José Carreras

A coming of age

by Ashutosh Khandekar

This April 2019 issue celebrates the 30th birthday of Opera Now with the first in a series of articles that look back at significant archive editions and the snapshot they provide of opera- going over the past three decades. We start with Issue One: April 1989

José Carreras

by Helena Matheopoulos

At the height of his powers, José Carreras had the world of opera at his feet. Then he was struck down by a disease that would alter the course of his life and change his priorities. Opera Now met the tenor in Barcelona as he embarks on a world tour that marks his farewell to a long, distinguished and resilient career as a singer

Pastoral pleasures

by Sophie Campbell

Great performances in the new Theatre in the Woods are not the only thing on offer at Grange Park Opera. Opera Now follows in the footsteps of Tudor kings and queens, wandering through panelled chambers, along the Crinkle-Crankle wall and around an ancient orchard on her tour of West Horsley Place.

John Claggart

by Michael White

British bass Brindley Sherratt discusses the role of the evil master-at-arms aboard the Indomitable in Britten’s Billy Budd

A captive audience

by Antonia Couling

Bel Canto stars Julianne Moore as an opera singer at the heart of a tense hostage situation. In advance of the film’s UK cinema release this month, Opera Now discovered the real voice behind the fictional character on screen

Sleeping beauty

by Charlotte Gardner

The Opéra Royal at Versailles lay dormant for 200 years. Now, a decade after its renaissance as a theatre, there is a new series of imaginative plans for the future

Pierre Audi

by Tom Sutcliffe

After 30 years at the helm of the national opera company in The Netherlands, Pierre Audi takes up a new challenge as the boss of one of Europe’s most high-profile cultural events – the Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence.

Dangerous liaisons

by Robert Thicknesse

When Louis IX granted the first licence for opera in France 350 years ago, he unleashed an era of fertile musical creativity, theatrical flamboyance and financial imprudence which set the course for the development of opera in France during the centuries to come

Grand designs

by Simon Mundy

For a tiny country, Luxembourg punches well above its weight when it comes to supporting international opera productions. Opera Now reports from the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg

Karl Lagerfeld

by Helena Matheopoulos

Fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld, who died in February this year, had an impact on many aspects of cultural life – not least through his work as a stage designer with a profound love of opera

The Merry Widow

by Robert Thicknesse · illustrations: Clive Barda

ENO suffers from this rather terrible delusion that it does operetta well; a cursory glance at the chilling record will correct this, though that old Mikado was quite nice. Only Opera North has found a way of tackling these pieces in a way that doesn’t make them purgatorial, with Jo Davies’s brilliant productions of Kiss Me Kate, Ruddigore and so on

Sweeney Todd

by Robert Thicknesse · illustrations: Steffen Hill

Sweeney Todd defies definition: cod comic-horror, Grand Guignol, revenge melodrama, parable, romance... but is it an opera?

The Monstrous Child

by Claire Jackson · illustrations: Stephen Cummiskey

It’s not easy being a teenage girl, particularly when your lower body is made of nauseating, decaying flesh. Hel is the monstrous yet captivating heroine of composer Gavin Higgins and librettist Francesca Simon’s new opera, created for a teenage audience, which launched the season at the shiny new ROH Linbury Theatre

Spring Tour 2019

by Robert Thicknesse · illustrations: Richard Hubert Smith

This is a really ambitious tour, which goes on throughout England until 1 June: three big operas, grown-up and challenging, though all in the musical comfort zone; the results underline that there’s only one English national opera, and it doesn’t live at the Coliseum


by James Imam · illustrations: Brescia, Amisano

Crouched over his score like a sorcerer, fingers fluttering vividly, Valery Gergiev exudes demonic intensity. Put the right piece in front of the Russian maestro, and the results can be earthshattering. And so it was with La Scala’s new production of Khovanshchina