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What stories make the best operas?

There are certain things that every opera needs to have. One is brilliant music, of course. And another is an enthralling plot. But where do opera’s stories come from?

How can you turn as gruesome a tale as Hansel and...

From gruesome tale to Christmas tradition, follow Hansel und Gretel on their journey into the woods and onto the opera stage...

Symphonic Ballets, Balletic Symphonies… Tchaikovsky and Dance Music

Tchaikovsky’s three ballet scores are all revered today, but they drew mixed—sometimes very negative—reviews when they were first performed. "The melody is too… how can I say it? Too confused, too capricious—in a word, it was not written 'balletically.'” (St Petersburg News, 1877) That was a critic’s verdict after the premiere of—wait for it—Swan Lake.

Garden gates and oil fields: How directors bring The Rake’s Progress...

“Nick appears immediately at the garden gate.” A simple enough statement, you might think. But for an opera director, maybe not...