Sumi Jo serves up an enigma at Cadogan Hall

I learned something https://i2.wp.com/img838.imageshack.us/img838/2566/sumijoaskonas.jpgremarkable at Cadogan Hall on Friday night: those Medieval transmutationists weren’t barking mad after all – alchemy is real. Take one South Korean soprano, one solo flautist, add a light dusting of French froth, and pure, gleaming gold will miraculously appear. The downside seems to be that if you don’t get the formula quite right, you’re stuck with something a bit nearer to lead for most of the evening.

My full review is at Opera Britannia:

That awkward moment when people tell you you’re a fake

(Published at The Telegraph’s blogs website on March 19th, 2012)

In a blogpost that I wrote last week in the aftermath of Katherine Jenkins’ hysterical response to being parodied on Twitter, I asked why she attracts this kind of attention, and what drives a sane person to spend time and energy in the creation of an online persona for the sole purpose of rubbing her up the wrong way. Come to think of it, why have I invested three thousand words in the space of seven days in explaining why she fully deserves the contempt she receives from both those who earn their wages in the world of opera, and those who spend their money watching them? No doubt Jenkins, her fans and her best friend, the Daily Mail, would prefer to believe that I am obsessed with her. An elitist snob who is envious of her success. Probably a recluse. With lank hair and eczema. And an incriminating bag of sweets.

Continue reading “That awkward moment when people tell you you’re a fake”

Getting cross over Twitter leaves crossover Katherine looking foolish

It should come as a surprise to nobody that Welsh crossover singer, Katherine Jenkins has finally parted company with her grasp on reality. After all, the warning signs from a career that has always had more than just a whiff of fantasy about it have been flashing a lurid red for some time. The schism is so dramatic that my long-awaited opportunity to use the phrase “jumped the shark” has at last presented itself (though not, obviously, in the Urban Dictionary definition of a decline in “something that was once great.”) For Jenkins has been pouring out her heart to the press this week about being bullied on Twitter by an “obsessed opera fan.”

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Outstanding ‘Xerxes’ from English Touring Opera

Outstanding ‘Xerxes’ from English Touring Opera


On 8th October 2011, English Touring Opera premiered its new production of Handel’s ‘Xerxes’ at the RCM’s Britten Theatre. It is a remarkable achievement and a tribute to the creativity and teamwork of all those involved at ETO. In its way it makes a statement as powerful as the celebrated 1985 staging by Nicholas Hytner for ENO, and that is no mean feat indeed.

My full review is at Opera Britannia: