David Karlin

David Karlin is a co-founder of One Stop Arts and Bachtrack, and the editor of the One Stop Arts opera page. He is a musical omnivore interested in almost all types of music, but with a particular love of Italian opera.
High gothic and fairies: Massenet's Cendrillon at the Royal Academy

Royal Academy of Music perform Massenet's Cendrillon 

Wednesday 20th November 2013 Read more...
Hampstead Garden Opera entertain thoroughly with Figaro

Hampstead Garden Opera's Marriage of Figaro pulls out all the stops at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, producing a thoroughly uplifing performance of this classic comic opera.

Tuesday 12th November 2013 Read more...
Burlesque and bats: Christopher Alden reinvents Die Fledermaus for ENO

This ENO production of Johann Strauss's light-hearted classic gives both operetta and Regietheater a good name, with high-quality singing and a frivolous production from Christopher Alden.

Wednesday 2nd October 2013 Read more...
Elektra at Covent Garden

While there isn't any actual on-stage killing, this Royal Opera House production of Richard Strauss's Elektra, directed and designed by Charles Edwards, is awash with the stuff: there's enough red spattered around the stage to make the designers of a violent video game blanch.

Tuesday 24th September 2013 Read more...
Prom 56: Immaculate Ravel from Thibaudet

Jean-Yves Thibaudet gave a joyous rendition of Ravel's Piano Concerto, and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra played Shostakovich's Symphony no. 5 and Wagner's Rienzi overture in Prom 56, led by Philippe Jordan.

Monday 26th August 2013 Read more...
Prom 33: Luminous playing from Uchida, Jansons and the Bavarian Radio SO

The first Proms appearance this year from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mariss Jansons saw them joined by star pianist Mitsuko Uchida for Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto. Both this and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique drew top performances.

Friday 9th August 2013 Read more...
Prom 7: Continents intersect at the Gospel Prom

The late night Gospel Prom welcomed seven choirs and over 150 singers, together with a battery of soloists, to the Royal Albert Hall. The result was some very fine music, but an interesting experience, rather than an uplifting one.

Wednesday 17th July 2013 Read more...
Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera

The plot and characterisation of Simon Boccanegra are gripping and anything but conventional: the politics are intricate and believable, and the love interest is derailed by typical mediaeval family politics rather than a standard operatic love triangle. For Verdi fans, it’s not to be missed.

Friday 28th June 2013 Read more...
Elizabethana I and II: Britten's Gloriana at Covent Garden

Benjamin Britten's 1953 coronation opera Gloriana is seldom performed, and this staging by Richard Jones at the Royal Opera House does its best with the piece. But it still isn't an operatic masterpiece, despite riveting performances from Susan Bullock and Toby Spence.

Friday 21st June 2013 Read more...
John Graham-Hall outstanding in ENO's Death in Venice

Benjamin Britten's opera Death in Venice isn't going to be for everyone, but if you're happy to engage with it on its own terms, there is much beauty to be found. In this ENO production by Deborah Warner, the visuals are a feast for the eyes, and John Graham-Hall produced a bravura performance in the lead role.

Sunday 16th June 2013 Read more...
A game of two halves: Cav and Pag at Opera Holland Park

As I left Holland Park after last night’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, I found myself wondering what they’d put in the orchestra’s cups of tea at the interval. Because I don’t think I’ve ever seen an opera performance that was (to borrow a phrase from football) such a game of two halves: a lacklustre Cavalleria followed by a thoroughly entertaining Pagliacci.

Saturday 8th June 2013 Read more...
Unjust neglect? Chelsea Opera Group makes a good case for Verdi's Alzira

If the base material of Verdi's little-performed eighth opera Alzira is no more than average, Verdi's treatment of it is not, and last night's cast and orchestra made a very good case for it. I ended the evening in agreement with Chelsea Opera Group's assessment that it has been unjustly neglected.

Monday 3rd June 2013 Read more...
Bring your mental body armour: Wozzeck at ENO

Alban Berg's opera Wozzeck starts bleak and gets bleaker. Telling the tragic story of a soldier who eventually kills his partner and himself, it's a cry against the horrors of the human condition. Carrie Cracknell's production for English National Opera is magnificent, and the singers and orchestra under Edward Gardner exceptional.

Monday 13th May 2013 Read more...
An outstanding Verdi Requiem from the Philharmonia and Gatti

In a sense, Verdi's Requiem is a work that is highly disrespectful to the traditions of organised religion. But regardless of this, the Philharmonia's performance with Daniele Gatti was one that was consistently gripping, from the first note to the last.

Sunday 21st April 2013 Read more...
Die Zauberflöte at Covent Garden

This revival of David McVicar's 2003 setting of Die Zauberflöte was familiar in many ways, but flooded with singing talent and with a Mozart specialist conducting. It was also a fitting tribute to conductor Sir Colin Davis, who sadly died this weekend.

Wednesday 17th April 2013 Read more...
Hasse's Lucio Papirio Dittatore revived at London Handel Festival

Johann Adolph Hasse was one of the leading opera composers of the mid eighteenth century. This was a performance which was thoroughly fascinating from a history-of-opera point of view, and with many good elements from a musical one. Lucio Papirio is labelled a dramma per musica; to my surprise, I was considerably more taken by the drama than the music - but then early opera is full of surprises.

Sunday 7th April 2013 Read more...
The chorus takes the honours in the Royal Opera's Nabucco

“Fly, my thoughts, on gilded wings; fly to rest on hills and mounts.” Va, pensiero, the Act 3 chorus of the Hebrew slaves, catapulted Giuseppe Verdi to lasting fame. It remains one of the biggest moments in any opera, and the Royal Opera Chorus performed it superbly last night. If you can afford the expensive tickets that are all that's left, go for it.

Sunday 31st March 2013 Read more...
Lombards but no crusade: Verdi's I Lombardi at UCOpera

In spite of it being Verdi's anniversary year, not many of his more obscure works are being performed here in the UK, and this was a rare chance to hear I Lombardi, his first opera following his hit Nabucco, courtesy of UCOpera, conductor Charles Peebles and director Jamie Hayes.

Tuesday 19th March 2013 Read more...
An absorbing Eugene Onegin at Royal Academy Opera

For an opera school production, it's a good idea to choose a classic: something that will focus the audience on the quality of the singers and orchestra rather than on innovation in the piece or programming.  Eugene Onegin is a wonderful opera, and this performance didn't disappoint.

Tuesday 12th March 2013 Read more...
New opera, ancient tales: George Benjamin's Written on skin at the Royal Opera

An extreme opera for an extreme story, George Benjamin and Martin Crimp's Written on skin is making its Royal Opera House debut. The score shines, and the libretto is taut; it's a work that grabs your attention and shows how powerful modern opera can be.

Saturday 9th March 2013 Read more...
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