English National Opera

Romeo & Juliet, London Coliseum

This Romeo is all over the place. On the one hand, it stars the Bolshoi's magnificent Ivan Vasiliev and Natalia Osipova – charisma to their fingertips, his lithe warmth to her fizzing attack. On the other, this is a production where designs, performance styles and even venue haven't been introduced to each other.

Independent classical podcast: Sophie Bevan

The "one little maid in attendance come" or, to be more precise, the delectable Yum-Yum, arrived hot-foot from rehearsals for the 25th Anniversary revival of Jonathan Miller's staging of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado in the petite blond personage of Sophie Bevan.

Independent Classical podcast: Sir John Tomlinson on Wagner

Sir John Tomlinson - one of the great Wagnerians of our time and surely the greatest Wotan since Hans Hotter - returns to English National Opera to sing the role of Gurnemanz, the eldest and wisest of the Grail knights, in Wagner's last opera Parsifal.

Independent Operacast: Mike Figgis

Opera is the one thing MIKE FIGGIS hasn't done before and as he bows in at English National Opera with Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia he talks at length to EDWARD SECKERSON about theatre, film, and his first love - music.

Independent Classical: Des McAnuff podcast

In the 1960s Des McAnuff played guitar and wrote songs to meet girls. Subsequently life became a little more complicated for the multi-talented writer/director. His long-standing commitment to the Shakespeare Festival Theatre at the other Stratford - in Ontario, Canada - has won him many plaudits and he is now Director Emeritus of the La Jolla Playhouse in California where so many important projects have germinated, including his Tony Award winning production of The Who's Tommy and the forthcoming musical adaptation of Doctor Zhivago with a score by Lucy Simon. Zhivago opens in Sydney, Australia, in February.

Independent Classical: Melody Moore podcast

Melody Moore is well-named. Her parents must have had a sixth sense that she would be "melodious". This exciting young American soprano has been making waves on both sides of the Atlantic. She has established footholds at both San Francisco and Los Angeles Opera and in the 2008/9 season made her English National Opera debut in Jonathan Miller's new production of La Boheme. She returns to ENO this season as Marguerite in Des McAnuff's new staging of Gounod's Faust, a role which seems to define the direction in which her voice and career are taking her.

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Tosca, English National Opera, London

It comes as no surprise at all that Catherine Malfitano, a once notable Tosca herself, has fashioned a staging of the opera which frees the singers in ways she herself would have welcomed.

Opera podcast: Catherine Malfitano

She was the Tosca who played live to an audience of 1 billion in 107 countries; she is the director of English National Opera's new staging of the opera they once dubbed Puccini's "shabby little shocker".