©ROH, 2016

Prospect recommends: The best opera this month

Contentious Wagner, avant-garde Shakespeare
February 10, 2017
Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg

Royal Opera House, 11th to 31st March

Wagner’s only mature comic opera is also one of his most contentious. With a final sequence that celebrates German nationalism, it can present a dilemma for modern observers. David McVicar’s Glyndebourne production was well sung but sidestepped the politics. One can assume that in his final production as Director of Opera at Covent Garden, Kasper Holten will be determined to explore every aspect of the story as well as its magnificent music. With Bryn Terfel as Sachs and Antonio Pappano wielding the baton, Holten’s production, which draws on London’s artisan guilds for inspiration, is not to be missed.

The Winter’s Tale

English National Opera, 27th February to 14th March

One of Shakespeare’s most avant-garde plays offers huge scope for interpretation. English National Opera’s composer-in-residence Ryan Wigglesworth has created a new opera that explores the quasi-mystical story of the eventual redemption of the jealous Leontes. Olivier Award-winning actor Rory Kinnear is in the director’s seat. With a cast including ENO luminaries Iain Paterson, Sophie Bevan, Leigh Melrose and Susan Bickley, this is one to watch.


The Bussey Building, London, 20th February to 3rd March

The Opera Story is an enterprising new company that promises to bring “immersive opera” to unusual venues. Their debut production is a three-act opera based on the Snow White story. Each act is created by a different composer (Lewis Murphy, Lucie Treacher and Tom Floyd). It promises to break down traditional barriers—for the adventurous opera-goer this might be worth a punt.