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George Hall

The Blank Canvas review operatic novices make their mark

The winner of last year's Opera Up Close Flourish competition for new composers and librettists impresses in all aspects.

La Traviata , Soho Theatre, London

OperaUpClose's slimmed-down staging of Verdi's opera manages to make do with just five singers (no separate chorus) and a three-piece band - on the first night consisting of pianist/music director Alex Beetschen, clarinettist Sarah Douglas and cellist Wil

Rinaldo at Glyndebourne review entertaining but ultimately trivial

Glyndebourne, LewesFour strong countertenors are on display in this school-based setting of Handel's opera, but the consistent playing for laughs feels both relentless and evasiveThe background to the plot of Handel's 1711 opera is the first Crusade, whic

Prom 29: BBC Philharmonic/Noseda review Benjamin Grosvenor lifts the roof off

Royal Albert Hall, LondonPianist Benjamin Grosvenor's ample programme brought together a one-time Proms favourite, a neglected Italian and an old French warhorseIn his Proms appearance with the BBC Philharmonic under the Manchester orchestra's conductor l

Prom 25: Tallis Scholars/Phillips review sheer sonic beauty

The Tallis Scholars gave a sublime performance of two striking choral works by the late John Tavener.

Prom 15 BBCSO/Pons review harmonic and orchestral sophistication

The BBC Symphony Orchestra perform Jonathan Dove's new work confidently, but it often comes across as background music needing a voiceover.

Adriana Lecouvreur , Holland Park, London

Holland Park, London: Holland Park returns to its verismo period specialism with this 1902 romantic tragedy by Cilea, presented here in a new staging by Martin Lloyd-Evans. It seems obligatory these days for every new production at Holland Park (as elsewh

Prom 7: BBCSO/Blohlávek review Tavener, Shostakovich and Bartók

Royal Albert Hall, LondonIsabelle Faust's passionate Bartók and Bach reached an even higher spiritual plane than Tavener's meditationWhen he died last November, John Tavener had already completed a number of pieces that would have served to celebrate his

Norma review Bellini with shock tactics

Holland Park, LondonThe music of Bellini's opera struggles to match the modern context into which it's thrust by Olivia FuchsBellini's opera is set in ancient Gaul during the period of Roman occupation. Designed by Niki Turner, Olivia Fuchs' staging place

Maria Stuarda review the singers supply the passion

The most famous scene in Donizetti's opera is a personal confrontation between Mary Stuart and her cousin Elizabeth I – an event that never actually occurred, but which forms the crux of the piece and the moment at which Mary's fate is effectively decid