Classical music and opera - including contemporary forms - from London and beyond.

Thursday 25 January 2007

Fauré Requiem by Candlelight

St Martin-in-the-Fields, Thursday 18 January 2007

The fluidity and purity of Elian Pretorian’s singing preserved the aerial and a-temporal character of the score originally written for a boy soprano. It was highly regrettable that the dialogues between the choir and the orchestra were akin to a dialogue of the deaf.

Thursday 18 January 2007

How Music Works

Written and presented by Howard Goodall, Channel 4 (UK)

Connoisseurs can probably nail down what makes Stevie Wonder’s songs and Bach’s cantatas timeless, while Beyoncé‘s ‘Déjà vu’ was an ephemeral hit. Yet this distinction does not come naturally. An appreciation of music has to be fostered, perhaps by documentaries like this - alas, Goodall’s programme does not deliver.

Monday 25 September 2006


Wilton's Music Hall, London

The period setting of the venue itself, with ruined walls and notices warning the audience about the poor functionality of the building, works wonderfully with the stage art direction - all creating a haunting world, rotting with mediocrity, crying for greatness.

Ion Martea in • TheatreMusic
Friday 23 June 2006

Nixon in China

English National Opera, Coliseum, London

This is a opera that celebrates heroic failure; it’s not whether you win or lose, but the fact that you play the game. As Chou says ‘We fight, we die, and if we do not fight we die’. Nothing about either Adams’ opera or this ENO performance smacks of failure, however.

Gerard Lynch in • MusicOpera
Thursday 1 January 2004

The Wizard of Pop

Jack Kane Centre, Craigmillar, Edinburgh

Lucy then finds herself on a Musical Road that leads to Craigmillar Castle. There lurks Simon Cowell, the Wizard of Pop himself. To return home Lucy has to reach the castle and become Britney Spears for the day.

Is Musical Theatre Alive and Well and Living in London?

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris at the Landor Theatre, and Passion at the Bridewell Theatre

Lack of innovation in musical theatre leads to the real danger of lack of variety in the performance and production of this genre as a whole, and that includes opera as well.

Sunday 1 December 2002

The Femme Fatale - A Beginner’s Guide

The Rosemary Branch Theatre, London

Chanteuse Sandra Lawrence’s new solo show offers a humorous yet affectionate tribute to the figure of the femme fatale in classic films noirs.

Graham Lee in • TheatreMusic

Barb Jungr

The Flea Theatre, New York

European cabaret is so different from the Broadway-style American cabaret that I cannot help but curse the English language for its paucity - we have umpteen ways of saying how we like to take our tea, but can’t be bothered to make up two extra words to describe polarities in entertainment.


Royal Opera House, London

‘Man is an abyss’ - Keith Warner seems to have taken this as the defining phrase for his production of Berg’s dark opera about the hapless Wozzeck, victim turned murderer.

Friday 1 February 2002

Jerry Springer: the opera

Battersea Arts Centre, London

It’s a tall order to make something that is already an absurdity and parody it without making it cliché and trite. Yet Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee’s Jerry Springer: the Opera is able to do it wonderfully and hilariously.

Sunday 1 July 2001

Experiencing Eminem

A New Labour man contemplates one of the weirdest events of his life

Have you ever wondered what your reaction would be if you met someone whose views or actions you strongly objected to?

Tuesday 1 August 2000

Chanson:The Space in Between

Barb Jungr

In her sleevenotes to this album, Barb Jungr writes: “I include the Harburg and the Porter because they set the scene for a Paris which probably only ever existed in the imagination, but is no less real for that.”

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Music scholar Cara Bleiman takes a look at the political potential of music past and present in an essay, striking chords

Sarah Boyes asks What Does Music Mean? in a Battle in Print

Frank Furedi looks at the role of truth in music over recent years

Gramaphone Magazine
Established, incisive classical music magazine

BBC Music
Listen by genre and read all about it!

British Music Information Centre
All about 20th and 21st century music

Heady internet resource for exploring all things classical

Royal College of Music
Events, research, hire a musician
Scottish, Irish and World music resource

Music Manifesto
New Labour dumbing down music education

Busk Action
Small group with BIG aims to deregulate busking

Royal Albert Hall
Classical music and shows

English National Opera
Britain’s only full time repertory opera company!

Royal Opera House
Music, ballet, theatre and a very big building

No Music Day
Imagine a day with no music…

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