Joseph Calleja

Joseph Calleja

by David Mellor

Politician and journalist David Mellor began his acquaintance with Joseph Calleja as a fan. These days, he and the tenor superstar have become firm friends who share a deep love of opera and a concern for its future. They spoke as the singer prepares to make a major role debut with Grange Park Opera, amid an unexpected blaze of publicity, at Britain’s newest opera house


by Juliet Giraldi

A weekend in Pistoira

Arturo Toscanini

by Benjamin Ivry

The great Italian maestro Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) left a legacy of recordings that provide a direct link with the operatic traditions of the 19th century, influencing conductors and performers to this day. Benjamin Ivry surveys the artistry of a musical colossus who inspired a mixture of excitement, terror and awe among those who worked with him

Hidden treasure

by Phillip Sommerich

France’s place in the development of Romantic music in the 19th-century has long been overlooked in favour of German and Italian composers of the period. Based in a beautifully restored Venetian mansion, the Palazzetto Bru Zane initiative has set out to change all that, with its support of meticulously researched, vivid performances and recordings of a substantial body of music that is barely ever heard. Phillip Sommerich reports

Greek National Opera

by Kimon Daltas

Greek National Opera has finally taken up residence in its first purposebuilt home in Athens, part of an inspiring cultural complex handsomely funded by the Niarchos Foundation, roundly defying the prevailing mood of austerity in Greece. Kimon Daltas reports

Sun spots

The long, hot southern European summer blazes a cultural trail through the countries that border the Mediterranean, from Spain to Turkey. Opera Now highlights some of the region’s most distinctive destinations for opera in 2017

Irma Kolassi

by Benjamin Ivry

The Greek mezzo Irma Kolassi (1918-2012) was immersed in French language and culture from an early age, championing the art of French song while mastering a range of musical styles, from Baroque oratorio to Greek folksongs and modern opera. An accomplished all-round musician, Kolassi sang with unfailing elegance and a sense of refinement and joy, even while performing obscure and often challenging scores by her contemporaries


by Anthony Ogus

Journeying through Slovakia and into Austria proves to be something of a rite of passage for Anthony Ogus as he contemplates the fascinating juxtaposition of history and modernity in this once-turbulent region of Europe. Returning to Bratislava for the first time in over 40 years, he attends a first modern-day production of an opera by Vivaldi in which the fripparies of the past are discarded and stark realities are confronted

Théâtre des Champs Elysées

by Francis Carlin

Company profile