Edward Seckerson

Writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson is Chief Classical Music and Opera Critic for The Independent. He wrote and presented the long-running BBC Radio 3 series Stage & Screen, in which he interviewed many of the most prominent writers and stars of musical theatre. He appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and 4. On television, he has commentated a number of times at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. He has published books on Mahler and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and has been on Gramophone Magazine's review panel for many years. Edward presented the 2007 series of the Radio 4 music quiz Counterpoint. He has interviewed everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Liza Minelli; from Paul McCartney to Pavarotti: from Julie Andrews to Jessye Norman.

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Independent Podcast: Royal Choral Society 140th Anniversary

The Royal Choral Society is 140 years young and joins the ranks of the most venerable choral societies in the land - among them Halifax, Huddersfield, and Hereford. What is it about our love of communal singing that has raised the tradition of the great British Choral Society to such dizzy heights?

Verdi Falstaff, Royal Opera House

Where there’s Falstaff there’s food. And Robert Carsen’s new staging of Verdi’s final operatic masterpiece plays like an ode to gastronomical excess.

London Symphony Orchestra / Gergiev, Barbican Hall, London

One bar into this timely celebration of his work and the composer's identity could not be in doubt.

Opera of the Week: La Bohème, Royal Opera House, London

Not just another revival of a venerable old staging but its 25th showing in the 50th year of director John Copley's work at the Royal Opera House. Julia Trevelyan Oman's grandly designed Bohème is what used to pass for social realism at the opera.

La Boheme, Royal Opera House, London

Not just another revival of a venerable old staging but its 25th showing in the 50th year of director John Copley's work at the Royal Opera House. They served up a cake and a vintage cast for the occasion - and the snow fell once more on the Latin Quarter swelling the Christmas Eve crowds at Cafe Momus.

Wagner, The Flying Dutchman, English National Opera

The front curtain at the London Coliseum is a rare sight these days and suggested that we might for once be about to experience Wagner’s celebrated Overture without “illustration”.

Staatskapelle Berlin/ Barenboim, Royal Festival Hall

The furtive opening bars of Mozart’s C minor Piano Concerto No. 24 were shrouded in a mellowness of tone that made them welcoming rather than darkly unsettling and as the well upholstered sound of the venerable Staatskapelle Berlin took hold we were cast back into an era of sound and style that was altogether “other”. And then - final confirmation - the piano entered.

International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation, Royal Festival Hall

A showcase for three young conductors, a malfunction at the printers, and for the first time in my experience no programmes for the audience and the prospect of blind-tasting their talents.

Rigoletto, Royal Opera House, London

Distressed and decaying amidst crumbling masonry Michael Vale’s brutalist set tilts and turns towards catastrophe like some sort of post-modernist installation. The Court of Mantua is a world off its axis in David McVicar’s much-revived staging of Verdi’s Rigoletto and as this world fornicates its way to extinction it’s as if the roaring boys from McVicar’s recent Rakes Progress in Scotland are on an away-day from Glasgow.

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