Jacob Riis, 'Children’s Playground, Poverty Gap' (1892)
©Museum of the City of New York

Jacob A. Riis, Museum of the City of New York — ‘Serious and earnest’

Riis photographed poverty with moral outrage — and also distaste

The Life of a Song

'Good Times' vinyl record
Chic’s last-gasp salute to disco was inspired by the Great Depression and the Harlem Renaissance
Kurt Cobain performing in Seattle in 1993 ©Getty
The Nirvana tune whose idea germinated from a graffito has outlived the grunge era and been widely covered
'L’Opera Seria' at La Monnaie. Photo: Baus/La Monnaie DeMunt
©Baus/La Monnaie DeMunt

L’Opera Seria, La Monnaie, Brussels ‘Harmlessly entertaining’

Florian Gassmann’s 1769 work makes a mockery of the opera world

Gwilym Simcock, left, on stage with the Delta Saxophone Quartet at Pizza Express. Photo: Roger Thomas
©Roger Thomas

The Delta Saxophone Quartet with Gwilym Simcock, Pizza Express, London — ‘Shapeshifting’

A prog rock theme ran through the ensemble’s poised performance

Detail of reliefs and mosaics by William Mitchell, Harlow, Essex (1963)
©Steve Baker/Historic England

Out There: Our Post-War Public Art, Somerset House, London

A new show documents England’s postwar boom in public sculpture

Jared McNeill and Carole Karemera in Peter Brook’s ‘Battlefield’. Photo: Donald Cooper
©Donald Cooper

Battlefield, Young Vic, London — ‘Remarkable grace’

Peter Brook co-directs this meditation on war and its aftermath

Dada Masilo’s 'Swan Lake'. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu
©Yi-Chun Wu

Dada Masilo’s Swan Lake, Joyce Theater, New York — ‘Bold’

The South African choreographer’s version reveals hidden layers

Renée Fleming with Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Mark Allan/BBC
©Mark Allan/BBC

Renée Fleming, Barbican, London — ‘Adventurous’

Fleming’s voice soared — whenever the music allowed

Antonio Pappano. Photo: Clive Barda
©Clive Barda

The Mighty Handful, Royal Opera House, London — ‘A fiery sound’

A stormy but uneven programme of music by five Russian composers

Viktorina Kapitonova and Alexander Jones in ‘Swan Lake’. Photo: Carlos Quezada
©Carlos Quezada

Swan Lake, Opernhaus Zurich — ‘Triumphant’

Alexei Ratmansky’s ‘reconstruction’ is an overwhelming success

From left, Dennis Herdman, Rachael Stirling and Jessica Baglow in ‘The Winter’s Tale’. Photo: Marc Brenner
©Marc Brenner

The Winter’s Tale, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London — ‘Lovely, delicate’

Michel Longhurst’s production makes eloquent use of light

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