Blitz spirit: Rossini’s Comte Ory, Grimeborn

Rossini’s Le Comte Ory is a flirtatious farce in which a naughty young Count drives everyone demented with his relentless erotic enthusiasms: and it glitters, musically and dramatically, with madcap Rossinian flair all the way through. For Grimeborn, Opera Alegria have moved the setting from the Crusades to the Second World War, with Count Ory as a…

MET Opera Screening: Rossini’s Semiramide

Against the backdrop of the Hanging Gardens, Semiramide, Queen of Babylon, defies bad omens and supernatural threats in her quest to find a worthy successor to her late husband. But she harbours more than one dark secret, and whoever gains the throne may find that he has lost more than he has won. Based on…

Season preview for Culture Whisper: Glyndebourne 2016

Melly Still’s magical production of Janáček‘s The Cunning Little Vixen (revival, 2012) is back, the only opera I know to have been born from a comic strip. Still’s vision balances a fine naturalistic sense with elements of Eastern European folktale and cartoon to deliver a world of animals bursting with colour, while humans exist in monochrome…

Season preview for Culture Whisper: Garsington 2016

Summer garden opera simply doesn’t get more glamourous than Garsington. The stunning lakeside setting at Wormsley, the Getty family’s oil-painting-perfect English retreat, sets off any picnic to perfection; there’s even an army of Scouts to carry your basket for you (tips go towards their Scout Hut). The evening should impress on stage too: Garsington’s elegant…