Luisa Miller, Coliseum

Luisa Miller, Coliseum

ENO no-no It is easy to see why Verdi was attracted to Schiller’s tragedy about the class system, Kabale und Liebe. A genius from the lower orders, Verdi believed in freedom and was classless. English-speaking critics patronise the Schiller play because of the poison...
Les Vêpres Siciliennes,  Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Les Vêpres Siciliennes, Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Welsh National Opera’s new (to the UK – it first saw the light of day last spring in Bonn) show is a visual triumph. The costumes (Marie-Jeanne Lecca) and set (Raimund Bauer) are arresting. The latter is a series of frames, so the characters seem to be stepping in and...
Street Scene, Opera North, Leeds

Street Scene, Opera North, Leeds

Love thy neighbour Kurt Weill’s 1947 “Broadway opera” contains much fine writing, musically and dramatically. It is not shaped like a verismo opera: its excellent songs do not play the same intently focused role as in Puccini. Yet it shows off Weill’s huge theatrical...
Death in Venice, Royal Opera House

Death in Venice, Royal Opera House

Royal crush by Tom Sutcliffe Death in Venice, Benjamin Britten’s last opera, was always a special case – special because written for the composer’s beloved (and habitually unfaithful) partner Peter Pears, but also special because of the composer’s complicated interest...
King Arthur, St John’s, Smith Square

King Arthur, St John’s, Smith Square

Brexcalibur by Robert Thicknesse Who will write the King Arthur for another fractured age? Purcell’s sweet pageant is unlikely to serve as a rallying point, I fear. But that’s surely what it was in 1691, as England and Britain began a long climb out of a half-century...