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...
Così fan tutte, Classical Opera, Cadogan Hall

Così fan tutte, Classical Opera, Cadogan Hall

Growing pains by Robert Thicknesse I confess I wasn’t expecting huge things from Ian Page and Classical Opera’s Così. Nice cast, for sure, but Page isn’t (despite his unswerving devotion to the composer) the greatest Mozart conductor, and his orchestra is only a bit...