Orpheus condescending

Iestyn Davies is, of course, a renowned Handellian, and he sang Handel’s music with clarity, restraint, and precision.

Less than hero

Iestyn Davies’s theatrical blandness combined with his vocal unsuitability for the role left a hole at the center of Rinaldo.

Better call Saul

Director Barrie Kosky’s Glyndebourne 2015 production of Handel’s 1739 oratorio Saul (released on Opus Arte DVD) shows imagination as well as a strong cast and design team.

Morley marvelous

Sunday afternoon at Carnegie Hall two remarkable slices of soprano-heaven were served up, first by Carolyn Sampson and then by Erin Morley, during the second act of Handel’s Orlando.

Saxon violence

His shaved head in striking contrast to his dark beard and glinting eyes, the implacable Tartar conqueror glowers at us from the CD cover, while the uncropped photo of countertenor Xavier Sabata (above) is even more disturbing, featuring his raised fist and forearm tightly wrapped in a leather belt.

Desk set

“Two Boys demonstrates that Mr. Muhly is capable of very great things indeed, offering extended glimpses of the kind of masterpiece he just missed writing here, and, more happily, of the kind of masterpiece I feel confident he will write in the future.”

Deeds of kindness to review

For decades thousands and thousands have attended Handel’s Messiah (usually around Christmas or more appropriately near Easter) making it easily one of the most widely known works of classical music.

Our retrospection will now be all to the future

La Cieca predicts you won’t be seeing any puritans at the Met next season, except of course for the ones who slouch around during intermission hissing, “You call that a trill?”