Seen and Heard International hopes for the happiest of outcomes for all those who are ill due to the current coronavirus pandemic. We share the optimism of those experts who hope that all those in otherwise good health will be able to resist its worst effects.

With the worldwide restrictions on travel and gatherings of significant numbers the world of classical music and many other entertainment events are currently subjected to a wave of changes, postponements, or cancellations, and it is unlikely normal recreational life will be resumed in the foreseeable future.

Seen and Heard International will continue to post reviews of concerts, operas, dance, theatre, and broadcasts for a long as we can, but bear with us if our content is not refreshed as often as readers have become used to over recent years.

We are not a listings site so if you are checking for news of whether performances have been postponed, cancelled, or might be restarting, please go direct to the websites of the venues concerned.


Attempts are being made to provide online live music and other performances – live or recorded – during this ongoing situation. Below are a few of the announcements and please also look elsewhere on Seen and Heard for more news. None of this is intended to be comprehensive or regularly updated but might be added to in coming days:

Garsington Opera – is delighted to announce that a filmed version of Fidelio in Concert which was performed at Wormsley on 16 September 2020 will be broadcast on the OperaVision channel from 23 October, 6pm UK time / 7pm CEST. The production will be available to view until 22 April 2021. It is free to watch online with no registration required.  The premiere streaming will be available CLICK HERE and HERE for programme notes, full cast and creative team, biographies and more OperaVision celebrates World Opera Day (25 October) and the Beethoven anniversary with 3 very different productions of Fidelio: Garsington Opera’s, Graham Vick’s promenade production for Birmingham Opera Company and an animated version for children by Belgian collective Walpurgis.  For an online Q&A featuring artists from all 3 productions including Douglas Boyd and Toby Spence that will take place on 24 October CLICK HERE.

Leeds Lieder – announces first live recitals of the 2020-21 season, and among the first socially distanced song recitals outside of London since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic. All concerts will take place at Leeds Town Hall, 6pm start. Tickets on sale now via the Leeds Town Hall box office CLICK HERE / 0113 376 0318. Please note there is currently the option to book tickets to visit the concert in person or alternatively there is a livestream ticket to watch the concert from your home.

Thursday 29th October – Ian Bostridge CBE joins Festival Director Joseph Middleton to perform a work with which he’s become synonymous: Schubert’s Winterreise. Their recital is preceded by a recital by Harriet Burns, last heard by Yorkshire audiences at the Leeds Lieder Wigmore Hall masterclass given by our President, the great Dutch soprano Elly Ameling. She will perform Schubert’s Ellens Gesang I, II & III. Her recital for Leeds Lieder takes place under the auspices of Barbara Hannigan’s Momentum Equilibrium initiative.

Friday 30th October – Louise Alder and Joseph Middleton ‘two of classical song’s brightest artists’ (The Guardian) return to Leeds Lieder following the release of their second and much lauded recital CD. Their programme includes Grieg’s Six Songs Op.48 and Rachmaninov’s Six Songs Op38. The recital will end with Alder giving her first performance of Strauss’s transcendental Four Last Songs.  Before Alder performs, ENO Harewood Artist Benson Wilson gives a recital of English and Samoan song. His appearance is supported by the Kathleen Ferrier Awards.

Saturday 31st October – Iestyn Davies MBE and Joseph Middleton perform Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin. Iestyn Davies ‘reigns supreme among countertenors’ (The Independent) and is becoming increasingly well known for his intelligent and considered readings of core Lied repertoire. Rising star, the ‘superbly controlled, sensuous soprano‘ (Opera Today) of Nardus Williams also performs Liszt, Brahms and Wolf.

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François Girard’s static, drab, and unevenly cast Met Der fliegende Holländer

United StatesUnited States Wagner, Der fliegende Holländer: Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera, New York / Valery Gergiev (conductor). Performance recorded on 10.3.2020 (directed by Gary Halvorson) and reviewed as Met Opera on Demand. (JPr)

Anja Kampe (Senta) in Act II Der fliegende Holländer
(c) Ken Howard/Met Opera

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Louise Alder and Roger Vignoles bring a sophisticated programme of songs at Wigmore Hall to life

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Fanny Mendelssohn, Berg, Bizet, Poulenc, Satie: Louise Alder (soprano), Roger Vignoles (piano), with Julien Van Mellaerts (baritone, Les mamelles de Tirésias). Wigmore Hall, 9.10.2020, reviewed on Wigmore Hall’s YouTube. (CC)

Louise Alder (soprano) and Roger Vignoles (piano)

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The Royal Ballet: Back on Stage and dancing back into our hearts

United KingdomUnited Kingdom The Royal Ballet: Back on Stage: Dancers of The Royal Ballet, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House / Jonathan Lo (conductor). Live-streamed from the Royal Opera House, London, 9.10.2020. (JPr)

Marianela Nuñez (Kitri) and Vadim Muntagirov (Basilio)
in Don Quixote Act III pas de deux (c) Tristram Kenton

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Easy-going Beethoven from the Tetzlaff Quartet for Cal Performances

United StatesUnited States Beethoven: Tetzlaff Quartet (Christian Tetzlaff, Elisabeth Kufferath [violins], Hanna Weinmaster [viola], Tanja Tetzlaff  [cello]). Recorded at b-sharp studio, Berlin, for Cal Performances, and available on demand through 6 January, 8.10.2020. (HS)

Tetzlaff Quartet

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