The Magic Flute, Grand Theatre, Leeds

The Magic Flute, Grand Theatre, Leeds

Destination unknown Tell it not in Gath – but Mozart’s Magic Flute is politically too incorrect in this #MeToo era. Among many cuts in Opera North’s new production, no animals get charmed by the magic of Tamino’s flute on his mission to rescue Pamina, and of course...
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...
Critics’ Circle Music Awards 2018

Critics’ Circle Music Awards 2018

The Music Section of the Critics’ Circle is delighted to announce the recipients of its 2018 Awards which are as follows:   Emerging Talent (Conductor): Karina Canellakis Considering she only made her conducting debut in 2014, encouraged by Sir Simon Rattle...
Hansel and Gretel, Royal Opera

Hansel and Gretel, Royal Opera

Now brush your teeth The Royal Opera’s brief to director Antony McDonald was simple: create a production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel that does for Christmas opera what The Nutcracker does for ballet. His answer is picture-postcard pretty – a nineteenth-century,...
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...