytner’s 1988 Magic Flute may have trilled its last at English National Opera, but judging by the wit, the joy and the energy on display last night it would be absolutely criminal to put the...

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Otello, English National Opera

From one great operatic storm to another. 2014 opened at English National Opera with David Alden’s Peter Grimes, gale-tossed and wet with sea-spray, and now the director turns his attention to Verdi’...

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Prom 75: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gilbert

The silliness of the Last Night is really just a postscript to the penultimate night of the Proms, traditionally given over to a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. It was a tradition restored...

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Prom 72: Berthaud, BBCSO, Litton

A Prom billed as “English Music” sounds like a restful sort of affair – probably pastoral, definitely tuneful and potentially restorative after a day in the office. In practice however this concert...

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Prom 66: St Matthew Passion, Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle

Peter Sellars’ work used to be about making a statement. He would dislocate texts from contexts, subvert musical suggestion and ignore written statement for the sheer joy of the artistic friction it...

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theartsdesk in Verbier: Festival with Fireworks

Mahler’s Sixth Symphony is dominated by the doleful clang of cowbells. They are an other-worldly intrusion into an otherwise familiar musical scene – unless you happen to be in Verbier, that is, in...

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Rinaldo, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

God it’s good to laugh in an opera house. Not a hear-how-clever-I-am-to-get-the-laborious-operatic-joke laugh, or an I-realise-this-is-supposed-to-be-funny-so-I’m-playing-along one, but a real,...

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Prom 26: European Union Youth Orchestra, London Voices, Petrenko

The symphony – that structural pillar of classical music – found itself under siege last night at the Proms. Both Berio’s Sinfonia and Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony assault and subvert, reshape and...

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