This is the look of disappointment – a blizzard in March. On a Friday, when big, exciting plans involving traveling to London were in place, but had to be abandoned because of the five days of back winter carnage. Still, in Oxford we were lucky; in some parts of the country people are still without … More Lately

New Year’s things

Here’s a quick round-up of some things that have been happening this month. Culture-wise this is promising to be a good year – I have tickets booked to hear the OAE play some Beethoven with Marin Alsop, Stephen Beresford’s adaptation of Fanny and Alexander starring Penelope Wilton opens for previews in February, later in the … More New Year’s things

This year

It’s been a while. In fact, it’s been a whole month since I even looked at this blog. I haven’t gone away though – it just so happens that December is always rather busy. And I’m good at wasting time – for example, I spent one whole weekend painting Nutcracker illustrations, with results that I … More This year


It’s been one of those mad glorious weeks that tend to roll around once or twice a year, filled with goodies of every kind. Thursday week ago I saw a fab concert performance of Rameau’s Dardanus by the English Touring Opera at the Sheldonian. As it happens, this is my only opera this autumn – … More Lately

Tonight at the opera: Shakespeare edition, vol. 2

The Otello at the ROH is proper Big Event Opera – the most famous, revered singer of his generation making his debut in one of the biggest roles in the repertoire. The announcement of Jonas Kaufmann in this production set off months of internet frenzy, many people fearing or expecting (and some, I’m sure, even … More Tonight at the opera: Shakespeare edition, vol. 2

Tonight at the opera: Shakespeare edition, vol. 1

As luck and coincidence would have it, I’m seeing two operas based on a Shakespeare play back to back this summer. This past Saturday, I went to Glyndebourne to see the Australian composer Brett Dean’s Hamlet, and on Sunday, I’m seeing Verdi’s Otello (yes, with That Tenor) at the Royal Opera. The Glyndebourne trip was … More Tonight at the opera: Shakespeare edition, vol. 1

Last night at the opera

I have a thing for 20th/21st century opera – the first opera I consciously remember choosing to see was Giancarlo Menotti’s The Consul, and I have found myself loving Turnage’s Anna Nicole, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and pretty much everything by Benjamin Britten. Thomas Adés’ The Exterminating Angel (which premiered last year in Salzburg Festspiele, … More Last night at the opera