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…

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…

Season preview for Culture Whisper: Glyndebourne 2016

Melly Still’s magical production of Janáček‘s The Cunning Little Vixen (revival, 2012) is back, the only opera I know to have been born from a comic strip. Still’s vision balances a fine naturalistic sense with elements of Eastern European folktale and cartoon to deliver a world of animals bursting with colour, while humans exist in monochrome…

Unexpected Opera’s The Rinse Cycle

“A Ring Cycle set in a launderette? Well, I’ve seen weirder productions…”  Unexpected Opera’s approachable and slick reduction of Wagner’s epic starts on a characteristically unstuffy note, and proceeds to soften us up with disarmingly cheesy jokes, some ribald stage antics, and bags of energy. The Rinse Cycle cheerfully pokes fun at itself, as well…