Anthony Roth Costanzo

Scalling the heights

Razor-sharp intelligence, emotional honesty and a thorough grounding in stagecraft make the American countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo a powerful communicator, both on and off the operatic stage. Owen Mortimer meets this quirky and compelling artist as he prepares for the title role in Philip Glass’ Akhnaten at English National Opera

Adrenaline rush

by Yehuda Shapiro

As a cohort of young singers from around the world pack the throat spray and prepare to do battle, Yehuda Shapiro finds out what is at stake in this year’s round of international singing competitions

Supporting roles

Each year, a group of young singers and pianists are put through their paces at one of opera’s most important and thorough ‘finishing schools’, preparing a new generation of talent for the rigours and rewards of their chosen profession. Opera Now talks to past and present members of the National Opera Studio

Big society

It hasn’t all been black-tie extravaganzas with champagne by the lake and summer picnics beside the ha-ha. This year, Glyndebourne celebrates 30 years of its education department, ensuring that the company, based in the heart of the Sussex countryside, makes deep and long-lasting connections with its grass roots and with the wider world. Opera Now gives a snapshot of a side of Glyndebourne you may not have seen

Grow your own

by Keith Clarke

There was a time when great stretches of Britain had little to offer ambitious young singers or indeed to lovers of great singing. Then, 20 years ago, Samling was established to fill this void, sowing the seeds of opera’s future with the help of some of the world’s most renowned artists. Keith Clarke reports

Rattle and roll

by Frederic Wake-Walker

Introducing a national tour of The Rattler, a new children’s opera commissioned by Mahogany Opera Group, Frederic Wake- Walker describes the spark that is created when young people and opera professionals work together on stage

Room service

Stephen Turvey witnessed an unusual ‘opera installation’ at the Corinthia Hotel, where composer-in-residence Emily Hall has created an intimate sonic journey taking audiences through the foyers, reception spaces and guestrooms of an atmospheric Victorian building in the heart of London

Critical thinking

by Michael Tanner

Sometimes it seems difficult to think of an opera that doesn’t have a mad scene or one or more mad characters – especially Italian operas of the 18th and 19th centuries. The reason is obvious: one of the most effective ways of conveying the wandering state of someone’s mind in music is to have them singing hair-raisingly difficult passages, especially highflying scales, arpeggios, roulades and the like.

Lives of others

by Michael White

On a visit to Australia many years ago as a guest of Richard Hickox, who was music director of the Sydney Opera House at the time, I was drawn into an unexpectedly dynamic arts scene, full of lively exchanges

L’Étoile Chabrier

by Ashutosh Khandekar · illustrations: Bill Cooper

Give a creative team a big budget and relatively luxurious resources, and the likelihood is that they’ll turn the lightest of sou és into an elaborate but stodgy pudding – which is what happened in this production of L’Étoile

Andrea Chénier Giordano

by Anthony Arblaster · illustrations: Robert Workman

Strong casting together with a clear, thoughtful staging make this new production of Andrea Chénier from Annabel Arden a highpoint of Opera North’s current season

The Devil Inside Macrae

by Neil Jones · illustrations: Bill Cooper

The Devil Inside is the culmination of a long period of Scottish Opera nurturing creative partnerships between writers and composers. The result is an engaging, powerful, thought-provoking and entertaining 90 minutes of opera

South Pole Srnka

by Tom Sutcliffe · illustrations: Wilfried Hösl

Was hard to grasp why the Bavarian State Opera’s boss Nikolaus Bachler could have thought the very different stories of Amundsen’s and Scott’s expeditions of 1911/12 had real operatic potential. The work tried to draw dramatic and narrative parallels where few, in reality, existed