Heartfelt heroics: a triumphant Siegfried from Saffron Opera Group

  Since their affecting Das Rheingold and resplendent Die Walküre in 2016, the Saffron Opera Group’s Ring Cycle has become something of a talking point in Wagnerian circles. Using a local orchestra, but attracting international singing talent to the Saffron Hall stage, their concert performances of Wagner are reliably intense, engaging, and above all, beautifully sung. This Siegfried shone…

Melodic, comic, colonial: Franz von Suppé’s A Trip to Africa

A sense of real excitement surrounded the revival (and UK premiere) of Franz von Suppé’s A Trip to Africa at the Maddermarket Theatre, the culmination of several years of work by conductor Dario Salvi, who found and meticulously researched and restored the score and libretto with his wife Hannah after a 94-year performance hiatus. There…

Batman robbing: Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Fulham Opera

Fulham Opera, noted in recent years for their serious and compelling Wagner and Verdi output, are also not shy of comedy (as demonstrated by their very successful Falstaff). Die Fledermaus is a revenge comedy in the lighter tradition of operetta, and Fulham Opera’s take on Strauss is characteristically skilful, immediate, and musically polished, with minimal…

A welcome return: Monteverdi’s Ulysses’ Homecoming, English Touring Opera

Saffron Hall, East Anglia’s brightest new star venue on the classical music horizon, is moving with confidence into direct competition with Snape Maltings. Their first fully staged opera, English Touring Opera’s clear and compelling Ulysses’ Homecoming, marked a development from the Saffron Opera Group’s previous concert performances of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre; and, with the…