The Royal Opera - London
4 June 2020

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Performance reviews

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From our archives:
Falstaff (2012)

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 10

Big knight on a big horse
23 May 12 / Reuters
Brassy Falstaff and a bleak 'Dutchman'
23 May 12 / New York Times
Overall, the singing earned the performance four stars
22 May 12 / Musical Criticism
Verdi nella terra di Shakespeare
22 May 12 / Il Giornale della Musica (Ita)
In the end, the big man gets the last laugh
21 May 12 / Bachtrack
It ain't over till the fat man sings ... and eats up all those roast chickens
20 May 12 / Independent on Sunday
A buoyant and vivacious production
20 May 12 / The Observer
Robert Carsen’s new staging of Verdi’s final operatic masterpiece plays like an ode to gastronomical excess
17 May 12 / Independent
Not a hint of Windsor
17 May 12 / The Guardian
Make no mistake, this a five-star production
17 May 12 / Classical Source
Falstaff: Robert Carsen on Verdi's English-Italian job
The opera director talks about the challenges of bringing Verdi's action-packed social comedy to London's Covent Garden and Milan's La Scala.
Robert Carsen: 'Verdi's Falstaff is a joyous and rich work'
Opera director Robert Carsen talks about the challenges of staging Verdi's Falstaff at the Royal Opera House in London – and explains why he can't wait for it to travel to Milan's La Scala next year. (audio)
Fidelio

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 19

Delirios de grandeza, mediocridad y algo de talento
6 Apr 20 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
Lise Davidsen was an overwhelmingly thrilling Leonore from start to finish
2 Apr 20 / Opera Now
«Fidelio» und die Krise: Wer rettet Florestan jetzt aus diesem Labyrinth?
27 Mar 20 / Neue Zürcher Zeitung
The playing was absolutely incandescent
13 Mar 20 / Music OMH
The new production at Covent Garden of Beethoven's only opera leavers a curious impression
12 Mar 20 / Express
Lise Davidsen, astre au zénith dans le Fidelio de Beethoven
10 Mar 20 / Diapason
Marzelline ou l'amour de l'humanité
10 Mar 20 / Wanderer
In chains and feeling below par, star attraction Jonas Kaufmann was eclipsed by the soaring power of Lise Davidsen
9 Mar 20 / The Observer
Musical peaks
9 Mar 20 / Planet Hugill
In scary times, opera has the power to cut through and set us free
7 Mar 20 / Evening Standard
Monumental Lise Davidsen dominates controversial production starring sick but solid Jonas Kaufmann
6 Mar 20 / OperaWire
Al termine della recita, applausi calorosi da una sala gremita per tutti gli interpreti
4 Mar 20 / Connessi all'Opera
Lise Davidsen is magnificent in the Royal Opera’s new Fidelio
4 Mar 20 / The Article
As they say in football, it’s a game of two halves
3 Mar 20 / Independent
An original take on Beethoven’s opera
3 Mar 20 / The Stage
Davidsen approaches greatness in uneven production
3 Mar 20 / The Guardian
Fitfully vivid singing in a dramatic void
3 Mar 20 / The Arts Desk
Incoherence mars ambitious interpretation of Beethoven’s only opera
3 Mar 20 / Morning Star Online
Leonore no.1: Lise Davidsen leads a revolutionary Fidelio at Covent Garden
3 Mar 20 / Bachtrack
Lise Davidsen on learning to handle the high life
Hailed as one of the greatest voices of her generation, the Norwegian soprano is taking on Beethoven’s freedom-loving heroine at Covent Garden. She talks about family, friends and facing her fears.
Royal Opera House sparks outrage over tickets for Fidelio
The Royal Opera House has sparked outrage after selling most of the tickets to its biggest show of 2020 - Fidelio starring Jonas Kaufmann - before they go on sale to the public.
Susanna

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 7

Jette Parker Young Artists take centre-stage in Susanna at the Royal Opera House
23 Mar 20 / Opera Online (English)
UnHandelian star quality from Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha saves this endurance test
17 Mar 20 / The Arts Desk
Susanna finally returns to Covent Garden
16 Mar 20 / The Observer
Young artists shine in cluttered Handel staging
9 Mar 20 / The Guardian
A thought-provoking production of rare Handel is a mixed affair
9 Mar 20 / OperaWire
Handel’s Susanna returns to Covent Garden after 271 years in an enjoyable staging
7 Mar 20 / Seen and Heard
JPYA make a decent fist of Handel's Susanna in the Linbury Theatre
7 Mar 20 / Bachtrack
La Traviata

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 12

Aleksandra Kurzak impresses in latest Covent Garden Traviata revival
16 Mar 20 / Bachtrack
Bella interpretazione per Hrachuhi Bassenz, Violetta intensa
7 Jan 20 / Operaclick (Ita)
Conductor, Daniel Oren time-beats as far away from the visceral intensity of Georg Solti as it's possible to imagine in La Traviata
29 Dec 19 / Daily Mail
Hrachuhi Bassenz powers through with solid support from Simon Keenlyside, Liparet Avetisyan, and Richard Eyre’s reliable production
25 Dec 19 / OperaWire
Can it really be 25 years since this production first graced the stage of the Royal Opera House?
21 Dec 19 / Classical Source
The power of this performance is testament to the longevity of the Royal Opera’s La traviata
20 Dec 19 / Seen and Heard
“Libiam!” Raising a glass to 25 years of Covent Garden's glorious Traviata
20 Dec 19 / Bachtrack
Una produzione che, per il momento, non ne vuole sapere di andare in pensione
20 Dec 19 / Connessi all'Opera
Beautiful voices are not enough
19 Dec 19 / The Stage
This much revived production deserves many plaudits, not least here for a show-stealing performance by Bassenz
19 Dec 19 / Morning Star Online
"If it's not broke, don't fix it!"
19 Dec 19 / Broadway World
Bassenz’s triumphant Violetta in Eyre’s timeless production
19 Dec 19 / Opera Today
‘It’s got everything’
Director Richard Eyre explains why his take on Verdi’s story of heartache and betrayal is still thrilling Covent Garden after a quarter of a century.
Alice's Adventures Under Ground

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 15

Alice’s Adventures Underground is wonderfully framed
14 Feb 20 / A Younger Theatre
In the pit, honours go to conductor Thomas Adès and The Royal Opera’s Orchestra
11 Feb 20 / Classical Source
For an hour’s giddy, family-friendly entertainment, it’s bliss
11 Feb 20 / The Critics' Circle
Gerald Barry brilliantly makes Lewis Carroll his own
10 Feb 20 / The Observer
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass as an opera is glorious
9 Feb 20 / Express
An unconventional rollercoaster ride of frenetic energy, madcap humour and increasingly unlikely classical music
9 Feb 20 / The Reviews Hub
Even crazier than the books
8 Feb 20 / Bachtrack
Gerald Barry’s kaleidoscopic Alice’s Adventures pushes musical boundaries at Covent Garden
7 Feb 20 / Seen and Heard
This bold, accessible and entertaining production will delight anyone who heeds the call to follow the White Rabbit
6 Feb 20 / Broadway World
A fine cast sent on a cacophonous helter-skelter ride to nowhere
6 Feb 20 / Telegraph
Alice's Adventures Underground is opera for the entire family
6 Feb 20 / Londonist
Deserves to become a modern classic
6 Feb 20 / The Stage
Just under an hour’s worth of unrelenting, unbridled madness
6 Feb 20 / The Upcoming
Brilliant in every surreal detail
6 Feb 20 / The Guardian
Alice aux pays des merveilles revisitée au Royal Opera House
6 Feb 20 / Olyrix
La bohème

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 12

La Bohème s’installe chaudement au Royal Opera House
7 Feb 20 / Olyrix
Royal Opera’s revival of La bohème sees Puccini emerge triumphant at Covent Garden
22 Jan 20 / Seen and Heard
Richard Jones’s snowy 2017 La bohème is settling in at Covent Garden
20 Jan 20 / The Observer
Beautiful, impactful and musically wonderful
19 Jan 20 / The Reviews Hub
L’intima Bohème firmata Jones inaugura il 2020 alla ROH
16 Jan 20 / Le Salon Musical
La Bohème à Londres, la fumée de mille cheminées
16 Jan 20 / Olyrix
Finely cast revival
14 Jan 20 / The Stage
Exuberant and persuasive revival performed with elan
14 Jan 20 / The Guardian
Richard Jones' La bohème returns to Covent Garden
13 Jan 20 / Opera Today
A well-balanced cast bring a sense of enjoyment to Richard Jones' highly theatrical production
13 Jan 20 / Planet Hugill
Garifullina's Musetta the highlight of Covent Garden's Bohème
13 Jan 20 / Bachtrack
In through one ear, out the other
12 Jan 20 / Telegraph
Otello

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 15

Keith Warner’s 2017 Otello returns to London’s Royal Opera House
26 Dec 19 / The Opera Critic
A strong cast for Verdi’s take on Shakespeare’s Otello
18 Dec 19 / The Article
Nel ruolo del titolo si impone uno strepitoso Gregory Kunde
16 Dec 19 / Connessi all'Opera
Verdi repressed in reductive production with disappointing turns from Kunde, Alvarez and Jaho
16 Dec 19 / OperaWire
Superb singing defies Warner’s uneven production
13 Dec 19 / Opera Today
Covent Garden does glorious justice to this fine work
12 Dec 19 / Express
Kunde, Jaho, and Pappano make Warner’s Otello at Covent Garden show what great opera is all about
12 Dec 19 / Seen and Heard
A production which mostly depends upon three starry performances for its success
11 Dec 19 / Music OMH
A production that underwhelms
11 Dec 19 / Broadway World
Three outstanding performances from production's Iago, Otello and Desdemona
11 Dec 19 / Independent
This ugly production lacks grandeur
11 Dec 19 / Telegraph
A strong cast in a lacklustre production
11 Dec 19 / The Stage
The ugly truth about Otello at the Royal Opera House
11 Dec 19 / Financial Times (via Google)
“Esultate!” Kunde's Otello impresses at Covent Garden
11 Dec 19 / Bachtrack
Antonio Pappano’s account of the score bristles and blisters excitingly
11 Dec 19 / Classical Source
Death in Venice

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 19

¡La muerte se divierte!
19 Dec 19 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
La decontestualizzazione di Death in Venice
4 Dec 19 / Le Salon Musical
Royal crush
3 Dec 19 / The Critics' Circle
Mark Padmore and Gerald Finley are otherworldly in Britten masterwork
2 Dec 19 / OperaWire
In a rich week of Britten, his glittering final opera overflows with feeling in David McVicar’s impressive new production
1 Dec 19 / The Observer
Handsome and revivable but I wasn't moved
28 Nov 19 / The Spectator
The new staging of Britten’s final opera is a sell out
27 Nov 19 / The Article
Death in Venice a disconcerting but beautiful opera
26 Nov 19 / Gay Times
Mark Padmore’s Aschenbach is a rather modern interpretation
25 Nov 19 / Classical Source
A fluent and fluid production
25 Nov 19 / Planet Hugill
Death in Venice comes home in style to the Royal Opera House
25 Nov 19 / Financial Times (via Google)
Mark Padmore regala un’interpretazione magistrale del ruolo del titolo
24 Nov 19 / Connessi all'Opera
There are no weak links
23 Nov 19 / Metro
Britten's opera dazzles and glows
23 Nov 19 / The Guardian
It's quite a show
23 Nov 19 / Broadway World
Great Britten: Death in Venice returns to Covent Garden in superb new staging
23 Nov 19 / Bachtrack
David McVicar’s A Death in Venice has no new insights into Britten’s valedictory opera
23 Nov 19 / Seen and Heard
An hypnotic Death in Venice at the Royal Opera House
23 Nov 19 / Opera Today
Mort à Venise, Triomphe à Londres
23 Nov 19 / Olyrix
Mark Padmore reflects on Britten's Death in Venice
“At the start, one knows ‘bits’ of it,” says tenor Mark Padmore, somewhat wryly.
The Lost Thing

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 3

A versatile and hard-working cast
12 Dec 19 / The Stage
Opera/dance translation loses picture-book verve
11 Dec 19 / The Guardian
A hodgepodge of styles that never quite satisfies
11 Dec 19 / The Reviews Hub
Die Zauberflöte

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 11

La Flûte enchantée et colorée par David McVicar à Londres
21 Nov 19 / Olyrix
David McVicar’s tried and trusted production of Die Zauberflöte returns to Covent Garden
11 Nov 19 / Seen and Heard
Die Zauberflöte brings mixed delights at the Royal Opera House
8 Nov 19 / Opera Today
Applausi calorosi vengono riservati a tutti gli interpreti
7 Nov 19 / Connessi all'Opera
The Magic Flute at Royal Opera House is a classy night out
6 Nov 19 / Londonist
David McVicar's crowdpleaser (back for the umpteenth time) still shines with its clarity of storytelling
6 Nov 19 / Broadway World
Revival director Bárbara Lluch and director David McVicar beautifully capture all the subtleties and complexities of this masterpiece
6 Nov 19 / The Upcoming
Magical Flute: McVicar's Zauberflöte returns to Covent Garden
6 Nov 19 / Bachtrack
Perfectly blends seriousness and comedy
5 Nov 19 / The Stage
Too many question marks left hanging in the air
5 Nov 19 / Classical Source
An ideal if imperfect Christmas prelude
4 Nov 19 / Independent
Don Pasquale

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 19

Don Pasquale o ¿qué hacemos con el tío?
8 Nov 19 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
A muted take on an old comedy
31 Oct 19 / New Statesman
Sterk spel redt Don Pasquale in Londen
30 Oct 19 / Place de l'Opera
Il Don Pasquale dolcemaro di Damiano Michieletto
29 Oct 19 / Le Salon Musical
Olga Peretyatko steals Don Pasquale’s money and the show in Michieletto’s new Covent Garden production
26 Oct 19 / Seen and Heard
The cast, led by the magnificent Bryn Terfel in the title role, all do their jobs wonderfully
24 Oct 19 / Express
The Royal Opera’s new production of Donizetti’s comic masterpiece is a musical delight
23 Oct 19 / The Article
Everything revolves around Bryn Terfel’s tremendous, tragicomic Don Pasquale
20 Oct 19 / The Observer
Distractingly dreamy, yet rescued by its performances
20 Oct 19 / Independent
Musically, the evening is in the deft hands of Evelino Pidò
19 Oct 19 / Classical Source
Don Pasquale à Londres : lumières, caméra, action!
19 Oct 19 / Olyrix
Sir Bryn Terfel’s Don Pasquale was masterful
18 Oct 19 / Music OMH
Donizetti's Don Pasquale packs a psychological punch at the ROH
17 Oct 19 / Opera Today
On the pull
16 Oct 19 / The Critics' Circle
Bryn Terfel softens Donizetti's hard edges
16 Oct 19 / The Guardian
You won’t see anything funnier in an opera house
16 Oct 19 / The Times
Bryn Terfel is a delight in Don Pasquale at the Royal Opera House
16 Oct 19 / Financial Times (via Google)
Don Pasquale falls flat in Michieletto’s cruel comedy at Covent Garden
16 Oct 19 / Bachtrack
Admirable musical performances but an effortful new Don Pasquale production at Covent Garden
16 Oct 19 / Seen and Heard
Zauberland

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 4

The Zauberland of the title is the singer’s dreamworld of memory, desire, war and, above all, loss
23 Oct 19 / Classical Source
Second-guessing Schumann
20 Oct 19 / The Observer
Little magic in Zauberland at the ROH's Linbury Theatre
19 Oct 19 / Opera Today
Less than the sum of its parts
17 Oct 19 / Bachtrack
Werther

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 14

Werther: de Kraus a Flórez
9 Oct 19 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
The rigour and detail is genuinely awe inspiring
27 Sep 19 / A Younger Theatre
Il pubblico riconosce il valore dell’esecuzione riservando calorosi applausi a Flórez e Leonard
26 Sep 19 / Connessi all'Opera
Goethe’s tragic hero Werther — a musical treat at the Royal Opera
25 Sep 19 / The Article
A satisfying evening, certainly
23 Sep 19 / Planet Hugill
Isabel Leonard was perfect as Charlotte
22 Sep 19 / Express
The new season has opened with two productions of differing quality
22 Sep 19 / Independent
Thanks to Juan Diego Flórez and Edward Gardner Covent Garden’s rare Werther revival should not be missed
21 Sep 19 / Seen and Heard
Juan Diego Flórez hugely moving as obsessive romantic
19 Sep 19 / The Guardian
Juan Diego Flórez lights up an otherwise staid evening
19 Sep 19 / Telegraph
Royal Opera House season opens with worthwhile Werther and Don Giovanni
19 Sep 19 / Financial Times (via Google)
Flórez’s voice is not large enough for a role on the Verdi or Puccini spectrum
19 Sep 19 / Classical Source
A thought-provoking ROH revival of Massenet’s Werther
19 Sep 19 / Opera Today
Massenet the arch-romantic: Werther returns to Covent Garden
19 Sep 19 / Bachtrack
Agrippina

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 17

Kosky esalta l‘incredibile modernità dell’Agrippina di Handel
8 Oct 19 / La Scena Musicale (French)
Quand Haendel pétille
7 Oct 19 / Forum Opéra
Joyce DiDonato, come Agrippina, è una vera e propria forza della natura
6 Oct 19 / Connessi all'Opera
A must for Handel lovers- but an expensive one
5 Oct 19 / London News Online
Triomphe pour Joyce DiDonato avec Lucy Crowe
5 Oct 19 / Olyrix
Joyce DiDonato seduces you within the first 10 minutes
3 Oct 19 / The Spectator
Glorious musicality in Handel’s Agrippina succumbs to a frenetic Royal Opera production
2 Oct 19 / The Article
Mommie dearest
1 Oct 19 / The Critics' Circle
Joyce DiDonato’s stop-at-nothing empress leads a top ensemble cast in Barrie Kosky’s enthralling Agrippina
29 Sep 19 / The Observer
The American soprano Joyce DiDonato is outstanding in the title role
29 Sep 19 / Express
A showcase for vocal and dramatic virtuosity of which Kosky’s cast take wicked advantage
28 Sep 19 / Independent
Over-acted and over-sung, with gratuitous yelps, whimpers, and irritating pauses from the singers for good measure
25 Sep 19 / Classical Source
The singing is what really makes the evening
25 Sep 19 / Broadway World
DiDonato formidable as power-hungry empress
25 Sep 19 / The Guardian
Virtuosity from DiDonato but Kosky’s Agrippina is puzzling and contradictory
25 Sep 19 / Seen and Heard
Barrie Kosky brings farce and frolics to the ROH
25 Sep 19 / Opera Today
Political power games in Kosky's Agrippina at Covent Garden
25 Sep 19 / Bachtrack
The Intelligence Park

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 7

The wit of the plot doesn’t emerge emphatically enough
4 Oct 19 / Classical Source
For all of its cleverness, Barry’s The Intelligence Park leaves one unsatisfied
30 Sep 19 / Seen and Heard
Dizzying Gerald Barry
29 Sep 19 / The Observer
The cast give their all
28 Sep 19 / Opera Today
Brilliantly played but Barry's opera still bewilders
27 Sep 19 / The Guardian
A farrago of frivolities
27 Sep 19 / Independent
Absurd, unpleasant and wonderfully pertinent: Gerald Barry's The Intelligence Park
27 Sep 19 / Bachtrack
Don Giovanni

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 14

A fascinating Don Giovanni that will delight jaded palettes, and well worth seeing
2 Oct 19 / London News Online
Unfortunately Don Giovanni just isn’t for me
27 Sep 19 / A Younger Theatre
Un Don Giovanni multimediale e distraente
24 Sep 19 / Le Salon Musical
The new season has opened with two productions of differing quality
22 Sep 19 / Independent
A psychosexual comic fantasy drama and this revival is more convincing than its previous outings
21 Sep 19 / Express
Royal Opera House season opens with worthwhile Werther and Don Giovanni
19 Sep 19 / Financial Times (via Google)
A rather tired Don Giovanni opens the Royal Opera’s new season
19 Sep 19 / Seen and Heard
Highway to Hell: Holten's production of Don Giovanni returns to Covent Garden
19 Sep 19 / Bachtrack
Al termine le ovazioni del pubblico accolgono Erwin Schrott
19 Sep 19 / Connessi all'Opera
The singers are only partially successful in achieving a real Mozartean alacrity
18 Sep 19 / Classical Source
A dazzling, visually-thrilling and intellectually stimulating interpretation of a classic opera
18 Sep 19 / The Upcoming
Raunchy romp Don Giovanni rocks Royal Opera House
18 Sep 19 / Londonist
An unforgettable performance by Erwin Schrott
18 Sep 19 / The Stage
A rather tired Don Giovanni opens the Royal Opera’s new season
18 Sep 19 / Seen and Heard
La fille du régiment

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 12

Ah mes amis, quel jour de fête!
17 Jul 19 / Forum Opéra
Una Fille du Régiment a diciotto “Do”
16 Jul 19 / Le Salon Musical
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News & Articles

First post-lockdown Covent Garden concerts to feature opera and ballet
Live performances are to return to the Royal Opera House stage next week – albeit for broadcast on YouTube on Facebook as lockdown restrictions still prevent audiences attending.
4 Jun 2020 / Gramophone
Key cultural institutions under threat
National Theatre, RSC and Royal Opera House warn they are facing financial collapse without extra government assistance.
24 May 2020 / The Observer
Royal Opera House announces more free productions online
The company will be presenting shows right the way through June.
16 May 2020 / What's on Stage
Royal Opera House cancels remainder of season
All ballet, opera and educational events on hold until July 23.
28 Apr 2020 / Gramophone
Covent Garden is paying 20% of cancelled contracts
We hear from a couple of agents that the Royal Opera House is offering one-fifth of the value of the artist contracts it has cancelled during the pandemic period.
23 Apr 2020 / Slipped Disc