In conversation with Sir Antonio Pappano, London Jewish Cultural Centre

Antonio Pappano24 November London Jewish Cultural Centre at IVY HOUSE In conversation with Sir Antonio Pappano… [Read More]

La Traviata, Glyndebourne

Venera Gimadieva in La Traviata Glynebourne image Richard Hubert SmithImages of Violetta taken to her bed or receding like a ghostly mirage into an eternity of solitude preface and conclude scene after scene of Tom Cairns splendid new staging at Glyndebourne. Designer Hildegard Bechtler has created minimalist surfaces, upholstered or slickly veneered, square or curved and offset by a slash of curtain – crimson … [Read More]

Prom 1, Elgar “The Kingdom. Royal Albert Hall

Sir Andrew Davis conducts the BBC Symphony OrchestraBack in the Royal Albert Hall for the unveiling of Proms 2014 and speaking personally adjustments need to be made – the heat, for one, but also the acoustical amplitude. As Elgar rolled out the magisterial themes for The Kingdom in its glorious Prelude my auditory memory was recalling Andrew Davis’ recent airings of the … [Read More]

Forbidden Broadway, Menier Chocolate Factory

forbidden broadwaySince 1982 it’s been open season on the great and the good of Broadway musicals. It was in that very year that a chap called Gerard Alessandrini created Forbidden Broadway and from the hitherto innocuous sidelines of the fringe set out to cut any and everything with ideas above its station down to size. No … [Read More]

Singular Sensations


Up close and personal with the stars of musical theatre

SINGULAR SENSATIONS is taking a summer break and will return in the autumn.

Watch this space

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La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Ramiro and Arminda La finta giardiniera image Tristram KentonThe title of the opera provides the essence of Frederic Wake-Walker’s staging. Finta – pretend, fake – and giardiniera – gardener – are key elements in a show where Arcadian bliss is not even glimpsed until the counterfeit facade of 18th century manners and deceit has quite literally crumbled away. Wake-Walker and his designer … [Read More]

Carousel, Arcola Theatre

CAROUSELThe first thing that strikes you about this joyously inventive postage stamp staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterpiece – and it strikes you so forcibly in this high-decibel digital age that it’s almost a pinch-yourself moment – is that the show is entirely acoustic. No samplings, no obtrusive head-mics, just an unlikely quintet of instruments … [Read More]

London Symphony Orchestra, Luisi, Barbican Hall

It is not often we hear Bruckner’s colossal Eighth Symphony in its longer and far quirkier original version (1887 ed Nowak) and when we do hear it in either of its two incarnations it invariably stands alone. That Fabio Luisi chose it for his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra was in itself more than … [Read More]

Don Giovanni, Glyndebourne

Don Giovanni Glynebourne 2014The darkness descends with the shocking first chord of the Overture brutally shutting out a beautiful day at Glyndebourne. Such comedy as there is in this show (and that aspect of the piece is kept well in check) will be black, for sure. Director Jonathan Kent and his designer Paul Brown – and revival director … [Read More]

Benvenuto Cellini, London Coliseum

Benvenuto Cellini London ColiseumHector Berlioz and Terry Gilliam were undoubtedly made for each other – kindred spirits with wild imaginations, impractical demands, and a touch of anarchy. But Berlioz was a chaotic dramatist at best and in a piece like Benvenuto Cellini which he and his librettists described as an Opéra semi-seria but was in truth a miserable … [Read More]