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Performer: Olivia Fuchs

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Wolf-Ferrari entertains, Tchaikovsky bewitches at Holland Park

John Savournin (Sante), Clare Presland (Susanna) © Opera Holland Park | Ali Wright
Wolf-Ferrari's Il segreto di Susanna provides an airy bon-bouche to Tchaikovsky's Iolanta, brilliantly sung by Natalya Romaniw and David Butt Philip and conducted to fairy-tale perfection by Sian Edwards
***11
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By Jove! A terrific Semele at the Royal Academy of Music

Lina Dambrauskaite (Semele) © Robert Workman
Royal Academy Opera maintains its usual high standards in a production of Handel’s operatic oratorio, a showcase for the singers of the future.
****1
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Proms at... Wilton’s: Conference of the Birds

Marcus Farnsworth performs Eight Songs for a Mad King © BBC | Mark Allan
The Birmingham Contemporary Music Group present an ambitious mixture of experimental chamber music and disquieting monodrama. 
***11
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Kát’a Kabanova compellingly staged at OHP

Nicky Spence, Anne Mason, Clare Presland, Julia Sporsén, Laura Woods © Robert Workman
Problems of orchestral balance cloud Olivia Fuchs's straightforward, compelling staging of Janáček’s tirade against the rigidity and hypocrisy of small town society.
***11
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Sumptuous performances from WNO in Der Rosenkavalier

Louise Alder (Sophie Von Faninal) and Lucia Cervoni (Octavian) © Bill Cooper
Gloriously sung and stylishly played, this Rosenkavalier is a feast for the ears and eyes and should be heard without delay. 
****1
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Mascagni's Iris: A grim fate for sopranos

Perhaps not a masterpiece, but worth exploring, Mascagni's Iris returns to Opera Holland Park. 
****1
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