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Classical & Opera

The Turn of the Screw review compelling, challenging and creepy

GlyndebourneJonathan Kents production of Brittens ghost story is revived to haunting effect, with standout central performances from the children Continue reading...

A fabulous Figaro from Fiona Shaw for English National Opera

Full of physical comedy, joyous and enthusiastic, Fiona Shaw's vision of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro makes the most of its taut and energetic plotlines, intense charactisation and beautifully balanced music. 

The Marriage of Figaro review Fiona Shaws revival struggles to hit the right note

Coliseum, LondonConductor Jaime Martín turns in a lively account of the score, but the production would benefit from more zest and wit Continue reading...

Girl of the Golden West; Flood of Beauty review

An exciting debut in the pit and another on stage set the seal on ENOs terrific new Girl of the Golden WestIf Puccini was good at endings, he was even better at beginnings. Tosca crashes to life with fortissimo chords of fate. Bohème leaps in mid-stream

The Girl of the Golden West review true to Puccinis California dream

Coliseum, LondonENOs version of the opera comes close to sending up the action but its detailed portrayal of the mining community is compellingYou could, I suppose, convincingly transplant Puccinis goldrush opera to an oil-boom town in Scotland or Norway

Anna Nicole review an abject story told indecently well

Royal Opera House, LondonUncompromising production and an excellent cast bring the right balance of pathos, intelligence and vulgarity to this real-life operaMark-Anthony Turnages Anna Nicole, making a comeback to the ROH (its premiere was in 2011), is op

Prom 65: Paloma Faith review endearingly camp retro-soul pastiche

Royal Albert Hall, LondonMotown beats and soul mannerisms mark Faith's entertaining Proms debutPaloma Faith seems to have become an omnipresent showbiz star a kooky and charming presence on TV chat shows, Radio 2 and the tabloids without ever setting th

Prom 64: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Rattle review a high point of the Proms season

Royal Albert Hall, LondonSimon Rattle and the BPO give an orchestral masterclass with finely tuned Rachmaninov and dazzlingly vivid StravinskyA high point of the Proms season has come, once again, courtesy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The first o

BBC Prom 66, St Matthew Passion, review: 'verging on ludicrous'

This tasteless spectacle was best appreciated with the eyes closed, says Rupert Christiansen

Proms 58 & 59 shattering, gut-wrenching Strauss

Royal Albert Hall, LondonSopranos Nina Stemme and Christine Goerke are outstanding as Salome and Elektra in two highlights of the musical yearEver one to split opinion, Richard Strauss is abused as vulgar, retrograde and opportunistic, or praised as radic