French Impressions at the British Museum

  The British Museum’s new French Impressions show was several floors up in room 90, around the back of the museum. I’ve become quite accustomed to coming here for the BM’s print shows, for, for one thing, the BM benefits from an impressive print archive – admired the world over. The last exhibition I attended here,…

A Remarkable Meditation on Masculinity at the Barbican

  Masculinities: Liberation through Photography,  at the Barbican is an exploration of male identity from the 1960s to the present day!  The subject is vast and quite complex, and being the Barbican, it’s a big show, taking up two levels of floor space and showcasing three hundred artworks from celebrity  photographers such as Richard Avedon…

Lustrous line-up of singers for ENO’s Luisa Miller

  Verdi is a fascinating composer. He notched up twenty-five operas during his long and largely successful career and also managed to live to the grand old age of eighty-seven. It’s quite an achievement when you think how many composers, worn out from the effort of composing and staging operas, suffered poor health and died…

Maliphant Works at the Coronet

  In the modern dance world, the dancer and choreographer, Russell Maliphant, is a name which commands huge respect. Ballet fans still remember his very successful pairing with star dancer, Sylvie Guillem in Push, filmed at Sadler’s Wells. It still is compelling viewing on youtube https://bit.ly/2SxRJVj . Since that time, Maliphant has won many awards for…

Visions: Cyril Scott Piano Works

For many pianists, our first encounter with the music of Cyril Scott is through his exotic, languorous piece Lotus Land. This was also Georgian pianist Nino Gvetadze’s first introduction to Scott’s piano music, through one of her teachers at Tbilisi Conservatory. Scott’s music is rarely performed today, though Lotus Land remains a perennial favourite at…

Over the Top with Everything They’d Got: British Baroque at Tate Britain

The new show at Tate Britain, British Baroque: Power and Illusion starts in another epoch when our relationship with Europe was a tad strained, let us say, and ends at the point when a German prince who spoke not a word of English was invited – if not begged – to take over the English throne. You’d almost think Tate Britain had timed this show deliberately.

A Darker Setting for Carmen at the Coliseum

  Carmen at ENO Bizet’s Carmen has probably been the world’s most performed opera since it premiered at the L’Opéra Comique in Paris in 1875. Scroll up to 2020 and opera houses and directors worldwide are still trying to come up with ways of injecting new life into Bizet’s rich score. Carmen’s hits, have been…

Do we still need music critics?

Critic – one who engages often professionally in the analysis, evaluation, or appreciation of works of art or artistic performances The debate about the value of music criticism and those who write it is not new. In the digital age, the music itself has not changed, but the technologies through which we discuss, transmit and…

Streetdance to Seoul

    Inside the heavy oak doors of Shoreditch Town Hall, a disco-funk beat is pulsing as we scale the marble steps to the Assembly Hall. PopcityUk’s 2020 International Hip Hop and Popping competition has already started. In the ring of darkness surrounding the brightly lit dance floor, hundreds of youths have gathered. Some are…

Picasso and Paper at the Royal Academy of Arts

  Picasso had an enduring love affair with paper (‘it seduced me’, he said of one particularly fine batch). He spent his life environed by the stuff: when his tables and chairs and mantelpieces were filled to overflowing he would hang it on lengths of string from the ceiling. Paper lay at the heart of…