Fiona Maddocks

The Gospel According to the Other Mary review – a mesmerising aural world

The Other Mary has its longueurs, but John Adams’s remarkable score is brilliantly performed by English National Opera.

Colin Matthews: No Mans Land CD review a coherent, poignant work

Ian Bostridge, Roderick Williams, Hallé Orchestra, Hallé Choir, Hallé Youth Choir/Collon (Hallé) 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

Otello; Rigoletto; Macbeth review

Coliseum; Royal Opera House; Barbican theatre, LondonENOs new Otello sidesteps an old problem, while the ethnic tension is viscerally felt in an African MacbethWhen Laurence Olivier played Othello he studied the mannerisms of Sammy Davis Jr to give the no

Otello; Rigoletto; Macbeth review

Coliseum; Royal Opera House; Barbican theatre, LondonENOs new Otello sidesteps an old problem, while the ethnic tension is viscerally felt in an African MacbethWhen Laurence Olivier played Othello he studied the mannerisms of Sammy Davis Jr to give the no

Otello; Rigoletto; Macbeth review

Coliseum; Royal Opera House; Barbican theatre, LondonENOs new Otello sidesteps an old problem, while the ethnic tension is viscerally felt in an African MacbethWhen Laurence Olivier played Othello he studied the mannerisms of Sammy Davis Jr to give the no

Bach Cantatas: Recreation for the Soul review in the best traditions of period playing

Magdalena Consort/Harvey, Elin Manahan Thomas, Daniel Taylor, James Gilchrist(Channel Classics)Buoyant and agile in performance, small in scale and steeped in the best traditions of period playing putting musicality over scholarship the Magdalena Consor

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

Joyce DiDonato: Stella di Napoli review dizzying technical virtuosity

The latest of Joyce DiDonato's themed discs is a mix of high-impact arias by Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti as well as the less familiar Mercadante, Carafa, Valentini and Pacini, several of them world premiere recordings which DiDonato and Riccardo Minasi

Medtner & Rachmaninov: Piano Sonatas review a tale of two Russians

Rachmaninov and Medtner, both late-romantic Russian composers, have fared differently since their deaths in 1943 and 1951.