Year 2022

By | February 15, 2022

Wednesday 16th November 2022

Les Pecheurs De Perles – Bizet

The Pearl Fishers

Pearl Fishers“The spontaneous rapturous standing ovation from what looked like
the entire audience at the end of this superb production says it all. “

A pearl-diving village in the Far East. As the villagers prepare for their dive, they sing of their fear of the sea. Zurga tells them they must choose a leader, and they unanimously swear loyalty to him. Nadir returns to the village after spending a year away. He and Zurga recall that their friendship was almost destroyed when they both fell in love with a Hindu priestess.

Bizet’s rarely heard opera returned to the Met for the first time in a century on New Year’s Eve 2015, in Penny Woolcock’s acclaimed new production. Star soprano Diana Damrau sings Leïla, the virgin priestess at the center of the story. Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien are Nadir and Zurga, rivals for Leïla’s love who have sworn to renounce her to protect their friendship—and who get to sing one of opera’s most celebrated duets, “Au fond du temple saint.” Nicolas Testé is the high priest Nourabad and Gianandrea Noseda conducts Bizet’s supremely romantic score.

Synopsis: Click here

Wednesday 19th October 2022

Porgy and Bess – Gershwin

An opera in three acts, including the memorable songs ‘Summertime’, 

‘It ain’t necessarily so’, ‘I got plenty o’ nuttin’ and many more.


On Catfish Row in Charleston, South Carolina, Jasbo Brown is playing the blues for a group of dancers.

Clara sings a lullaby (“Summertime”) to her baby while a group of men gamble. When an argument breaks out, one of the men (Crown) strikes another (Robbins) dead. Crown flees, telling Bess, who is his girlfriend, that he will be back for her. The drug dealer Sportin’ Life offers Bess refuge, but instead she hides with Porgy, a disabled beggar. During Robbins’s wake, the police arrive in search of his killer.


Synopsis; click here

Wednesday 21st September 2022

Girl of the Golden West

Set during the Gold Rush, the ‘Polka’ Saloon, which is near California’s Cloudy Mountain, hosts the local community of gold miners. Like every good Western, this saloon is a place for drinking, gambling, fighting, dancing, and watching women, but in this lonely place the only woman worth watching is Minnie, the owner.. The men constantly argue over which among them Minnie will choose, and the bartender, Nick, knows the value of her presence as the men spend their winnings and wages trying to impress her. The local Sheriff, Jack Rance, is obsessed with her. A brooding and violent man, he cannot appeal to Minnie’s love for life, her love of God, and of the beauty of the world.

Synopsis; click here

Time ; 2hrs 24mins

Wednesday 17th August 2022


Aida – Verdi

This spectacular 1981 San Francisco production of Aida, directed by Sam Wanamaker, boasts production values more commonly associated with Hollywood to portray scenes from the time of the Pharaohs, notably a striking interior for the temple of Vulcan from where Radames is sent forth on his mission to conquer the invading Ethiopian army. With Margaret Price in the title role and Luciano Pavarotti as Radames, there is much going for this version, both musically and visually.

Synopsis; click here

Time 2hr 43m

Wednesday 20th July 2022

Thais Programme

Thais – Massenet

Pier Luigi Pizzo’s production for La Fenice production is absolutely gorgeous with incredible care shown down to the smallest detail, yet always fresh and never fussy. Roses seem to be a central theme in this production and Pizzi gives us have tons of them, a virtual moving wall of roses. Thais (and later, Athanael’s) bed is made of huge ropey vines of roses (which transforms during the meditation – as Thais lies on it, the roses all fall off at once leaving only a bed of giant thorny vines!).

Eva Mei is a moving Thais and while the voice lacks some “plushness” her piano and sustained high register singing is pure and lovely. She’s an affecting actress and her transformation from courtesan to saint is not only believable but poignant, she seems to radiate. The Mirror Aria is well sung, but it is in her duets with Pertusi, especially the opening and closing ones of Act III where she shines. Her death scene is absolutely beautiful.

Synopsis; click here

Wednesday June 15th 2022


Tosca from Rome


“Beautiful cinematography and great performances throughout. I first checked this out from Netflix, watched it several times and then reluctantly returned it. I couldn’t get it out of my head and so, finally got a copy for myself so I could watch any time I wanted!!”

Filmed on location in Rome, 1976.

Real elements of nostalgia here, to see Domingo in full flight. His refulgent voice is one of the enduring joys of this film of Tosca.

Synopsis: click here

Wednesday May 18th 2022


David Alden’s English National Opera production of Ariodante caused something of a stir on its first appearance in 1993.

Ariodante – Handel

*****Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 December 2000

… feel … yes, feel the pain of Anne Murray when she grasps the air with Ariodante’s hand as anguish, disapointment and despair overtakes her in scherza infida … its worth buying for just this one aria … as fine and involving as opera can make you, the audience, feel … there.
The production is subtley surreal but with one foot still firmly placed where it would have been in Handel’s time. Everything is right; sets, lighting, cast … and of course the wonderful. timeless myusic of Mr. H!
You watch what you think is just another opera DVD but you are left at the end with a breathless sense of occassion… marred only by the thought that you have to wait a little while to calm down … to play it again.
More please ENO!
synopsis:click here

Wednesday April 20th 2022

Der RosenkavalierDer Rosenkavalier – Strauss

(Der Weiner Staatsoper)

‘One of the most enjoyable operatic performances available on DVD. What makes it so outstanding is primarily Carlos Kleiber’s conducting which is far more expressive and dynamic than anybody else, including the famous Karajan. You can watch how much he enjoys conducting this opera. The production by Otto Schenk is by far the most loyal to the opera by Strauss with none of the modern additions or interpretations that other directors are trying to make their mark with.  I have watched this particular production in Vienna on a number of occasions and I have found it always stunning.

Synopsis: click here

Last Updated on November 18, 2022