Romancing the stones

The desecration of monuments is a hot topic today: ISIS and other actors in the Middle East are being regularly, widely and rightly castigated for their destruction of world heritage sites, something for which US troops were already being criticised in the earliest stages of the Iraq War. It’s not a new trend: the price…

A bewildering bed of roses: King Size at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House

King Size is an ultra-modern take on the German tradition of Liederabend, or the “evening of song”, mixing Schumann, Wagner and Schubert with the Jackson 5 and Stephen Sondheim. This production by noted European director Christoph Marthaler, originally from Theater Basel, is intriguing, but feels oddly rootless, moving from one understated, vaguely humourous situation to another…

Forever walked alone: Gerald Finley and Julius Drake’s Winterreise at Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall exacerbates the Dry January Blues with an icy, bare-souled stroll through Schubert’s Winterreise. Schubert was famously so overwhelmed with depression while composing Winterreise that, having invited his friends over to hear its première performance, he failed to turn up. When he eventually pulled himself together enough to physically perform the songs, some months later, his friends didn’t…