Marianne Crebassa

Marianne Crebassa

by Francis Carlin

After her initial reservations about opera, Marianne Crebassa has taken up singing with an extraordinary sense of confidence and gusto. Her engaging stage presence has paved the way to her increasing prominence in many of the world’s leading opera houses, specialising in opera’s great ‘trouser roles’, which suit her strong, rich-hued mezzo to its core. Francis Carlin finds himself enchanted by Crebassa’s boyish charms

Santiago de Chile

by Karyl Charna Lynn

A weekend in Santiago de Chile

Reflections on glass

by Benjamin Ivry

Philip Glass turns 80 this month. Benjamin Ivry takes stock of a composer who has redefined the role that music plays in the dramatic, narrative and expressive aspects of opera, creating stage works that mesmerise audiences by way of a hypnotic musical monotony, often shattered by punchy political polemic

A voyage of discovery

by Professor Anthony Ogus

Some of Europe’s most charming destinations for opera lie down rarely trodden paths and in quiet backwaters. Professor Anthony Ogus. Opera Now’s resident intrepid traveller, takes us on an anticlockwise Continental tour, dropping in on some of his favourite yet little-known operatic haunts

A quiet revolution

As Opera North’s new music director Aleksandar Markovic´ gets into his stride, Robert Beale looks to the future of a national company that has steadily moved to the forefront of the British opera scene and is intent on consolidating its recent successes

Mary Garden

by Benjamin Ivry

Subtle, alluring and refined, the Aberdeen-born soprano Mary Garden (1874-1967), brought a native Celtic acuity to her pioneering performances of French opera. She is remembered as a vocal muse to Debussy, who partnered her at the piano in early recordings of his songs

Das Rheingold, Wagner

by Heidi Waleson · illustrations: Todd Rosenberg

David Pountney is staging his first Ring cycle at Lyric Opera of Chicago and his Rheingold, which launched the cycle this season, is a black comedy. What it loses in grandeur, it makes up in wit and incisiveness

Greek, Turnage

by Karyl Charna Lynn · illustrations: Maggie Hall, Liza Voll

Madama Butterfly, Puccini

by Robert Thicknesse · illustrations: Clive Barda

It’s rather a surprise that Butter y has never before been seen at Glyndebourne. Annilese Miskimmon’s new touring production, which will graduate to the main festival in 2018, takes an aggressively clear-eyed and unsentimental of events while maintaining Butter y’s point of view. On the evidence here, I’m not sure this is actually possible – but it’s a good attempt.

Aquagranda, Perocco

by Susan Nickalls · illustrations: Michele Crosera

Water takes centre-stage, at times quite literally, in this new opera by Filippo Perocco, commissioned by Teatro La Fenice to mark the 50th anniversary of the highest water level ever recorded in Venice – 194cm (over 6 feet). This review is of the final performance on the night of a full moon and an ‘aqua alta’

Der Vampyr, Marschner

by Robert Thicknesse · illustrations: Magali Dougados

The programme note suggested that director Antú Romero Nunes wanted to give the audience a proper scare with his staging of Heinrich Marschner’s 1828 Romantic shocker – in which case, frankly, the zombies were probably a mistake

I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Bellini

by Susan Nickalls · illustrations: Magnus Skrede

Bellini’s operatic take on the famous tale of star-crossed lovers is considered tricky to stage, given the narrow scope of its dramatic narrative. Many directors are tempted to try to fill in the gaps

Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky

by Neil Jones · illustrations: Johanna Olafsdottir

From the moment Larina, her two daughters and Filippjevna the nursemaid stole silently onto the stage in advance of the music, the audience at Harpa Hall were treated to a moving and entertaining interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s heartrending musical setting of Pushkin’s verse poem. Icelandic Opera did considerable justice to both the storytelling and the music

Lamento, Van Rensberg (after Monteverdi)

by Barry Smith · illustrations: Graham de Lacey

Umculo is a South African Xhosa word meaning both art music and reconciliation. Founded six years ago, this eponymous organisation has sought to offer opportunities for musical talent to be developed within South Africa’s existing educational structures, focusing both on the voice and music theatre

Move to the music

by Rafael Todes

For high-quality audio on the go, the Astell & Kern AK300 personal music player offers superb sound with massive storage capacity and sleek good looks. For Rafael Todes, it offers a perfect solution for seasoned travellers who want to take their music collection with them wherever they are in the world