wed 25/05/2016

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

4.48 Psychosis, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith

New operas are a risky business, or so the Royal Opera’s past experience teaches us. For years, visiting the company’s Linbury Studio Theatre was like rolling the dice while on a losing streak: vain...

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Love & Friendship

Jane Austen’s early novel-in-letters Lady Susan has more in common with Vanity Fair or even Les Liaisons Dangereuses than it does with the author’s mature works. Austen’s familiar wit is there,...

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Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Glyndebourne

A celebration of the power of words and music (leaving aside, briefly, that more troubling business about the Fatherland), Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is a natural opener for the summer...

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Madam Butterfly, English National Opera

There’s a beautiful moment at the start of Act II of Anthony Minghella’s Madam Butterfly. Butterfly kneels, leaning forward to kiss Pinkerton, seated in his defiantly Western armchair. A paper screen...

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The Dark Mirror: Zender's Winterreise, Barbican Theatre

Elasticity is a surprisingly reliable test for great art. How far can you stretch, bend, or reshape a work before it loses its essence, its identity?  Hamlet, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Antigone...

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Brighton Festival: The Encounter, Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts

Simon McBurney and Complicite have made plays about many things – maths, circuses, immigration, Japan, old age – but, at core, they’re all really about the same subject: storytelling. Their latest...

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The Busker's Opera, Park Theatre

Satire, we’re solemnly instructed in Dougal Irvine’s new musical The Busker's Opera, “has to strike a fine balance of entertainment and teaching”. Well yes, but it’s also generally wise (discretion,...

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Piau, Les Talens Lyriques, Rousset, Wigmore Hall

La Follia was, as every programme note inevitably reminds us, a pop song of its day. A strutting Spanish dance, it featured in the work of over 150 composers, so catchy was its signature chord...

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Brahms: A German Requiem, ENO Chorus, Wigglesworth, St George's Hanover Square

There aren’t many opera choruses I’d want to hear singing Brahms’ Requiem, and still fewer I’d rush to hear. But the Olivier Award-winning ENO chorus is a different beast altogether – as responsive...

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Lucia di Lammermoor, Royal Opera

Lucia di Lammermoor is an opera in which men spend an awful lot of time talking about women, and very little actually talking to them. (Which, if nothing else, ensures a rather more dramatic...

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Written on Skin, Barbican

You learn a lot about an opera in concert. Free from directorial and design intervention, the music can and must do it all. What is good is amplified, and what’s weak exposed. When that score is as...

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Ariodante, Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music

The London Handel Festival is back, and instead of ploughing their usual furrow of rarely-seen works, this year’s opera is a classic. If the rest of Ariodante doesn’t quite live up to the promise of...

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Akhnaten, English National Opera

What a load of balls. No, seriously. Globes, orbs, moons, suns, juggling balls, beach balls, er balls balls: if it’s spherical and pregnant with symbolism then you’re bound to find it somewhere on...

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Orlando, The English Concert, Bicket, Barbican

Anyone who says Handel can’t do psychology should spend an evening with Orlando. Form, orchestration, even exit conventions are all reinvented or cast aside for a work of startlingly contemporary...

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The Magic Flute, English National Opera

“We are at a time of present crisis.” When Sarastro addressed his boardroom of business-suited acolytes last night, there can’t have been many in the Coliseum whose thoughts didn’t turn to English...

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The Winter's Tale, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

For a play about silence – its uncanny ability to tell the truth, to “persuade when speaking fails” – The Winter’s Tale is remarkably wordy. Of the sequence of late romances only Cymbeline comes...

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A musical dramatisation of Sarah Kane's classic play finds both pain a...

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After seven years away, the synth-pop return of a great Scottish songwriter

Love & Friendship

Kate Beckinsale shines in a stylish but uneven adaptation of Austen's...

Sunken Cities: Egypt's lost worlds rediscovered

Forgotten for over 1,000 years, eerily evocative treasures take centre stag...

Oedipe, Royal Opera

Tragedy transcended and patience rewarded in Enescu's epic myth

Human Animals, Royal Court Theatre

New drama about an ecological catastrophe is wildly imaginative and thought...