La Damnation de Faust

December 8, 2015 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Weirdly Wonderful OperaBooed on Opening Night La Damnation de Faust. Photo © Felipe Sanguinetti Hector Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, a weirdly wonderful work labeled a “dramatic legend” rather than an opera by the composer, seems better suited to the 21st … Read More

Moses und Aron

November 4, 2015 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Breaking Out ofThe Operatic Comfort Zone A Charolais bull plays the golden calf in Moses und Aron. Photo © Bernd Uhlig If the slogan currently emblazoned across the huge facade of the Bastille Opera House – “Verdi or Schoenberg, why … Read More

Etienne Daho

October 9, 2014 | By James Overton | Music

Arty French CroonerHits the Road Etienne Daho deep in thought. Arty French crooner Etienne Daho has launched a new tour that will take him all over France and into neighboring countries including Switzerland, Belgium and Britain

Dialogues des Carmélites

June 3, 2014 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Searingly Simple Version ofUnconventional Opera Sally Matthews as Blanche de la Force. Photo: Stephen Cummiskey Anyone who wants to hear great French opera this summer might consider going to London rather than Paris to catch Robert Carsen’s wonderful production (first staged … Read More


March 19, 2014 | By Nick Hammond | Music

For the Love of a God,Nymph Risks Parody Marcel Beekman as a forlorn Platée. Photo: Monika Rittershaus Tucked away behind the Grand Boulevards, the Opéra Comique is one of those Parisian gems that are all too easy to miss. Although … Read More

I Puritani

December 8, 2013 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Bel Canto Version ofEnglish Civil War Maria Agresta as Elvira in “I Puritani.” Photo: Opéra National de Paris/Andrea Messana Vincenzo Bellini’s 11th and final opera, I Puritani, has strong Parisian roots, having been premiered at the city’s Théâtre-Italien in January … Read More

Alceste & The Makropoulos Case

September 16, 2013 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Greeks and Glamour Open Paris Opera Season Sophie Koch as Alceste comforts her children. Photo: Opéra National de Paris/Agathe Poupeney When the Viennese composer Christoph Willibald Gluck wrote confidently in 1776, at the time of its first French production, that … Read More

The Tales of Hoffmann & Capriccio

September 11, 2012 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Two Self-Regarding OperasTake the Stage Jane Archibald (Olympia) and Stefano Secco (Hoffmann). Photo: Opéra national de Paris/Ian Patrick The two productions opening the Paris opera season, Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann and Richard Strauss’s Capriccio (at the Bastille and … Read More


June 19, 2012 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Fleming Ravishing AsStrauss’s Arabella Renée Fleming (Arabella), Iride Martinez (Die Fiakermilli) and Eric Huchet (Graf Elemer). Photo: Opéra national de Paris/Ian Patrick I blush to admit that every (mercifully rare) time I find myself on a grand staircase during a … Read More

Don Giovanni

March 21, 2012 | By Nick Hammond | Music

The Dark Side of The Don A scene from Michael Haneke’s production of Don Giovanni. Photo: Opéra National de Paris/ Charles Duprat The figure of Don Giovanni (or Don Juan) has long fascinated dramatists, artists and directors alike. He is … Read More