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  1. April 15, 2014

    Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, London – review

    Musical partnerships between New York and London have become ever closer over the past decade. Alongside shared productions...

  2. April 4, 2014

    Julian Anderson’s ‘Thebans’ at the English National Opera

    The sound of “Summertime”, one of Gershwin’s most famous tunes, wafts through the air from a piano in the hotel lounge. It’s...

  1. March 9, 2014

    Arts and culture spending crunch prompts new ways of working

    It came as a serious blow to the Nottingham Playhouse last month when its entire funding from Nottinghamshire county council...

  2. March 3, 2014

    Rodelinda, Coliseum, London – review

    Was there ever a composer who encapsulated the depths of human emotion as intensely – and concisely – as Handel? Listening...

  3. February 16, 2014

    Rigoletto, Coliseum, London – review

    When Rigoletto arrived in London in 1853, Queen Victoria advised that the Court should not attend. The opera was...

  4. December 23, 2013

    BBCSO/Edward Gardner, Barbican, London – review

    Forget Christmas. For its last concert of the year, the BBC Symphony Orchestra stuck religiously to artistic principles by...

  5. November 21, 2013

    Satyagraha, Coliseum, London – review

    It is not often that a contemporary opera comes round for a third run of performances. With its mesmerising imagery this...

  6. November 8, 2013

    The Magic Flute, Coliseum, London – review

    When English National Opera decided to say goodbye to its longstanding production of The Magic Flute, it was clear the...

  7. November 4, 2013

    Julian Anderson, Wigmore Hall, London – review

    If there were such a position as “London’s composer-in-residence”, it would surely belong to Julian Anderson – London-born...

  8. October 22, 2013

    Two Boys, Metropolitan Opera, New York – review

    Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, which had its US premiere on Monday, is morbid, sordid and foolish. It probably was all this when...

  9. October 1, 2013

    Die Fledermaus, Coliseum, London – review

    There comes a point in Johann Strauss’s operetta when Eisenstein utters the line “Please explain, someone, what the hell is...

  10. September 26, 2013

    Fidelio, Coliseum, London – review

    Until the last 20 minutes, this Fidelio is wearingly uneventful. Then Calixto Bieito, enfant terrible of Spanish opera...

  11. September 24, 2013

    Eugene Onegin, Metropolitan Opera, New York – review

    When the Met opened its 129th season on Monday with a quasi-new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, there was plenty...

  12. September 13, 2013

    Operetta: let’s hear it for the waltz king

    Operetta: for some serious music-lovers it’s long been a term of dismissal – if not actual abuse – and today it finds little...

  13. June 17, 2013

    Death in Venice, Coliseum, London – review

    Although Benjamin Britten’s centenary does not fall until November, June has clearly been designated Britten month. While...

  14. June 4, 2013

    The Perfect American, Coliseum, London – review

    Part of the problem is that English National Opera has spoiled us for Philip Glass operas. The company’s production of...

  15. May 13, 2013

    Wozzeck, Coliseum, London – review

    The deeper Berg’s opera lodges itself in the repertoire, the more intriguing and astonishing it becomes. Its music follows a...

  16. May 3, 2013

    A change of direction

    Carrie Cracknell is the latest in a line of directors moving into opera from other genres. She has the kind of CV worth...

  17. April 26, 2013

    Oke stands tall for the best of Britten

    Whatever else we may hear during this year’s Benjamin Britten centenary, the work that remains most closely associated with...

  18. April 15, 2013

    Sunken Garden, Barbican, London – review

    As a PR vehicle, Michel van der Aa’s new creation ranks as a triumph. The hype surrounding its incorporation of 3D film into...

  19. April 14, 2013

    Rite/Petrushka, Sadler’s Wells, London – review

    Michael Keegan Dolan created a tremendous version of The Rite of Spring for his Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre in the English...

  20. March 15, 2013

    Gang of one: Penny Woolcock’s new documentary

    Over a cup of tea in a cosy, cluttered flat in north London, a 63-year-old middle-class grandmother is telling me about her...

  21. February 24, 2013

    From reality TV to reality of arts funding

    The Arts Council will be forced to pull its funding for threatened arts bodies if local authorities press ahead with planned...

  22. February 18, 2013

    Medea, Coliseum, London

    French baroque opera is finally, belatedly, establishing a foothold on English soil, and a good thing it is. First came...

  23. February 4, 2013

    La traviata, Coliseum, London

    Time is precious for Verdi’s doomed courtesan, particularly in Peter Konwitschny’s abridged La traviata. First seen in Graz...

  24. January 29, 2013

    Rigoletto, Metropolitan Opera, New York

    What is it with Rigoletto? Verdi’s hum-along opera used to take place in the ducal court of 16th-century Mantua. In 1982 at...

  25. January 14, 2013

    Cuts cast ENO into £2.2m loss

    London’s powerhouse of contemporary opera has slumped to a loss of £2.2m, newly released accounts show, underlining the...

  26. December 27, 2012

    Die Bajadere, Komische Oper Berlin

    Christmas is a time of limited expectations in Europe’s concert halls and opera houses. Exit rare works and bold...

  27. December 21, 2012

    Why it’s curtains for Gilbert and Sullivan

    I could have spent Saturday at the football with the boy, eating bad food, freezing on the terraces and discovering new and...

  28. November 6, 2012

    The Pilgrim’s Progress, Coliseum, London

    In the final scene of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “morality”, premiered during the 1951 Festival of Britain, John Bunyan...

  29. October 12, 2012

    ‘Yes, we’re doing the Getty opera’

    A new opera called Usher House will have its stage premiere at Welsh National Opera in 2014. There is just one surprising...

  30. September 18, 2012

    Julietta, Coliseum, London

    We find ourselves, inexplicably, in the Central Office of Dreams. Everything seems improbable and uncontrollable. Escape is...

  31. June 29, 2012

    The Diary: AN Wilson

    The scribbler’s life is never done. My kind publishers, Toby Mundy and Margaret Stead of Atlantic Books, have commissioned...

  32. June 20, 2012

    Billy Budd, Coliseum, London

    Moral cowardice – the failure to speak out on matters of right and wrong – is a charge to which most of us can plead guilty....

  33. May 28, 2012

    Caligula, Coliseum, London

    As a corrective, this new opera is well timed. Just as Sacha Baron Cohen is strutting his stuff on the big screen in The...

  34. May 18, 2012

    Unholy revivals

    “It’s been crazy, I’ve lost track of dates,” says Benedict Andrews as he flicks through a pocket diary, tracing his finger...

  35. May 1, 2012

    The Flying Dutchman, Coliseum, London

    Some of Wagner’s “romantic opera” takes place at sea, some on dry land. The challenge facing the modern interpreter is to...

  36. April 18, 2012

    Jakob Lenz, Hampstead Theatre, London

    After winning both of the opera awards at the Oliviers last weekend, and savouring the presentation at the Royal Opera...

  37. April 15, 2012

    Matilda the Musical scoops seven awards

    Matilda the Musical stole the show at the Olivier Awards on Sunday, scooping seven awards – a record number for a single...

  38. April 4, 2012

    A marriage of the artistic and the financial

    When Loretta Tomasi joined English National Opera, the organisation was engulfed in turmoil and its finances were rocky....

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