The Royal Opera - London
12 December 2018

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Performance reviews

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Simon Boccanegra

The Royal Opera

No. of reviews: 18

Pirates of London
11 Dec 18 / ConcertoNet (English)
A dark masterpiece whose subject matter creates a dramatic brew
29 Nov 18 / Independent
This Boccanegra is not what you'd expect from UK's best-funded opera company
22 Nov 18 / The Spectator
A very strong cast and a perfect first night for this new run
21 Nov 18 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Powerful opera piece performed with great potency
21 Nov 18 / Express
The fizz has fizzled out of the melodrama in this concert, which is in its seventh revival at the Royal Opera
20 Nov 18 / The Times
Moshinsky's Simon Boccanegra returns to Covent Garden
19 Nov 18 / Opera Today
Carlos Álvarez’s Doge outgrows rusty production in token revival
17 Nov 18 / OperaWire
Political intrigues at the Royal Opera as Simon Boccanegra returns
17 Nov 18 / Bachtrack
Much of that emotional terrain is brought to light by Hrachuhi Bassenz's Amelia
17 Nov 18 / Broadway World
Carlos Álvarez’s Doge has grandeur and stentorian power in Moshinsky’s Royal Opera Boccanegra
17 Nov 18 / Seen and Heard
Boccanegra Brexit
17 Nov 18 / Olyrix
Excellent singing and a strong moral core
16 Nov 18 / Telegraph
At the centre of the cast is Carlos Álvarez’s Simon
16 Nov 18 / Classical Source
Elegant Verdi opera falters as grand set miniaturises singers
16 Nov 18 / Evening Standard
A timely revival of Verdi's political music-drama
16 Nov 18 / The Arts Desk
An outstanding performance from Carlos Alvarez
16 Nov 18 / The Stage
Carlos Álvarez dazzles in Verdi's dark epic
16 Nov 18 / The Guardian

The Royal Opera

No. of reviews: 14

Gaëlle Arquez is an ideal, sexy Carmen
10 Dec 18 / The Observer
Stairway to Carmen
9 Dec 18 / ConcertoNet (English)
Clownish production leaves us cold
8 Dec 18 / Metro
Bravo for Kosky’s full-on Bizet
7 Dec 18 / Camden New Journal
Gaëlle Arquez excels as Carmen
6 Dec 18 / Classical Source
Broadway meets the bullring in this uneasy mix of conventional theatricality and post-drama
6 Dec 18 / Evening Standard
Kosky’s Carmen is still the smartest show in town – and the most fun
6 Dec 18 / The Spectator
First revival of Barrie Kosky's Carmen at the ROH
5 Dec 18 / Opera Today
The performance is conducted with great precision and verve by the Canadian Keri-Lynn Wilson
5 Dec 18 / Express
Dance is at its core, and it’s done brilliantly
4 Dec 18 / Independent
All the cast must play second fiddle to Kosky’s master plan
4 Dec 18 / The Times
Slicker, but still a mountain to climb
3 Dec 18 / Bachtrack
Kosky’s thought-provoking Royal Opera Carmen returns to Covent Garden
3 Dec 18 / Seen and Heard
A melting pot of scenic homages to musicals, movies and music videos
2 Dec 18 / Broadway World
Der Ring des Nibelungen

The Royal Opera

No. of reviews: 41

Full cycle: Wagner’s ever-vibrant genius trumps an unimaginative production
18 Nov 18 / OperaWire
Die Walküre: A poetic Walküre with a towering performance from Stuart Skelton
5 Nov 18 / Planet Hugill
Die Walküre: Choc frontal
30 Oct 18 /
Die Walküre: John Lundgren’s Conflicted Wotan is the Highlight of Keith Warner’s Die Walküre
30 Oct 18 / Seen and Heard
Full cycle: Fifteen hours of glorious music
12 Oct 18 / Express
Full cycle: If there's one performance to take away from this cycle it'd be Stefan Vinke's Siegfried
11 Oct 18 / The Spectator
Siegfried/Götterdämmerung: Wagner’s Ring ended on a high
7 Oct 18 / The Observer
Full cycle: Burning woman
6 Oct 18 / parterre box
Götterdämmerung: In the beginning there was darkness. At the end, obfuscation
3 Oct 18 / What's on Stage
Siegfried/Götterdämmerung: The Royal Opera's Ring cycle finds a new gear
3 Oct 18 / Telegraph
Götterdämmerung: The final conflagration was stunning
3 Oct 18 / Music OMH
Götterdämmerung: Milling’s powerful Hagen drives a dramatic Royal Opera Götterdämmerung
3 Oct 18 / Bachtrack
Full cycle: Musically this was a scorcher
3 Oct 18 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Götterdämmerung: Apocalypse wows in formidable Ring cycle
3 Oct 18 / The Guardian
Siegfried: Magnificent but elusive
3 Oct 18 / Opera Today
Das Rheingold: Freia tonight
2 Oct 18 / The Critics' Circle
Siegfried: Blunt hero is hard to like in a cluttered production
2 Oct 18 / The Guardian
Siegfried/Götterdämmerung: Dramatic detail gives greater force to the music
2 Oct 18 / Evening Standard
Das Rheingold/Die Walküre: The orchestra of the Royal Opera under Antonio Pappano gives a thrilling performance
1 Oct 18 / Express
Siegfried: Both Stefan Vinke and Nina Stemme sing at the top of their game
1 Oct 18 / Music OMH
Siegfried: Something's clicked, big time, with this third instalment of the ROH Ring
1 Oct 18 / What's on Stage
Das Rheingold: The Royal Opera’s Ring cycle revival gets off to a virtually flawless start
1 Oct 18 / The Sunday Times
Siegfried: A fantastic tale, an outstanding cast
1 Oct 18 / Bachtrack
Das Rheingold/Die Walküre: Keith Warner’s Royal Opera Ring cycle is back and newly pertinent – and blazing with star performances
30 Sep 18 / The Observer
Die Walküre: Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton deliver the best singing of the evening
29 Sep 18 / Music OMH
Das Rheingold/Die Walküre: Antonio Pappano whips the music into a frenzy
29 Sep 18 / Opera Now
Die Walküre: The Royal Opera's Die Walküre is so strongly cast
28 Sep 18 / What's on Stage
Das Rheingold/Die Walküre: Die Walküre, including direction which repeatedly contradicts the libretto
28 Sep 18 / Independent
Die Walküre: Eloquent and energetic
28 Sep 18 / Financial Times (via Google)
Das Rheingold/Die Walküre: A Ring high on chutzpah but low on coherence
28 Sep 18 / Telegraph
Die Walküre: Moments of searing power in an unfocused evening
28 Sep 18 / The Guardian
Die Walküre: It’s the second revival of Keith Warner’s production, but still there were glitches
28 Sep 18 / The Times
Die Walküre: Skelton and Anger set the scene for Stemme in Covent Garden's superb Walküre
28 Sep 18 / Bachtrack
Die Walküre: Feel the tectonic plates shift in enthralling production of Wagner's Ring
27 Sep 18 / Evening Standard
Das Rheingold: Antonio Pappano’s conducting is smooth, full and balanced
27 Sep 18 / Music OMH
Das Rheingold: Thrilling start to Warner's steampunk surreal Ring
26 Sep 18 / The Guardian
Das Rheingold: Bursting with detail
26 Sep 18 / Financial Times (via Google)
Das Rheingold: Episode one of Der Ring des Nibelungen opens the new season at Covent Garden
26 Sep 18 / What's on Stage
Das Rheingold: The Royal Opera’s latest Ring begins with some fine singing, but the show is low on emotional heat
26 Sep 18 / The Times
Das Rheingold: The assault on Valhalla begins
26 Sep 18 / Bachtrack
Das Rheingold: Revival of Wagner's gripping opera is impressive and superbly nuanced
25 Sep 18 / Evening Standard
'It's the Ben Hur of opera!'
One man's experience of riding the Ring rollercoaster. The bass singing Fafner in the Royal Opera House’s Ring Cycle tells audiences: go to the loo first.
Nina Stemme
Meeting the greatest Wagnerian soprano of her age.
Antonio Pappano on the Ring and his successor
When Pappano completes what may be his last performances of Wagner’s monumental cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen in November, he will have been the Royal Opera’s music director for more than 16 years
Simon Boccanegra

The Royal Opera

No. of reviews: 12

At the centre of the cast is Carlos Álvarez’s Simon
16 Nov 18 / Classical Source
On the whole this production fell flat dramatically
23 Jul 13 / Musical Criticism
Simone ad una voce
9 Jul 13 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
Thomas Hampson sings with apparently effortless grace and power
6 Jul 13 / Express
A charmed revival, and a night in operatic heaven
4 Jul 13 / What's on Stage
Traditional Simon Boccanegra with lush, plush staging
1 Jul 13 / Seen and Heard
Antonio Pappano conducts with his trademark combination of passion, sensitivity and attention to detail
30 Jun 13 / Music OMH
Faultlessly conducted
29 Jun 13 / The Guardian
Anyone who loves Verdian singing and electrifying drama should book now
29 Jun 13 / Opera Britannia
An uneven evening, rarely rising to the heights demanded by one of Verdi’s greatest creations
29 Jun 13 / The Stage
A marvellous evening
29 Jun 13 / Classical Source
Good vocal debuts, timeless revival classic, but hello, director?
28 Jun 13 / The Arts Desk
L'Ange de Nisida

The Royal Opera

No. of reviews: 10

Highly enjoyable fun
27 Jul 18 / Express
There was not a single weak link among the soloists
25 Jul 18 / Music OMH
Recording angel
24 Jul 18 / The Critics' Circle
The world premiere of a mature Donizetti opera!
23 Jul 18 / Planet Hugill
Richly deserved revival of a Donizetti rarity
21 Jul 18 / Telegraph
Important Donizetti premiere: splendidly performed L’Ange de Nisida
21 Jul 18 / Seen and Heard
Donizetti premiere delivered with passion and elan
20 Jul 18 / The Guardian
A Donizetti world premiere
20 Jul 18 / Opera Today
Truthfully, L’Ange de Nisida is no masterpiece
20 Jul 18 / Classical Source
Donizetti's L'Ange de Nisida shines at its belated world première
20 Jul 18 / Bachtrack

The Royal Opera

No. of reviews: 16

Un gran Falstaff en Londres
24 Jul 18 / Beckmesser
Sir Bryn Terfel amply fills the stage
18 Jul 18 / Express
Bryn Terfel is a magnificent Falstaff in a fine revival
15 Jul 18 / The Observer
This production is a scrumptious, musical meal that would fill even the colossal Sir John Falstaff himself to satiation
13 Jul 18 / A Younger Theatre
Plodding and earthbound, despite Bryn Terfel
12 Jul 18 / Independent
Bryn Terfel breathes life into class-conscious classic
12 Jul 18 / Evening Standard
The two main male roles, Falstaff and Ford, are beautifully played and sung by Bryn Terfel and Simon Keenlyside
12 Jul 18 / Express
Bryn Terfel leads brilliant cast as theatre sparkles on the opera stage
12 Jul 18 / OperaWire
Sir John in Love: the fat knight returns to Covent Garden
12 Jul 18 / Bachtrack
Sir Bryn Terfel campe Falstaff à la Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
11 Jul 18 / Opera Online
A lavish production
10 Jul 18 / The Stage
A spritely summer revival of Falstaff at the ROH
10 Jul 18 / Opera Today
In every department Bryn Terfel is a winner: height, bulk, vocal flights, endlessly comic eyebrows and stares
10 Jul 18 / The Times
Go to Covent Garden and be reminded of Verdi’s genius; and see Terfel’s remarkable Falstaff
10 Jul 18 / Seen and Heard
Ultimately there is an infectious bonhomie about Carsen’s staging
9 Jul 18 / Classical Source
Despite an excellent cast, this production fails to scintillate
9 Jul 18 / Telegraph
Don Giovanni

The Royal Opera

No. of reviews: 11

An interesting – but unrealisable – interpretation
13 Jul 18 / The Spectator
A thrilling ride
3 Jul 18 / The Stage
The implication of the labyrinthine mansion of a set and swirling video projections is that there’s no reality her
3 Jul 18 / The Times
Holten’s Don Giovanni stimulates and, occasionally, transfixes at Covent Garden
2 Jul 18 / Seen and Heard
Hell is oneself: Don Giovanni returns to the Royal Opera in heavenly form
2 Jul 18 / Bachtrack
The cast are sensationally good in an assured revival
2 Jul 18 / Independent
There is something very Danish about this Don Giovanni
2 Jul 18 / Opera Today
Coming into focus
2 Jul 18 / Planet Hugill
Video kills the opera star – or nearly – in this well-cast revival of Mozart's masterpiece
2 Jul 18 / What's on Stage
While Ildebrando d’Arcangelo shines, the audience doesn’t make Don Giovanni’s conquest list
1 Jul 18 / OperaWire
A glitzy visual experience, with some strong performances and vivid characterisations
1 Jul 18 / Classical Source
La bohème

The Royal Opera

No. of reviews: 29

Catch La Bohème before the run ends - it's a treat
2 Jul 18 / Express
Musetta is gloriously played with great humour by Danielle de Niese
30 Jun 18 / Express
A deeply disappointing La bohème at the Royal Opera House
19 Jun 18 / Seen and Heard
Faites-nous rêver!
19 Jun 18 / Forum Opéra
La Bohème at the Royal Opera: a simple tragedy, heart-rendingly told
18 Jun 18 / Bachtrack
Matthew Polenzani, Maria Agresta and company trapped in camp direction
18 Jun 18 / OperaWire
Vocally, this La bohème is a triumph
18 Jun 18 / Opera Today
Richard Jones’s production is uncontroversial yet fresh and visually exciting
17 Oct 17 / Australian Book Review
Renouveau réussi
19 Sep 17 / Forum Opéra
Leaving you an emotional wreck
18 Sep 17 / Planet Hugill
The orchestra may throb, but the Royal Opera’s Bohème needs a bit of passion
17 Sep 17 / The Sunday Times
THE high expectations riding on the Royal Opera’s new La Bohème are happily met
17 Sep 17 / Express
No boos for Richard Jones’s stylish new production of Puccini’s masterpiece
16 Sep 17 / The Observer
A spare, unsentimental reading
13 Sep 17 / Evening Standard
The path of caution
13 Sep 17 / Financial Times (via Google)
With fitful focus on the stage, the evening needed the superb playing and Antonio Pappano’s inspired conducting to hold everything together
13 Sep 17 / Classical Source
Con regie de Puccini
13 Sep 17 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
No moonlight, no magic: Richard Jones directs a vanilla Bohème for the Royal Opera
13 Sep 17 / Bachtrack
The musical dynamics of Antonio Pappano’s conducting allowed Puccini’s score to express itself in every note
13 Sep 17 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Covent Garden's new season of opera gets off to a flying start
13 Sep 17 / Telegraph
A startlingly new production
13 Sep 17 / Independent
A routine production is redeemed by vibrant singing and a passionate orchestra under Antonio Pappano’s peerless direction
13 Sep 17 / The Times
All in all, a very promising start to Richard Jones’ new production of an old favourite
13 Sep 17 / Express
There is much to admire in Richard Jones’s new La bohème for the Royal Opera
13 Sep 17 / Seen and Heard
Richard Jones' new La bohème opens ROH season
13 Sep 17 / Opera Today
Richard Jones's new production of Puccini's opera may yet become a classic
13 Sep 17 / What's on Stage
Efficient but antiseptic production generates passion only in the pit
13 Sep 17 / The Guardian
Spectacle and sentiment not yet in focus
13 Sep 17 / The Arts Desk
Richard Jones meets the challenge of replacing a classic production head on
12 Sep 17 / The Stage
Audience member saves Royal Opera's La bohème
When Atalla Ayan developed vocal difficulties, Charles Castronovo stepped in to sing across from his wife Ekaterina Siurina, who starred in La bohème.
'Tell me what traditional means'
Richard Jones put Rhinemaidens in fat suits, breathed life into Turnage’s Anna Nicole – now he is directing Covent Garden’s first new production of La Bohème for four decades.

The Royal Opera

No. of reviews: 21

Lohengrin à Londres, pour amateurs de décibels
21 Jun 18 / ResMusica
Lohengrin, énigme insoluble
21 Jun 18 / Forum Opéra
Le retour du cygne
21 Jun 18 / Altamusica
Wenn der Schwan zum Adler wird
20 Jun 18 / FAZ
David Alden’s new Lohengrin for the Royal Opera reflects turbulence of 20th-century history
19 Jun 18 / Seen and Heard
One-sword wonder
19 Jun 18 / The Critics' Circle
German tenor Klaus Florian Vogt is a dominant presence as Lohengrin
18 Jun 18 / Express
Andris Nelsons leads a performance of zeal and authority, chorus and orchestra at their vigorous best
18 Jun 18 / The Observer
All-consuming evening of Wagnerian power
16 Jun 18 / Express
Wagner's middle-period epic receives its first Covent Garden production since 1977
15 Jun 18 / What's on Stage
Compared to the shaky setting, the performance of the singers of the opening night is a solid one
15 Jun 18 / A Younger Theatre
No room for a hero
14 Jun 18 / The Spectator
Opening night of this new production under the baton of Andris Nelsons was musical perfection
13 Jun 18 / Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Alden’s production ultimately proved conventional, all too conventional
12 Jun 18 / Opera Today
Christine Goerke shines among solid cast as half-awoken myths stay in the (wartime) trenches of reality
10 Jun 18 / OperaWire
Swan cruise: Nelsons navigates a musically impressive Lohengrin at Covent Garden
9 Jun 18 / Bachtrack
Klaus Florian Vogt compelling in sharp Mitteleurope update
9 Jun 18 / The Guardian
David Alden’s new production is shot through with 20th century overtones
9 Jun 18 / Independent
Luckily the musical offering is outstanding
9 Jun 18 / Classical Source
Jennifer Davis steps up and a star is born
9 Jun 18 / Telegraph
Strong performances in a sombre new staging
9 Jun 18 / The Stage
Lessons in Love and Violence

The Royal Opera

No. of reviews: 26

Hand-picked for the roles, the cast is simply superb
14 Jun 18 / Opera Journal
Siete lecciones para siete teatros en noventa minutos
5 Jun 18 / Mundo Clásico (Spanish)
Lessons in Love and Violence is a compelling new opera
1 Jun 18 / National Business Review
A powerful and thought-provoking study in the complexity of human relations
28 May 18 / Planet Hugill
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
Die Oper flieht vor der Aktualität, auch dort wo sie sich aufdrängt
15 May 18 / Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Botschaft aus dem königlichen Schlafgemach
15 May 18 / FAZ
Powerful musical utterances but perplexing dramatic motivations
14 May 18 / Opera Today
Musically brilliant, dramatically inert?
12 May 18 / Classical Iconoclast
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 potent and beautiful account of Edward II's downfall
12 May 18 / Telegraph
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
A few more lessons needed for Lessons In Love And Violence
12 May 18 / Metro
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
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
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
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Performance schedule
27 Nov to 22 Dec 2018
11 to 29 Dec 2018
13 Jan to 1 Feb 2019
14 to 31 Jan 2019
4 to 26 Feb 2019
25 Feb to 16 Mar 2019
21 Mar to 22 Apr 2019
8 Apr to 6 May 2019
23 Apr to 10 May 2019
20 May to 9 Jun 2019
27 May to 20 Jun 2019
19 Jun to 3 Jul 2019
22 Jun to 20 Jul 2019
29 Jun to 21 Jul 2019
8 to 20 Jul 2019

News & Articles

Antonio Pappano: Why the maestro isn’t bowing out yet
Covent Garden’s charismatic conductor talks about another term as music director of the Royal Opera House, and the challenge of Brexit.
5 Nov 2018 / The Observer
The Royal Opera House opens up
Architects Stanton Williams have carved out new spaces in the Covent Garden building – adding access, views and a reborn Linbury theatre.
19 Sep 2018 / The Guardian
'Royal' title is off-putting to the public
The inclusion of “Royal” in the name of the Royal Opera House is “off-putting” to the general public, its chief executive has claimed, ahead of unveiling a project to “open up” the building.
17 Sep 2018 / Telegraph
Antonio Pappano on the Ring and his successor
When Pappano completes what may be his last performances of Wagner’s monumental cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen in November, he will have been the Royal Opera’s music director for more than 16 years
16 Sep 2018 / The Sunday Times
Audience member saves Royal Opera's La bohème
When Atalla Ayan developed vocal difficulties, Charles Castronovo stepped in to sing across from his wife Ekaterina Siurina, who starred in La bohème.
24 Jul 2018 / Evening Standard

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