Crime scene

Ladies’ night

by Claire Jackson

This month sees the world premiere of English National Opera’s newly commissioned work, Jack the Ripper:The Women of Whitechapel. Iain Bell’s opera tells the story of the Ripper’s victims, focusing on the gloriously visceral, vivid and often heartbreaking lives of these women and the society in which they lived, rather than their grizzly end.

Valley voices

Opera Now celebrates 30 years of Mid Wales Opera, one of the UK’s most enterprising grass-roots opera companies

In an english country garden

The country house opera season is just a couple of months away, so it’s time to blow the dust off your picnic hampers and have your diaries at the ready as Opera Now helps you navigate this year’s packed spring and summer programme

Dramatic difference

by Christopher Luscombe

Actor and director Christopher Luscombe will be stagingVerdi’s Falstaff at The Grange Festival this summer.A Shakespeare specialist, but also no stranger to West End hit shows, he discusses the challenges of taking his first steps into opera directing

Longborough Festival Opera

by Toby Deller

In heart of the Cotswolds, Longborough Festival Opera is preparing to embark on its second Ring cycle this year. For its director Amy Lane the Wagnerian journey started years ago. Toby Deller reports

In a class of its own

by Benjamin Ivry

Benjamin Ivry turns to a new study entitled Opera in the Jazz Age, exploring how and why opera acquired its elitist reputation in the changing social and economic climate of Britain in the aftermath of the Great War

David Trippett

by Francis Muzzu

In the hands of musicologist David Trippett, a collection of musical fragments and sketches has evolved into an opera, once thought lost, by Franz Liszt. Francis Muzzu reports on the reconstruction of Sardanapalo.

The Magic Flute, Mozart

by Anthony Arblaster · illustrations: Alastair Muir

The Magic Flute’s romantic narrative is interspersed with scenes of comedy, Masonic ritual and solemnity.As such, it offers vast opportunities – and sore temptations – to inventive directors and designers

Un ballo in maschera, Verdi

by George Hall · illustrations: Bill Cooper

WNO’s A Masked Ball comes as the centrepiece of the company’s ongoingVerdi trilogy, begun last year with a fine Forza del destino and due to be completed in 2020 with Les Vêpres siciliennes

A Beggar’s Opera, Gay/Pepusch

by Charlotte Gardner · illustrations: Patrick Berger

A wail of sirens shrieks into a warehouse stacked to the ceiling with cardboard boxes.There is running and shouting.A mass of denim- and hoody-clad bodies skids across the stage, diving towards more boxes, whose contents turn out to be Baroque musical instruments

Dangerous Liaisons, Vivaldi/Moretto

by Simon Mundy · illustrations: Marco Borggreve

Opera2day is a touring ensemble that mixes professional singers with community involvement in each city it visits, with supers and servants drawn from local amateur actors. I caught this enterprising and lively company’s current touring show in Amstelveen, a low-key suburb on the Amsterdam ring road

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