Reviews

No need for laying it on with a trowel with this clean if grubby Il tabarro from Mid Wales Opera

13th October 2021

It is a challenging enterprise to take opera out to smaller venues at the best of times let alone when audiences are still wary in Covid days but it is one that Mid Wales Opera with Richard Studer and Jonathan Lyness at the tiller do with a sure touch and excellent musicianship. The combination of […]

Read More

Rosina takes control – on every level

30th September 2021

The auditorium might have been extremely lightly populated but those who had come along to see the show, masked or unmasked such is the confusing state of affairs in Wales, enjoyed a rare treat – an enjoyable production from Welsh National Opera without any psychobabble or a la mode gobbledegook. It was heartening to hear […]

Read More

An airbrushed show that has Madam Butterfly as a human commodity for whoever has the money to pay

25th September 2021

Welsh National Opera at Wales Millennium Centre It must be deeply annoying for a director when the opera gets in the way of a concept. Drat – the libretto. You can fiddle with settings, play around with costumes, even tweak the translation but there are some things that you cannot escape. Well, you would have […]

Read More

Iford Arts New Generation Artists I Pagliacci

31st August 2021

This Iford Arts New Generation Artists performance of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at Belcombe Court demonstrated there is no shortage of developing talent and the vital role of performance experience. The audience was treated to individual performances that should soon happily grace some of our professional state funded opera companies. Clearly, carefully rehearsed by production director Christopher […]

Read More

mezzoCav and I Pagliacci, Iford Arts

31st August 2021

This delicious performance of the stripped back to its emotional basics I Pagliacci had an increased poignancy, being the last show of Iford Arts short summer festival. The story is of the troupe of travelling players about to make their own performance before packing up and heading back on the road, with all the challenges […]

Read More

Fun and youthful exuberance in Don Giovanni at Nevill Holt Opera

21st August 2021

The weather does not seem too kind to outdoor operas in August and while we had a cool but lovely evening at the exquisite gardens of Nevill Holt for the first night of their sparky and energetic Don Giovanni black clouds threaten some of the further performances. Obviously this is bad news for those seated […]

Read More

L’amico Fritz at Opera Holland Park

1st August 2021

Even an unseasonal massive downpour on to Opera Holland Park’s canopy could not wash away the summer delight of this Mascagni 1891 work. James Clutton, CEO and Director of Opera, joked with the audience about their “winter” season and how they had decided to keep the social distancing between seats the same despite relaxation of […]

Read More

Remarkable Manon from Elin Pritchard at the Grange Festival

25th July 2021

Soprano Elin Pritchard will remember this final performance of Manon Lescaut at the Grange Festival for the rest of her career. In fact, so too will the entire ensemble, such as was the emotion and sense of achievement in having delivered this performance, the conclusion of a unique season somehow created and performed in the […]

Read More

A young and vibrant Figaro at Opera Holland Park

17th July 2021

Adversity sometimes brings unexpected opportunity. In this case the requirements of social distancing was overcome by Opera Holland Park by borrowing free standing chairs from other companies and creating a very relaxed, informal setting for the audience to enjoy the Young Artists’ performance of Figaro. Of course, it means far smaller audiences than usual but […]

Read More

Glorious singing in Onegin at Garsington

17th July 2021

Michael Boyd’s production makes excellent use of the glass pavilion at Garsington with peasants visible as they approach the stage and similarly the pairs of lovers (or not lovers in Onegin and Tatyana’s case) walking around the outside of the auditorium. However, it was distracting having some scenes overshadowed by unnecessary although stylish additions such […]

Read More