Glyndebourne 2020 – A little brightness in all the pandemic doom and gloom

Like all arts organisations during these gloomy times of the Covid-19 pandemic, Glyndebourne was forced to cancel their Festival 2020 and faced with a financial struggle. Unlike most, however, the Glyndebourne opera house is set in the middle of the Sussex countryside, with beautiful grounds, pleasant gardens and the lovely backdrop of the old country … Read more

The London Symphony Orchestra will return to live work in late August 2020


  • Sir Simon Rattle conducts LSO at BBC Proms Sunday 30 August
  • Three orchestral concerts at LSO St Luke’s conducted by Sir Simon Rattle including Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle
  • A full programme of live and recorded concerts broadcast with a range of international media partners
  • Lunchtime and drivetime concerts open to the public
  • LSO St Luke’s to become orchestra’s temporary performance base

The London Symphony Orchestra will return to live work in late August 2020, moving to LSO St Luke’s, newly equipped with state of the art facilities for live and recorded concerts until the reopening of the Barbican Hall.

Read more

BBC Proms turns 125 years old – live programme from 28 August to 12 September 2020

From Bernstein to Benedetti, Haitink to Hvorostovsky, Mackerras to Kanneh-Masons

Musical greats, from the past and the present, brought together in one extraordinary Proms season

17 July – 12 September 2020

Update 2 SeptemberThe pandemic means a different Proms this year and one of the consequences, under COVID-19 restrictions, is we are not able to bring together massed voices. For that reason we took the artistic decision not to sing ‘Rule, Britannia!’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ in the Hall.  

We have been looking hard at what else might be possible and we have a solution. Both pieces will now include a select group of BBC Singers.  This means the words will be sung in the Hall, and as we have always made clear, audiences will be free to sing along at home. While it can’t be a full choir, and we are unable to have audiences in the Hall, we are doing everything possible to make it special and want a Last Night truly to remember.

We hope everyone will welcome this solution. We think the night itself will be a very special moment for the country – and one that is much needed after a difficult period for everyone. It will not be a usual Last Night, but it will be a night not just to look forward to, but to remember. 

Read more

Two more evenings of opera and ballet, live from the Covent Garden stage and available online  


Fundraising for our future – 
Royal Opera House announces Autumn Opera and Ballet Concerts 

The Royal Opera House is delighted to announce two packed evenings of opera and ballet, live from our stage in Covent Garden and available to view wherever you are in the world online.  

Read more

Live indoor performances with audience at Cadogan Hall from 30 September

Cadogan Hall resumes indoor live performances with audience

Cadogan Hall is resuming live indoor performances with socially distanced audiences from Wednesday 30 September. Throughout the rest of the year, the Hall will host a series of concerts and events with its usual range of genres and offer for everyone, including three performances from players from resident ensemble the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the EFG London Jazz Festival.

For more information click here

Read more

A Truth in Art: Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain

Salome by Aubrey Beardsley (c) Tate Britain

A truth in art, said Oscar Wilde, is one whose opposite is also true. Aubrey Beardsley’s same friend also said, one should either be a work of art or wear a work of art. That is Dandyism for you. These men would sometimes spend hours tying a cravat. Whichever way you look at Beardsley there are contradictions. It is comic while being tragic. Lightweight while being ponderous. Intense while being relaxed. Dismissive while being possessive. Comic while being tragic. Knowing while being unknowing. Gilbert and Sullivan were Beardsley’s exact contemporaries. See my recent Seen and Heard piece on G&S topsy-turveydom (click here).

Read more

ROMA ÆTERNA: Salzburg’s Whitsun Festival from 21 to 24 May 2021  

Rudolf Hradil, Porta Flaminia, watercolour, c. 2000


In 2021 Cecilia Bartoli and the Salzburg Whitsun Festival (21 – 24 May 2021) pay homage to Rome, the eternal city and her hometown. Rome has long inspired poets, composers, film-makers and painters as a metropolis of many faces: for 150 years Rome has been the capital of modern Italy and has retained its contradictory identities, of proud splendour on the one hand and decadence and decay on the other.

For more information and how to get tickets click here.

Read more

Musikfest Berlin 2020

Beethoven and the Music of our times

The Musikfest Berlin takes place from 25 August to 23 September and is organized by the Berliner Festspiele in cooperation with the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation. The new festival programme can be viewed online if you click here.

‘Musikfest Berlin digital‘ is a joint initiative of Berliner Festspiele’s Musikfest Berlin and the Berliner Philharmoniker‘s Digital Concert Hall. To mark the occasion of the 2020 festival edition, 18 guest performances out of a total of 33 events scheduled to take place from August 25 to September 23 as part of the Musikfest Berlin in the the Philharmonie’s large concert hall will be streamed live in the Digital Concert Hall or broadcast with a time delay. They will then be available on the Berliner Festspiele’s streaming platform at ‘Musikfest Berlin on Demand‘ for a further 72 hours.

Read more