The aims of the Music Section of the Critics’ Circle are: a) to promote the art of criticism and to uphold its integrity in practice; b) to foster and safeguard the professional interests of its members and to provide opportunities for social intercourse among them; and c) to support the advancement of the arts. Though the Circle is decidedly not a trade union, it tries to encourage best practice.
We meet to discuss and decide bread and butter matters twice a year. Occasionally we host meetings with a leading figure from the music world. We also hold luncheons or dinners to celebrate the lifetime achievement of some very special artist, writer, composer or instrumentalist. The music section has about 80 members. At present, it consists overwhelmingly of classical music and opera critics, though we welcome critics of other kinds of music (jazz, pop, and world music).
News & Reviews
Killer queen The low point in Donizetti’s "Elizabeth and Essex" opera comes when the pit strikes up a version of the National Anthem. The howling anachronism isn’t the problem: the history of opera contains many such, and we tend to cope. The trouble is, it makes...read more
Grace notes by Robert Thicknesse As with nearly all innovations in 19th-century opera, it was Gioachino Rossini who discovered the obvious truth that Queen Elizabeth I was a born coloratura; handy for Gaetano Donizetti, who later put the queen at the heart of two...read more
PISS POOR Franz Lehár’s operetta, newly staged at the Coliseum by English National Opera, looks sort of traditionally Edwardian – except for the slinky contemporary ballgown worn by Sarah Tynan in the title role of Hanna Glawari, as up-to-the-minute as the MeToo...read more
Dancing with Mr D Director David Pountney plays Verdi’s tale of love, death and vendetta with creepily comic touches. Every now and then the chorus get together for a conga line or work coordinated dance steps and hops into their perambulations. This compromises our...read more