fri 19/08/2022

Opera Reviews

The Midsummer Marriage, LPO, Gardner, RFH review – Tippett’s cornucopia shines in fits and starts

David Nice

British opera’s attempted answer to The Magic Flute, and its presentation as the opening gambit of Edward Gardner’s eminent position as principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, leave me queasily ambivalent.

Read more...

The Magic Flute, Royal Opera review - all but a guarantee of a great night out

alexandra Coghlan

Rarely has the revolving door of opera twirled so efficiently.

Read more...

Rigoletto, Royal Opera review - routine clouds the best in this season opener

David Nice

Another season, another new production of Verdi’s nastiest masterpiece. For which we should be profoundly grateful after the tribulations of the last 18 months. Yet how quickly elements of the routine can corrode the soul of the spectator, just as fresh, urgent communication can set it alight.

Read more...

The Barber of Seville, Welsh National Opera review - back to work in an old banger

stephen Walsh

Welcome back, WNO! Yes, emphatically, and with a loud hurrah, which is precisely what the company received, and rightly received, from the somewhat arbitrarily scattered first night Millennium Centre audience for their opening revival of The Barber of Seville.

Read more...

Tristan und Isolde, Glyndebourne, BBC Proms review - endless love, perfect pace

David Nice

“Now I’ve conducted Tristan for the first time,” the 27-year-old Richard Strauss wrote from Weimar to Wagner’s widow Cosima in 1892, “and it was the most wonderful day of my life”.

Read more...

Ariadne auf Naxos, Edinburgh International Festival review – apt setting for Strauss hybrid

Douglas McDonald

This lively interpretation of Richard Strauss’s opera within an opera provides a feast for the senses as a musical highlight of the Edinburgh international Festival.

Read more...

theartsdesk at the Birgit Nilsson Days - the rich legacy of a farm girl turned diva

David Nice

Feet firmly planted on fertile native soil, but always open to the world, lyric-dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson soared into realms no-one from the rolling hills and coastline of Sweden’s Bjäre peninsula, where she grew up, could possibly have imagined.

Read more...

A Night at the Opera, BBC Philharmonic, Glassberg, BBC Proms review - six of the best

Jessica Duchen

This delectable Prom hid behind the title "To Soothe the Aching Heart" the failsafe concept of a programme of the world’s favourite opera extracts, plus some. Take six British opera stars – three sopranos, two tenors and a mezzo – and assign them the business of comforting us all.

Read more...

Hansel and Gretel, British Youth Opera review - chaotic rewrite of a classic opera misses the mark

alexandra Coghlan

It’s hard to know where to start with this chaotic Hansel and Gretel, and not just because Humperdinck’s opera has been cut, spliced and re-stitched with a brand-new libretto, new characters and multi-track, multi-option audio. The restless, competing ideas, the gaudy design, the ill-judged tone, the fussy technology all conspire against the performers, who produce some fine singing despite everything.

Read more...

RhineGold, Birmingham Opera Company, Symphony Hall review - music-drama at the highest level

David Nice

The love of power corrupts, the power of love falters or fails.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

First Person: Michael Volpe on the utopian thinking behind h...

“But what’s in it for you?” It was a simple enough question, asked by an accomplished opera singer. It stemmed from hearing that the new version...

Prom 42, Lisiecki, BBC Scottish SO, Dausgaard review - conce...

Sibelius or Nielsen symphonies? Last night, with the Finn’s Seventh in the first half and the Dane’s “Inextinguishable” (No. 4) in the second,...

Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Joseph Parsons / Njambi McGra...

Joseph Parsons, The Mash House ★...

My Old School review - a Glasgow schoolboy and his elaborate...
Back in 1995, the name Brandon Lee made the headlines. Not the Brandon Lee as in son of Bruce, who’d recently met his death on the set of ...
Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Ode to Joy / Wilf

Ode to Joy (How Gordon Got to Go to the Nasty Pig Party), Summerhall ★...

Album: Demi Lovato - Holy Fvck

Demi Lovato doesn’t do things by halves. She has one of the most powerful voices around, as suited to the yang of punchy hard rock as it is to the...

theartsdesk at the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2022 - a safe spa...

Essay-writing can be a great art, at least when executed by Hubert Butler of Kilkenny, on a par - whether you know his writing or not, and you...

The Trials, Donmar Warehouse review - chillingly compelling

Dystopian theatre takes many forms – but this is the first which is a jury-room drama. Dawn King has previously explored the...

Mingus Dynasty, Ronnie Scott's review - official keeper...

Very good things have come to pass as a result the Mingus Centennial in April this year. A light has been shone not just on the...