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…

Autumnal vocal sparkle: Bach and Parry from Cambridge Chorale

As the autumn evenings begin to darken and lengthen, growing chillier and damper, we could all do with a little burst of beauty; and this short programme of three Bach motets, and Hubert Parry‘s six Songs of Farewell, both promised and delivered an hour or so of exultant, jubilant singing from Cambridge Chorale, in their first public concert…