Classical review: Orfeo, Academy of Ancient Music/Egarr

Britain’s first Academy of Ancient Music was founded in 1726 as a private club of singers meeting in a London tavern to entertain each other: ‘ancient’ meant anything not in the contemporary repertory. Britain’s second AAM was founded in 1973 by harpsichordist Christopher Hogwood, to perform what was now called ‘early music’ on original instruments. Over the past four decades they have helped revolutionise early-music performance, blazing a trail followed by Baroque ensembles everywhere.

Michael Church: The Proms – a colossal ensemble work with a few duff

o farewell to another Proms season, with its pleasures and surprises, longueurs and banalities. Moments I will long remember: blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii making something rich and luminous out of Rach Two, Ex Cathedra debating love in a babel of unknown tongues, the Tallis Scholars delivering transcendent a cappella polyphony, Nigel Kennedy (pictured) orientalising Vivaldi with the Palestine Strings. Most of these were Late Proms. There's a magic in the Royal Albert Hall when the streets outside go quiet and minds are sharpened.

American Lulu, Edinburgh International Festival, Kings Theatre

Atonal opera is never the easiest performance to love. An atonal opera reconceived in the jazz style, about a charmless woman devoid of redeeming features, shoehorned into a clunky political setting, performed for almost two hours without an interval, has everything to do.

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