Iphigénie en Tauride, Stuttgart State Opera

Iphigénie en Tauride, Stuttgart State Opera

Bad trips down Memory Lane by Robert Thicknesse Opera in Britain can feel pretty peripheral, never more so than when you catch one of these classic productions that do the rounds of mainland Europe. It feels like conversation we are not part of – and, indeed, the idea...
Elizabeth I, English Touring Opera, Hackney Empire

Elizabeth I, English Touring Opera, Hackney Empire

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...
Die Walküre, Royal Festival Hall

Die Walküre, Royal Festival Hall

Family planning by Robert Thicknesse A lot of supporters of the London Philharmonic Orchestra couldn’t get into last February’s cycle opener (this is a pretty leisurely Ring, culminating in a full cycle in 2021) because of its “gala” billing and concomitantly ruinous...
Alcina, St John’s, Smith Square

Alcina, St John’s, Smith Square

Hungry hearts by Robert Thicknesse Not many groups can sell out St John’s for a concert of a nearly 300-year-old opera; it says a lot for the vaulting reputation of David Bates’s outfit La Nuova Musica that the place was packed. In what looked a neat gimmick (and...
Mary Bevan Sings Purcell, Hoxton Hall

Mary Bevan Sings Purcell, Hoxton Hall

Weeping songs By Robert Thicknesse How many gloomy songs can you take at one sitting? The Spitalfields Festival invited its audience to test its mettle in this programme of downbeat (or even deadbeat) numbers by Purcell, Blow, John Dowland, Pelham Humfrey, and one...