Così Fan Tutte in Coney Island: All the Fun of the Fair with Dazzling Mozart Score

Così Fan Tutte is arguably one of the world’s most loved operas.  Librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte and Mozart chart the emotional journey of two couples; Fiordiligi and Ferrando, Dorabella (Fiordiligi’s sister) and Guglielmo. They are engaged to be married and still have everything to learn about love. Don Alfonso, self-made philosopher, bets with the two fiancés, that…

Viennese Winds Blow Through Elisabeth Leonskaja’s Mozart Sonatas

In the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to Elisabeth Leonskaja’s Complete Mozart Piano Sonatas,. I have now worked my way through six discs, eighteen sonatas and one fantasia. I love Mozart’s sonatas and especially his fantasia, but it must be said that one or two early sonatas come across as a little frothy. That said, this…

Opera is back at Holland Park

This OHP production is highly recommended. Ticket returns are available if you sign up for an alert system, but I strongly urge you to try or call box office direct. On the evening I was present, filming was taking place of Marriage of Figaro so here’s hoping that plenty of others have access to this remarkable production.

New recording of Arne’s Eighteenth Century Hit Impresses

I sat down to Arne: Artaxerxes over the Bank Holiday and believed, at first, that I was listening to a newly discovered Mozart opera. Young Mozart may well have seen  Artaxerxes in London in the mid-1760s when he was touring. He loved opera with a capital L and Thomas Arne’s hit work must have fuelled Mozart’s boyhood passion…

Hoffmeister’s Magic Flute

Franz Anton Hoffmeister was surprisingly absent from my Oxford Companion to Music when I tried to look him up for the purposes of this review. This is surprising as his musical output at the end of the 18th century – early 19th century showed him to be quite prolific. He produced a total of sixty-six…

McBurney’s Magic Flute Enchants Again.

  Mozart’s Magic Flute is an unusual opera, full of Viennese slapstick, magic and strange journeys through a fairy-tale landscape. Emanuel Schikaneder, who wrote the libretto, was a theatre-manager, actor and most importantly, Mozart’s friend. The two relished working together and being both a little strapped for cash in 1791, they strove to create an opera…