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...
The Creation, St John’s, Smith Square

The Creation, St John’s, Smith Square

On the hoof | by Robert Thicknesse | As everyone knows, the journey can be more diverting than the destination – even when the destination itself is pretty tasty. The culmination of Haydn’s great oratorio, the duet between Eve and Adam, is a momentous thing – the...
The Fairy Queen, St John’s, Smith Square

The Fairy Queen, St John’s, Smith Square

Echoes of dreamland | by Robert Thicknesse | Anna Dennis and Carolyn Sampson are our go-to sopranos for Purcell; you’d have to look hard to find better anywhere, so getting them in harness at St John’s with the Gabrieli Consort in The Fairy Queen was a toothsome...