Il Turco in Italia

This charming Rossini opera deals with a writer who finds the characters for a story, and helps them interact with one another to create a happy ending. Glyndebourne’s new production by Mariame Clément is far too complex in Act I, as the writer’s notes and drafts keep appearing on the back of the stage, to …

Read more >


Katya Kabanova, Glyndebourne

The opening night of Glyndebourne’s season featured a vibrant production of Janaček’s dramatic opera Katya Kabanova with the wonderful Czech soprano Kateřina Kněžíková in the title role. A superb performance under the baton of Robin Ticciati in a new production by Damiano Michieletto. My review in The Article.

Read more >


La Clemenza di Tito

In these days of recovery from Covid-19, with social distancing still in force, the Royal Opera decided to reopen full scale live operas on stage with Mozart’s late opera La Clemenza di Tito, which has only an off-stage chorus. This new production by Richard Jones did not entirely work. See my review in The Article.

Read more >


Nutcracker, Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, December 2020

What a treat to be back at the Royal Opera House to watch The Nutcracker, despite the social distancing for dancers and audience. My review in The Article.

Read more >


History of Sleeping Beauty, Royal Ballet 2019

This is the interesting article in the ROH Sleeping Beauty Programme, courtesy of its author and the Royal Opera House. Behind the Fairytale by Sebastian Cody. The budget for the first production of The Sleeping Beauty ‘almost equalled the cost of two warships’, or so said a recent Russian expert. This is perhaps a slight …

Read more >


Marriage of Figaro, English National Opera, ENO, March 2020

This new minimalist production strips away the usual setting, and concentrates on the characters’ interactions with one another and the sexual yearnings that drive them all. The staging allows the performers to connect directly with the audience — see my review in The Article.

Read more >


Così fan tutte, English Touring Opera, ETO, Hackney Empire, March 2020

A delightful production in bright colours with a very fine young cast, all under the baton Holly Mathieson. My review in The Article.

Read more >


Fidelio, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, March 2020

The concept for this new production is excellent, though its presentation in Act II didn’t meet with audience approval. Wonderfully energetic conducting by Antonio Pappano, and Lise Davidsen in the title role was truly outstanding — my review in The Article.

Read more >


Dances at a Gathering/ The Cellist, Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, February 2020

Dances at a Gathering with its wonderfully imaginative choreography by Jerome Robbins was sheer delight, followed by The Cellist, a new ballet by Cathy Marston on the life and loves of Jacqueline du Pré, based mainly on three dancers representing: her, the conductor (Barenboim) and a personification of the cello by a male dancer — …

Read more >


Luisa Miller, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, February 2020

Wonderful performances of this Verdi opera despite a heavily psychological production involving dancers, a chorus dressed as clowns, Rodolfo and Luisa as young children, and avoiding one death on the basis that evil will always survive. My review in The Article.

Read more >