Barbican, London - London
30 May 2020

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Performance reviews

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Der Freischütz

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 5

Laurence Equilbey leads a marvellous performance of Der Freischütz
7 Nov 19 / Seen and Heard
The evening reaffirmed the stature of Weber’s opera.
7 Nov 19 / Classical Source
Semi-staging short on drama but delivers star singers
6 Nov 19 / The Guardian
A performance that ultimately felt as lovingly rendered as it was thoughtfully produced
6 Nov 19 / Music OMH
Gothic chills rooted in flesh and earth
6 Nov 19 / The Arts Desk
Miss Julie

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 4

The singing was of the highest quality
8 Oct 19 / Opera Today
The music proves extremely evocative
7 Oct 19 / Music OMH
Alwyn's Miss Julie rescued from the operatic desert
5 Oct 19 / Bachtrack
Sakari Oramo's revival brims with colour and verve
5 Oct 19 / The Guardian
Le nozze di Figaro

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 1

Richard Egarr leads a very involving concert performance of Le nozze di Figaro
9 Jul 19 / Seen and Heard
Agrippina

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 6

DiDonato reigned supreme
10 Jun 19 / The Observer
Gripping Agrippina from Joyce DiDonato and Il Pomo d’Oro
8 Jun 19 / Seen and Heard
DiDonato and Il pomo d'oro make Handel's Agrippina sparkle at the Barbican
3 Jun 19 / Bachtrack
Over-the-top comic brilliance
3 Jun 19 / The Arts Desk
Il “Circo itinerante” di Joyce Di Donato, nel suo tour europeo, ha piantato le tende a Londra
3 Jun 19 / Opera secondo me
Crisp, vibrant proof that Handel still has comic bounce
3 Jun 19 / Telegraph
Candide

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 5

This performance was ultimately as classy as it was fun
12 Dec 18 / Music OMH
The playing produced that unmistakable sheen of glamour and style, bags of both
12 Dec 18 / Classical Source
Missing too many bullseyes: Bernstein's Candide semi-staged by the LSO
11 Dec 18 / Bachtrack
Candide forms a fitting climax to the LSO’s celebration of the Bernstein centenary
11 Dec 18 / Seen and Heard
The best of all possible productions
11 Dec 18 / Telegraph
Dido and Aeneas

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 5

Stark and grief-stricken
5 Oct 18 / Bachtrack
Caitlin Hulcup’s smooth, plush mezzo communicated the queen’s struggles, conflicts and uncertainties
5 Oct 18 / Opera Today
A Funeral for the Queen of Carthage is a remarkable evening of Purcell
5 Oct 18 / Seen and Heard
A freewheeling, fresh take on Purcell
5 Oct 18 / The Guardian
Guthrie’s production successfully evoked the broader and human ethos of Purcell’s drama
5 Oct 18 / Classical Source
Dead Man Walking

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 10

La ópera de la redención
7 Mar 18 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
Strong performances from all the cast
26 Feb 18 / Express
A stellar cast made a work of art greater than the sum of its parts
22 Feb 18 / The Times
Crime, punishment, forgiveness, redemption: Dead Man Walking finally reaches London
22 Feb 18 / Bachtrack
The full house at the Barbican Hall collectively held its breath as the process of Joe’s eventual redemption worked itself out
22 Feb 18 / Classical Source
UK première of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking at the Barbican
22 Feb 18 / Seen and Heard
Grabbed us by the throat and never let go
22 Feb 18 / Independent
Death-row drama with more breast-beating than psychological insight
22 Feb 18 / Telegraph
Extraordinarily powerful
22 Feb 18 / Financial Times (via Google)
Dead Man Walking receives its UK premiere
22 Feb 18 / Music OMH
La Damnation de Faust

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 7

El maestro y Margarita
25 Sep 17 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
Simon Rattle’s on a roll
25 Sep 17 / The Observer
Rattle pulled out all the stops for a concert performance of Berlioz’s opera The Damnation Of Faust
24 Sep 17 / Express
Blazing Berlioz at the Barbican Hall
22 Sep 17 / Opera Today
Rattle leads the LSO on a thrilling ride into the abyss
20 Sep 17 / Bachtrack
Sunday evening’s performance was a tour de force
20 Sep 17 / Music OMH
Simon Rattle pulled off a remarkably vigorous account of The Damnation of Faust
20 Sep 17 / Classical Source
Ariodante

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 8

Contains some of Handel's most extraordinary depictions of derangement
23 May 17 / Independent
Alice Coote e chiaramente una cantante handeliana di esperienza
20 May 17 / Opera secondo me
Even after a long evening this superb account of Ariodante leaves one wanting more
20 May 17 / Seen and Heard
Alice Coote delivered a brilliantly engaging and emotional rendition of ‘Scherza infida’
19 May 17 / Music OMH
A marvellous Ariodante at the Barbican Hall
18 May 17 / Opera Today
By far the most interesting portrayal came from Sonia Prina as the villain, Polinesso
18 May 17 / Classical Source
Alice Coote plunged uninhibitedly into the title role of Handel’s opera
18 May 17 / Financial Times (via Google)
This concert performance offered Handel as an Almodóvar ensemble piece, comic and tragic in equal measure and gloriously uninhibited
18 May 17 / The Times
Le grand macabre

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 15

The London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre is on a high
22 Jan 17 / Express
Apocalypse now?
21 Jan 17 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
Anthony Roth Costanzo stood out as Prince Go-Go
20 Jan 17 / Music OMH
A memorable evening, though not one I’d want to repeat
20 Jan 17 / The Spectator
Joyeux bordel
19 Jan 17 / Forum Opéra
La fin du monde n’aura pas lieu
19 Jan 17 / Altamusica
Le Grand Macabre is certainly Ligeti's most sustained and demanding piece
19 Jan 17 / Opera Journal
Madcap brilliance
18 Jan 17 / Financial Times (via Google)
Sellars brings muddle but Rattle, beauty
17 Jan 17 / The Guardian
Sellars couldn’t find the work’s throbbing political pulse
17 Jan 17 / Independent
Skill and precision
17 Jan 17 / The Stage
Le Grand Macabre at the Barbican: surreal, madcap, touching the sublime
17 Jan 17 / Bachtrack
Simon Rattle leads an outstanding concert performance of Le grand macabre
16 Jan 17 / Seen and Heard
Demi-staging of Ligeti's apocalypse-maybe hits hard but misses the wit and brio
16 Jan 17 / The Arts Desk
The breathtaking quality of the LSO’s playing only reconfirmed the opera and its composer as giants of modern music
15 Jan 17 / Classical Source
The perfect show for the Donald Trump era
Le Grand Macabre opera is the perfect show for the Donald Trump era, says its director, Peter Sellars.
The Fairy Queen

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 10

Purcell’s ravishing music battled it out with brooms
17 Oct 16 / The Observer
The general effect is messy but musically of a high order
16 Oct 16 / Express
The cast seemed to enjoy themselves
15 Oct 16 / Opera Today
The music making was of an especially high standard
14 Oct 16 / Music OMH
Musically a triumph but the production tried too hard
13 Oct 16 / Seen and Heard
Staging Purcell's Fairy Queen: an ingenious solution at the Barbican
13 Oct 16 / Bachtrack
Iestyn Davies is an absolute treat in this radical Fairy Queen
12 Oct 16 / Telegraph
Brave attempt to tame Purcell's tricky drama
12 Oct 16 / The Guardian
The evening was a delightful succession of phantasmagoric tableaux
12 Oct 16 / Independent
A coherent if unorthodox production
12 Oct 16 / Classical Source
Adelson e Salvini

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 9

Was Opera Rara justified in reviving Bellini’s first opera? Oh yes
17 May 16 / The Spectator
Daniela Barcellona was excellent as Nelly
16 May 16 / Music OMH
Bellini wrote this, his first opera, in 1824 while a student at the Naples Conservatory
15 May 16 / Express
Opera Rara unearths a naive Bellini gem at the Barbican
14 May 16 / Telegraph
Adelson e Salvini certainly does not lack dramatic incident
14 May 16 / Opera Today
Opera Rara had assembled a fine cast for the lesser-known work
13 May 16 / Classical Source
A curious and uneven Bellini rarity, beautifully performed
13 May 16 / The Guardian
A dispiriting evening
13 May 16 / Opera Britannia
Where Bellini started: Opera Rara's Adelson e Salvini
13 May 16 / Bachtrack
Written on Skin

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 5

If I could, I would award this opera 7 stars
31 Mar 16 / Opera Britannia
This is confident writing in skin from a composer entirely bien dans sa peau
22 Mar 16 / Boulezian
What a wonderful opera Written on Skin is
21 Mar 16 / Classical Source
An erotic yet brutal meditation on art
21 Mar 16 / The Guardian
Signed off with an orchestral flourish
21 Mar 16 / Bachtrack
Pelléas et Mélisande

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 13

Pélleas y Simon entre Berlin y Londres
20 Jan 16 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
A most compelling evening
19 Jan 16 / Express
Symphonie avec voix
17 Jan 16 / Altamusica
Powerful and upsetting
15 Jan 16 / The Spectator
When, o when, will someone put Peter Sellars and his compendium of clichés out of our misery?
14 Jan 16 / Opera Today
Less is more
14 Jan 16 / The Critics' Circle
Rattle draws shimmering beauty from the forest
12 Jan 16 / Evening Standard
Rattle delivered a focused and precise, yet notably sumptuous, account of Debussy’s enigmatic score
12 Jan 16 / Music OMH
Rattle's moving statement of intent
11 Jan 16 / The Guardian
Irresistible
11 Jan 16 / Telegraph
Underpinning the evening was the LSO’s endlessly allusive, subtle playing
11 Jan 16 / Classical Source
Rattle has certainly rethought the opera since he last conducted it at the ROH in 2007
11 Jan 16 / Opera Britannia
Rattle and Sellars revisit Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande
11 Jan 16 / Bachtrack
Tamerlano

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 5

A huge slice of Handel: Tamerlano from Il Pomo d'Oro at the Barbican
12 Nov 15 / Bachtrack
As Tamerlano, Mr Sabata rolled his Italian ‘r’s with a vengeance
12 Nov 15 / Opera Britannia
Well sung and played but lacking in drama
12 Nov 15 / Seen and Heard
A hit and miss evening
12 Nov 15 / The Guardian
There was not a palpable sense of commitment to Tamerlano as a musical-dramatic work
11 Nov 15 / Classical Source
Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 5

The closing image of a circle of gentle light - Penelope within, Ulisse without - was compelling
6 Oct 15 / Opera Today
Elizabeth Watts threw everything into her brilliant portrayal of Minerva
2 Oct 15 / Music OMH
Ian Bostridge brings richness amid reflection
1 Oct 15 / The Guardian
Ian Bostridge is compelling as Ulisse in Monteverdi’s opera
1 Oct 15 / Financial Times (via Google)
A successful conclusion to this Monteverdi series
1 Oct 15 / Classical Source
Duke Bluebeard's Castle

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 3

Karabits’ pacing of the hour-long work was masterly
17 Mar 15 / Music OMH
Bluebeard’s Castle was given a fine performance
17 Mar 15 / Boulezian
A viscerally exciting Bluebeard’s Castle
15 Mar 15 / Classical Source
Alice in Wonderland

Barbican, London


No. of reviews: 11

Unsuk Chin’s Alice is lost in music
16 Mar 15 / The Observer
Too much miaowing
13 Mar 15 / The Spectator
Baldur Brönniman’s unflappable, eagle-eyed conducting was boundless
11 Mar 15 / Classical Source
You have to be in the right mood to enjoy this piece
11 Mar 15 / Opera Britannia
Unsuk Chin’s score is dazzling
10 Mar 15 / Evening Standard
An opera 'Alice' in London, worthy of the book's 150th
10 Mar 15 / Reuters
The Korean composer's trippy adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic is a loud and garish nightmare
10 Mar 15 / Telegraph
Netia Jones’s ingenious staging can’t disguise dramatic flaws
10 Mar 15 / The Guardian
Zany, anarchic and subversive, and also hilariously funny
10 Mar 15 / Opera Today
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News & Articles

Barbican's 2008-09 programme announced
Handel and Purcell operas, Keenlyside and Kirchschlager, Quasthoff and Chailly flank new season.
2 Nov 2007 / Musical Criticism