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
The dark, dank streets and tenements of London’s notorious borough of Whitechapel in 1888 are powerfully captured by English National Opera’s production of Jack the Ripper. Composer Iain Bell has created a rich and sumptuous score with a Romantic flavour in the...read more
In February, the Music Section presented two of its Critics’ Circle Awards. At the Hackney Empire, Mark Valencia was on hand to do the honours, presenting soprano Jennifer France her award after her incredible performance for Scottish Opera in Stuart MacRae’s new...read more
Misfortune cookies The Royal Opera has sold this production expensively and successfully not because of the work itself, however interesting (and it really is), but because of Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann as Leonora and Alvaro. Nobody likes Christof Loy’s muddled...read more
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