Mozart

Classical review: Christian Blackshaw, Wigmore Hall / Uchida,

Christian Blackshaw occupies a unique niche on the piano circuit. His brilliant early career was powered by the ability, which he had absorbed from his great mentor Clifford Curzon, to make every note sing. His wife’s illness then took him out of the game, which he has now re-entered.

Classical review: The Secret Marriage - British Youth Opera

While the big companies trundle out their hackneyed revivals, British Youth Opera ploughs its own furrow, first with a large-scale production of Britten’s “Paul Bunyan”, now with Domenico Cimarosa’s “The Secret Marriage”, an 18th century opera buffa which no major English company has staged in recent memory.

Cultural Life: Miranda Hart, Comedian

Comedy: I have been watching the HBO series Girls. It's my latest box set. It's extraordinary. Lena Dunham not only writes and stars in it but also directs it. Which is incredibly brave of her, but makes complete sense as it's totally her vision. And it's fantastic that a network has let her creativity flourish without interference. We need more of that in TV.

More headlines

Don Giovanni, Mozart, Opera North, Grand Theatre, Leeds

Despite its origins in Spanish legend, Spain is not important to Mozart’s and da Ponte’s Don Giovanni. So the placing of the story in the context of the early 1960s in Alessandro Talevi’s new production for Opera North is non-controversial.

Le Poème Harmonique, ****/ Classical Opera, Piau, ***

I had not heard of Le Poème Harmonique, nor had I heard of the composers Etienne Moulinié or Charles Tessier (the Oxford Dictionary of Music hadn’t either), so this French ensemble’s recital of their music was an ear-opener.