Monteverdi’s Poppea, Hampstead Garden Opera

If you turned on BBC Radio 3 for more than 20 mins over the weekend, you might have noticed that we are joyously celebrating the 450th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi, composer of our earliest extant opera, Orfeo. L’incoronazione di Poppea was Monteverdi’s fourth and final opera, and the journey from Orfeo to Poppea shows just how far Monteverdi took the genre, creatively,…

Snog, Marry, Avoid: Romeo and Juliet, The Globe, SE1

  Daniel Kramer’s production of Romeo and Juliet for The Globe’s ‘Summer of Love’ season opens with a powerful visual image: two women in labour, wheeled onto the stage on gurneys, bring forth from their fatal loins a pair of tiny child-sized coffins, covered in roses. The visual lexicon of the Mexican Day of the…

Fresh, funny, frivolous: Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience from English Touring Opera

A joyous explosion of tuneful Victorian satire provides an unlikely, yet ideal, contrast to English Touring Opera‘s Tosca as their Patience tours the UK in this finely-cast, period-perfect rendition. Director Liam Steel presides over a vivacious, vigorous production which brims with genuine humour, constantly energised by strong group choreography, a vocally sumptuous chorus, and a cast…

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…