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.

Classical Review: Gloriana -Never enter the Virgin Queen’s

Commissioned to celebrate the coronation of the present Queen, Gloriana was a rare flop for Benjamin Britten. Its story of silly, handsome Robert Devereux’s ascent and descent in the affections of  the ageing Elizabeth I is doubly hampered by the Tudorbethan argot of William Plomer’s libretto and the composer’s garish orchestration of John Dowland’s lute songs. For every moment of beauty and brilliance, there is another of thumb-twiddling banality.

Review of 2012: Classical

Northern Ireland Opera toured with the unsettling adaptation of the Henry James ghost story, and Simon Rattle thrilled us again

The 10 Best carol services

From candlelit concerts to the famous King’s College Choir, we pick the best of this year’s celebrations of song

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Cuarteto Casals, Wigmore Hall, London

Teenage Franz Schubert’s prime goal may have been the composition of songs and symphonies, but he was also a prolific composer of string quartets, and this was virtually a social obligation.

New English Ballet Theatre, Peacock Theatre, London

New English Ballet Theatre is an idealistic venture, a showcase company for young dancers and aspiring choreographers. It has influential patrons, including ballerinas Darcey Bussell and Marianela Nuñez, and a commitment to live music and new design. Synergies, NEBT’s debut programme, had some lively dancing and good music, but too much thin choreography.