Carmen

London,

Carmen

Georges Bizet received hostile reviews of "Carmen" in 1875. Critics saw it as a radical opera that opposed the traditions of Paris and Opéra-Comique, where it was first performed, whilst the general public grew to love Carmen for its evocative ...

The Pirates of Penzance

  Admittedly, Gilbert and Sullivan’s "The Pirates of Penzance" isn’t one of my favourite G & S operas, yet Mike Leigh’s new production manages to sustain the audience’s attention through brightly crisp staging, dynamic acting, dazzling singing and  Gilbert's ...

Garrick Ohlsson, London

One hundred years to the day since the death of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, American pianist Garrick Ohlsson concluded his two-concert “Skryabin Focus” at London’s Wigmore Hall with a recital of works which spanned the final two decades of Scriabin’s ...

What Is Luxury? London

A thought-provoking new exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum poses the question “What Is Luxury?” and challenges our traditional notions and definitions of luxury. If you are expecting Louis Vuitton handbags, de Beers diamonds or Patek Philippe watches, you ...

All of This Belongs to You

In our beloved V&A museum, there’s a glowing neon sign overseeing the balcony of the entrance lobby that spells out the words "All of This Belongs to You." Its artist Ugo Rondinone uses bold, white lights to attract our attention ...

Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden, London

Among the highlights of Henry VIII's library was a book called "Ruralia Commonia," which is generally considered the world's first "how to" gardening manual. Written in Latin around 1304 by a Bolognese lawyer, Petrus de Crescentiis, it contains practical advice ...

Richard Diebenkorn, London

Before last week, I knew the work of Californian artist Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) only secondhand and had never actually stood in front of one of his paintings. Compared to the giants of the New York school, the San Francisco Bay ...

Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint, London

In Britain Sir Joshua Reynolds is regarded as something of a national treasure. The first president of the Royal Academy of Arts, his statue greets you on arriving at the art school and gallery he founded. In his day, he ...

Savage Beauty

Before Alexander McQueen became the iconic, illustrious fashion designer of the twenty-first century he worked for a costume design company Berman’s and Nathan’s cutting clothes for major West End theatre shows. At the time he was only 19 but this ...

Inventing Impressionism, London

It's a curious fact that the decisive moment in the history of Impressionism took place not in Paris but in London. In September 1870, just after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, Parisian art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel (1831-1922) moved a ...