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The story of Prince Igor is suddenly topical, dealing with medieval Russia’s centredness in the Ukraine: how apt that this should be the first production which the Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow brings to London.

4 months ago | |
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Jocelyn Pook finds music in unexpected places. The bright yellow bird carolling in a cage by the window of her north London home was handed to her by a neighbour, who found it on the front doorstep. Lemon Drop’s constant song (Pook says it is a budgerigar, but surely only a canary is this tuneful?) is an appropriate soundtrack for this most musical of homes, born of both serendipity and solid technique. That is also the formula for Pook, a composer and performer who has taken absolutely no notice of musical barriers in a career that bestrides a spell with pop group the Communards, an opera, theatre, including an Olivier for Saint Joan at the National, and film scores, notably for Stanley Kubrick’s swansong Eyes Wide Shut.

5 months ago | |
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Having broken new ground by coming into existence, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse has broken more ground by hosting the first collaboration between the Globe and the Royal Opera in a production of Cavalli’s rarely-performed L’Ormindo.

5 months ago | |
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Schumann wrote his Violin Concerto in D minor at the instigation of the virtuoso Joseph Joachim, who urged him to draw out a treasure from his ‘deep quarry’.

5 months ago | |
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Paavo Jarvi Jorg Widmann: Armonica (Pan Classics)

5 months ago | |
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Juan Diego Flórez breezes into the backstage corridors of the Royal Opera House, fresh from the tennis court. No matter that the day before he had performed the popular yet fiendish Donizetti opera La Fille du Régiment – the one with the aria with nine top Cs; it is all in a day's work. The Peruvian superstar is the most straightforward and pragmatic of tenors; he just happens to have a vocal technique that is often considered the best in the world.

5 months ago | |
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The rationale is perfect. Aldeburgh Music, Opera North, and the Royal Opera have started co-commissioning chamber operas, because that’s how the art-form is developing. Birtwistle, Turnage, and Ades began this way, but the small companies which gave them their breaks are now defunct, and must be replaced.

5 months ago | |
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Richard Strauss called Die Frau ohne Schatten his ‘problem child’, but only because he lavished such care on it. He and his librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal spent six years honing the psychological and dramatic elements in this masterpiece of symbolist opera.

5 months ago | |
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Richard Strauss called Die Frau ohne Schatten his ‘problem child’, but only because he lavished such care on it. He and his librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal spent six years honing the psychological and dramatic elements in this masterpiece of symbolist opera.

5 months ago | |
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Once more unto the breach, dear friends? It’s not a line you would have expected to hear from the late Steve Jobs, but with the opening of a new French opera marrying strands of his life with that of Henry V, it could well happen.

5 months ago | |
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