The Royal Opera - London
25 May 2018

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Performance reviews

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Lessons in Love and Violence

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 22

George Benjamin's Lessons in Love and Violence is in no way a masterpiece
24 May 18 / The Spectator
Pale and uninteresting
24 May 18 / The Critics' Circle
Lovely and never violent
22 May 18 / parterre box
An outstanding cast unveil a towering masterpiece
17 May 18 / Seen and Heard
Création mondiale de Lessons in Love and Violence à la Royal Opera House
16 May 18 / Opera Online
Botschaft aus dem königlichen Schlafgemach
15 May 18 / FAZ
Die Oper flieht vor der Aktualität, auch dort wo sie sich aufdrängt
15 May 18 / Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Powerful musical utterances but perplexing dramatic motivations
14 May 18 / Opera Today
A few more lessons needed for Lessons In Love And Violence
12 May 18 / Metro
A potent and beautiful account of Edward II's downfall
12 May 18 / Telegraph
George Benjamin’s modern-day retelling of Edward II’s demise is a bleak, lustrous opera that places a gay love story it its centre
12 May 18 / The Guardian
In terms of pure music, Lessons of Love and Violence is arguably a more rewarding creation than Written on Skin
12 May 18 / Classical Source
Katie Mitchell directs Martin Crimp and George Benjamin’s searing take on the story of Edward II
12 May 18 / Time Out
La nouvelle leçon de musique et de théâtre de George Benjamin et Martin Crimp
12 May 18 / Diapason
Masterly score captures cruelty of royal court
12 May 18 / Evening Standard
Martin Crimp’s libretto is anodyne, over-intellectualised and often boring, while Katie Mitchell’s staging is bland and bizarre
12 May 18 / The Times
A Rolls Royce production that could use a few tunes
12 May 18 / Independent
A long-awaited new opera is a raucous beauty
12 May 18 / New York Times
Icy beauty and dramatic tension
12 May 18 / Bachtrack
Savage elegance never quite glows red-hot
12 May 18 / The Arts Desk
Musically brilliant, dramatically inert?
12 May 18 / Classical Iconoclast
George Benjamin’s new work on the subject of Edward II once again shows his operatic mastery
11 May 18 / The Stage
Can George Benjamin strike gold twice?
George Benjamin's opera Written on Skin was instantly declared a modern masterpiece – can he follow its success with Lessons in Love and Violence?
Katie Mitchell on ROH's brutal new opera
Her last production contained cannibalism and was staggeringly successful. Could Lessons in Love and Violence top it? We sit in on rehearsals as the revered director grapples with some bedside lamps.
Opera’s perfectionist tries to follow his masterpiece
George Benjamin, the painstaking composer of the acclaimed opera “Written on Skin,” prepares for the premiere of his “Lessons in Love and Violence.”
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 16

A relief to find a production which does full justice to the mercurial variety and caustic scherzo which is Shostakovich's opera
30 Apr 18 / Planet Hugill
Glorious singing, sensational music and great acting
25 Apr 18 / Express
A celebration of composer Shostakovich’s genius
23 Apr 18 / Express
Unmissable Shostakovich
22 Apr 18 / The Observer
The Covent Garden crew is on top form with Shostakovich’s only ‘grand’ opera
22 Apr 18 / The Sunday Times
As Katerina, Eva-Maria Westbroek delivered a dramatic and vocally secure performance
18 Apr 18 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Superb revival of Shostakovich's mercurial opera
18 Apr 18 / Telegraph
Eva-Maria Westbroek’s performance in this vivid revival keeps you rooting for her to the very end
17 Apr 18 / The Guardian
The Royal Opera scintillates in Shostakovich’s raw Lady Macbeth
16 Apr 18 / Seen and Heard
Exuberant, stylised production of Shostakovich's opera features an outstanding performance from Brandon Jovanovich
14 Apr 18 / The Stage
As Katerina, Eva-Maria Westbroek is a triumph
14 Apr 18 / Classical Source
The Royal Opera's first revival in 12 years of Shostakovich's darkly violent opera
14 Apr 18 / What's on Stage
So poisonously funny that Stalin banned it
14 Apr 18 / The Times
This masterpiece is still magnificent
14 Apr 18 / Independent
LONDON No muddle, just music: Pappano delivers an exceptional Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
14 Apr 18 / Bachtrack
Eva-Maria Westbroek is a knockout in this revival of Shostakovich’s opera
14 Apr 18 / Financial Times (via Google)
Macbeth

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 20

El teatro, casi todo en el foso
11 Apr 18 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
Spellbinding: Anna Netrebko and Željko Lučić in Verdi's Macbeth (Royal Opera House Live Cinema)
9 Apr 18 / Planet Hugill
La voce della Netrebko è un gioiello meraviglioso in questo momento
4 Apr 18 / Opera secondo me
Russian superstar Anna Netrebko doesn’t disappoint, with a blazing Lady Macbeth
2 Apr 18 / The Observer
Covent Garden has a truly formidable Lady Macbeth in Netrebko
1 Apr 18 / The Sunday Times
Anna Netrebko entre deux voix
30 Mar 18 / Forum Opéra
Avec Anna Netrebko, Macbeth sans éclats au Royal Opera House
30 Mar 18 / ResMusica
A production that is dramatically strong, and musically something exceptional
29 Mar 18 / Music OMH
Musically formidable revival of Verdi's opera
28 Mar 18 / The Guardian
With a fantastic cast, this is absolutely not to be missed
28 Mar 18 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Netrebko, Lučić and Pappano make Royal Opera’s Macbeth revival memorable
28 Mar 18 / Seen and Heard
At last, a great achievement at the Royal Opera
28 Mar 18 / The Spectator
A fine revival encompassing some world-class performances
27 Mar 18 / Classical Source
Netrebko and Lučić in Macbeth: a Covent Garden masterclass in operatic villainy
27 Mar 18 / Bachtrack
Anna Netrebko is frighteningly mesmerising as Lady Macbeth
27 Mar 18 / The Times
Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth is born to sing the role
27 Mar 18 / Independent
Russian diva Anna Netrebko returns to Covent Garden as the monstrous Lady M.
27 Mar 18 / What's on Stage
Netrebko rules at the ROH in revival of Phyllida Lloyd's Macbeth
27 Mar 18 / Opera Today
Anna Netrebko is full of fire and fury in this revival of Verdi's opera
27 Mar 18 / Telegraph
Anna Netrebko and Zeljko Lucic shine in unsatisfactory production
27 Mar 18 / OperaWire
Coraline

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 16

Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new opera captures the spooky essence of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline
9 Apr 18 / The Observer
Girl, next door
7 Apr 18 / parterre box
The music for Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Coraline is unexpectedly subdued
5 Apr 18 / The Spectator
Turnage’s effective score is designed to generate its own unique experience
5 Apr 18 / Music OMH
Bright as a button but a bit too goody two shoes
4 Apr 18 / Evening Standard
Button for punishment
3 Apr 18 / The Critics' Circle
Mark-Anthony Turnage brings Neil Gaiman's story to life
3 Apr 18 / Independent
Turnage’s new opera for children skilfully avoids condescension
2 Apr 18 / Seen and Heard
A missed opportunity to marry Turnage’s fascinating music with stage-design of dark visual interest
31 Mar 18 / Classical Source
Overall, the product does not do what the advertising package says
31 Mar 18 / Broadway World
For a young audience the music wasn’t user-friendly, but they were clearly gripped by the narrative that they knew in advance
31 Mar 18 / The Times
Creepy adaptation of Neil Gaiman's tale will turn kids on to opera
31 Mar 18 / The Guardian
Neil Gaiman's fantasy novel becomes an opera by Mark-Anthony Turnage
31 Mar 18 / What's on Stage
Neil Gaiman's cult novella reimagined as a darkly funny chamber opera
31 Mar 18 / Time Out
Entertaining but not entrancing: Royal Opera ventures into fantasy with Turnage's Coraline
31 Mar 18 / Bachtrack
This new opera for children splutters like a damp firework
31 Mar 18 / Telegraph
Turning a ghoulish children’s book Into a grand opera
Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline” has been transformed into an opera in London, with music by Mark-Anthony Turnage. It goes to some genuinely disturbing places.
From the House of the Dead

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 23

Sur qui compter pour sauver la soirée?
1 Apr 18 / Anaclase
Krzysztof Warlikowski retrouve Janacek avec bonheur
29 Mar 18 / Forum Opéra
Après Chéreau, La Maison des Morts de Janáček inspire Warlikowski
29 Mar 18 / ResMusica
Janácek en la cárcel de Foucault
20 Mar 18 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
Dead loss
20 Mar 18 / The Critics' Circle
Strong performances all round
19 Mar 18 / Sunday Express
Un De la maison des morts qui fascine plus qu’il n’emporte à la Royal Opera House
14 Mar 18 / Opera Online
A great orchestral performance of a gorgeous score
14 Mar 18 / We left at the interval...
A great disappointment
14 Mar 18 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
It has been worth the wait for Warlikowski
13 Mar 18 / Boulezian
Royal Opera’s take on Janáček’s brutal work dazzles
12 Mar 18 / The Observer
Hard hitting, yet transcendent
12 Mar 18 / Planet Hugill
Prison drama locks up its singers
11 Mar 18 / OperaWire
The music for this piece is brilliantly powerful, but the plot is a real problem
10 Mar 18 / Express
This production falls well short of the staging which this astounding work deserves
10 Mar 18 / Classical Source
Formidable performances humanise Janáček's vision of hell
9 Mar 18 / The Guardian
Krzysztof Warlikowski’s staging is outstanding in visualising the brutality of prison life
9 Mar 18 / The Stage
The last opera by Janáček and a first for the Royal Opera
9 Mar 18 / What's on Stage
Janáček's prison oddity prompts hot tears
9 Mar 18 / The Arts Desk
An impressive but chilly staging of Janáček's final masterpiece
9 Mar 18 / Telegraph
A nightmare piled upon a nightmare
9 Mar 18 / Evening Standard
The director doesn’t understand the first principle of his craft - that less is more
9 Mar 18 / Independent
An oppressive, living hell
9 Mar 18 / Bachtrack
From the House of the Dead shines a light into darkness
Janáček’s final opera is peopled with aggressive and unpleasant characters, but the beauty of its music speaks powerfully of the need for empathy and understanding, says the conductor of a new production.
Carmen

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 20

Musicological melange: Barrie Kosky's production of Carmen at the Royal Opera
12 Mar 18 / Planet Hugill
Anna Goryachova beguilingly stares down the camera for Royal Opera’s Carmen in cinemas
12 Mar 18 / Seen and Heard
A production that achieves what it sets out to do
20 Feb 18 / Express
Carmen entre Zefirelli y Kosky
20 Feb 18 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
Kosky's Carmen fails to light fires at Covent Garden
16 Feb 18 / Bachtrack
A colossal bore
15 Feb 18 / The Spectator
Barrie Kosky’s innovations are always worth seeing, but this does not have the punch of other productions
14 Feb 18 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Barrie Kosky's Spanish steps
13 Feb 18 / The Critics' Circle
Performers enjoy a nightly workout in Barrie Kosky’s refreshing if flawed new Royal Opera production
12 Feb 18 / The Observer
Carmen is monochrome and magnificent at Royal Opera House
9 Feb 18 / Londonist
A wake-up call met with boos and cheers
9 Feb 18 / Financial Times (via Google)
Barrie Kosky’s Carmen for the Royal Opera is a tedious affair
9 Feb 18 / Seen and Heard
Barrie Kosky's Carmen at Covent Garden
9 Feb 18 / Opera Today
Love it or hate it, this isn't just another Carmen
8 Feb 18 / Telegraph
Barrie Kosky puts fun and games centre-stage in Bizet's fierce romance
8 Feb 18 / What's on Stage
Anna Goryachova as Carmen deploys her mezzo voice like a weapon of war
8 Feb 18 / Independent
Tausche Troubadour gegen Carmen
8 Feb 18 / Deutschland Radio
Barrie Kosky’s radical, heartless, if sometimes brilliantly theatrical, staging of Bizet’s opera
8 Feb 18 / The Stage
Bizet meets Busby Berkeley
8 Feb 18 / The Guardian
It’s vaudeville filtered through a very Germanic theatre of the absurd
8 Feb 18 / Classical Source
Tosca

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 18

Martina Serafin makes a creditable Tosca
19 Feb 18 / Classical Source
Jonathan Kent met Tosca in Londen
18 Feb 18 / Leidmotief
Joseph Calleja’s open-faced charisma and honeyed tones make this a memorable Tosca
9 Feb 18 / Seen and Heard
Royal Opera’s Tosca is a sloppy affair
26 Jan 18 / The Spectator
Angela Gheorghiu is a sensation in the Royal Opera’s revival of Tosca
26 Jan 18 / Seen and Heard
Adrianne Pieczonka as the current Tosca is disappointing
23 Jan 18 / Independent
An opera that reveals the glorious depth of Puccini’s music
23 Jan 18 / Express
The Royal Opera’s bold first stab at Ulysses roundly beats a tame Tosca revival
21 Jan 18 / The Sunday Times
Tragic Tosca makes ravishing return to Royal Opera House
20 Jan 18 / Londonist
Adrianne Pieczonka delivers an excellent performance as Tosca
19 Jan 18 / Music OMH
Hints of subtlety in an opera by numbers
18 Jan 18 / Evening Standard
Pieczonka, Calleja, Finley don’t quite mesh in revival of Jonathan Kent’s classic produciton
18 Jan 18 / OperaWire
The magnificent sets cannot make up for the lack of passion in the acting and poor timing in this flaccid Puccini opera
17 Jan 18 / The Times
Adrianne Pieczonka is absolutely mesmerising in the title role
17 Jan 18 / Opera Today
This was Joseph Calleja’s night
17 Jan 18 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Solid vocal and dramatic standards mark the first of three casts in this Puccini revival
17 Jan 18 / The Stage
The ninth revival of Jonathan Kent's production stars Joseph Calleja as Cavaradossi
17 Jan 18 / What's on Stage
Tosca at Covent Garden with Calleja, Finley and Pieczonka: promise as yet unfulfilled
17 Jan 18 / Bachtrack
Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 19

Return in the round
6 Feb 18 / The Critics' Circle
The Royal Opera’s bold first stab at Ulysses roundly beats a tame Tosca revival
21 Jan 18 / The Sunday Times
More than ever, this was Ulysses’ show
19 Jan 18 / The Spectator
An outstanding performance by Roderick Williams as Ulysses
17 Jan 18 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
A production which would be an ideal introduction to Monteverdi
15 Jan 18 / Music OMH
A remarkable achievement, filling the Roundhouse with the sombre gravity of Monteverdi's drama
15 Jan 18 / Planet Hugill
Singers and orchestra revolve valiantly in Royal Opera’s Monteverdi in the round
15 Jan 18 / The Observer
John Fulljames’s production responds to the architecture of the Roundhouse
15 Jan 18 / Sunday Express
A pity that so much splendid singing was rather let down by a production which span on the spot and lost its way
13 Jan 18 / Opera Today
A rewarding performance of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse by the ROH
13 Jan 18 / Seen and Heard
Monteverdi on a doughnut: A drab Return of Ulysses fails to thrill the Roundhouse
12 Jan 18 / Bachtrack
Musical drama trumps dodgy stagecraft
12 Jan 18 / The Arts Desk
Completely admirable but not quite lovable
12 Jan 18 / Telegraph
In-the-round Monteverdi doesn't hang together
12 Jan 18 / The Guardian
With an excellent cast and community involvement, John Fulljames’ staging hits the spot
12 Jan 18 / The Stage
Sublime music-making in a flawed new production of Monteverdi's opera
12 Jan 18 / What's on Stage
John Fulljames’s new staging is a terrific production — three hours long, but unmissable
12 Jan 18 / The Times
Roderick Williams’s Ulysses takes the production’s variable sense of direction onto another plane and centres it
12 Jan 18 / Classical Source
Roderick Williams might have been born to sing the title role
12 Jan 18 / Independent
Salome

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 20

Coming to a head
20 Jan 18 / The Critics' Circle
Malin Bystrom as Salome is perfect
16 Jan 18 / Independent
David McVicar’s thrilling production & Michael Volle’s violent presence make for impactful evening of opera
16 Jan 18 / OperaWire
A Swedish Salome casts her spell
15 Jan 18 / The Observer
David McVicar’s 2008 staging of Strauss’s Salome, in its third revival, still delivers a hefty punch
15 Jan 18 / Sunday Express
Blood, sex, violence & incest, but subtlety too
15 Jan 18 / Planet Hugill
Malin Byström held nothing back in the terrifying final scene, vocally or dramatically
11 Jan 18 / Opera Today
Revived for the third time and is just as remarkable as ever
11 Jan 18 / Express
The Beauty is the Beast: Malin Byström sings a chilling Salome
10 Jan 18 / Bachtrack
Malin Byström was making her house role debut as Salome, and it was an impressive one
10 Jan 18 / Music OMH
The emotional temperature is tepid when it should be scalding
10 Jan 18 / The Times
You cannot tear your eyes away from what is, literally, a hell of a show
10 Jan 18 / Classical Source
An ugly, lovely, opera: Salome returns to Covent Garden
10 Jan 18 / Seen and Heard
Swedish soprano Malin Byström provided well-nuanced emotion with effortless power
10 Jan 18 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Richard Strauss's operatic version of Oscar Wilde's play, strongly revived
9 Jan 18 / What's on Stage
An injection of fresh blood for chilling, gory Strauss
9 Jan 18 / The Guardian
Revival of David McVicar’s 10-year-old production that fails to deliver the musical goods
9 Jan 18 / The Stage
Insightful production reveals new subtleties
9 Jan 18 / Evening Standard
Compelling production returns, but with a patchy cast
9 Jan 18 / The Arts Desk
The Royal Opera's Salome still packs a punch
9 Jan 18 / Telegraph
Pagliacci

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 14

Elena Zilio leads the verismo thrills as Cav & Pag return to the Royal Opera
8 Jan 18 / Bachtrack
Verismo duo falls prey to verismo schtick
19 Dec 17 / OperaWire
Strong revival, balanced cast
18 Dec 17 / Planet Hugill
The most popular double bill in opera, fabulously sung in a triumphant revival
12 Dec 17 / What's on Stage
A top cast relishes Royal Opera’s gritty Italian double bill
11 Dec 17 / The Observer
Damiano Michieletto's Cav and Pag returns to Covent Garden
9 Dec 17 / Opera Today
Clever production effects aside, this was a fantastic performance of both operas
6 Dec 17 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Bryan Hymel takes the lead in both halves of this exceptional double bill
5 Dec 17 / The Stage
Herculean commitment from Bryan Hymel
5 Dec 17 / Financial Times (via Google)
Compellingly sung operatic misery
5 Dec 17 / The Guardian
Towering performance by Hymel
5 Dec 17 / Independent
A marvellous and gripping spectacle
4 Dec 17 / Telegraph
Evil under the sun: Hymel triumphs in Cav and Pag at Covent Garden
4 Dec 17 / Bachtrack
Wonderfully revived, cast, sung and conducted
4 Dec 17 / Seen and Heard
Cavalleria Rusticana

The Royal Opera


No. of reviews: 14

Elena Zilio leads the verismo thrills as Cav & Pag return to the Royal Opera
8 Jan 18 / Bachtrack
Verismo duo falls prey to verismo schtick
19 Dec 17 / OperaWire
Strong revival, balanced cast
18 Dec 17 / Planet Hugill
The most popular double bill in opera, fabulously sung in a triumphant revival
12 Dec 17 / What's on Stage
A top cast relishes Royal Opera’s gritty Italian double bill
11 Dec 17 / The Observer
Damiano Michieletto's Cav and Pag returns to Covent Garden
9 Dec 17 / Opera Today
Clever production effects aside, this was a fantastic performance of both operas
6 Dec 17 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Bryan Hymel takes the lead in both halves of this exceptional double bill
5 Dec 17 / The Stage
Herculean commitment from Bryan Hymel
5 Dec 17 / Financial Times (via Google)
Compellingly sung operatic misery
5 Dec 17 / The Guardian
Towering performance by Hymel
5 Dec 17 / Independent
Evil under the sun: Hymel triumphs in Cav and Pag at Covent Garden
4 Dec 17 / Bachtrack
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Performance schedule
Puccini
11 Sep 2017 to 20 Jul 2018
Benjamin
10 to 26 May 2018
Wagner
7 Jun to 1 Jul 2018
Mozart
29 Jun to 17 Jul 2018
Verdi
7 to 21 Jul 2018
Donizetti
18 to 21 Jul 2018
Wagner
24 Sep to 2 Nov 2018
Verdi
15 Nov to 10 Dec 2018
Bizet
27 Nov to 22 Dec 2018
Humperdinck
11 to 29 Dec 2018
Tchaikovsky
13 Jan to 1 Feb 2019
Verdi
14 to 31 Jan 2019
Janacek
4 to 26 Feb 2019
Mozart
25 Feb to 16 Mar 2019
Verdi
21 Mar to 22 Apr 2019
Gounod
8 Apr to 6 May 2019
Britten
23 Apr to 10 May 2019
Giordano
20 May to 9 Jun 2019
Puccini
27 May to 20 Jun 2019
Mussorgsky
19 Jun to 3 Jul 2019
Bizet
22 Jun to 20 Jul 2019
Mozart
29 Jun to 21 Jul 2019
Donizetti
8 to 20 Jul 2019

News & Articles

'Our job is to generate an emotional reaction'
As the Royal Opera House reveal details of their 18-19 season, their new director of opera, Oliver Mears, talks about driving Covent Garden forward with frugality and a fairy tale.
21 Mar 2018 / The Guardian
Royal Opera House announces 2018/19 season
The Royal Opera House’s 2018/19 season will open with four performances of Wagner’s Ring cycle, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, in the third and final outing for Keith Warner’s production.
21 Mar 2018 / Opera Now
The Royal Opera to honor Dmitri Hvorostovky in memorial concert
The concert, on March 18, will see artists of The Royal Opera and friends celebrate the achievements of the great Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who died in November 2017.
10 Mar 2018 / OperaWire
Royal Opera House evacuated 'due to bomb scare'
Large crowds gathered on pavements in Covent Garden as police investigated a report of a suspicious package.
28 Feb 2018 / Mirror
Royal Opera House tenor rejects 'in your face' sexual violence
Michael Fabiano, who plays the Duke of Mantua in David McVicar’s production, admitted he had “issues” with the show, arguing even opera set 500 years ago can be adapted to suit modern society.
4 Jan 2018 / Telegraph