Columns linked to Angela Simkin

Don Carlo at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo, which premiered in 1867 in Paris as Don Carlos, exists in several versions, and, depending on which is performed, is either his longest or one of his longest operas. Although the first performance was in French, Nicholas Hytner’s 2008 production for the Royal Opera House employs the Modena version of 1886, which is one of several to utilise an Italian libretto. Don Carlo ; © ROH, Catherine Ashmore Don Carlo ; © ROH, Catherine...


Oreste at Wilton’s Music Hall, London

Sam Smith

George Frideric Handel’s opera Oreste of 1734 is a pasticcio, which is a work built around music (usually from a range of composers) that already exists. These were very common in the eighteenth century, partly because the demands on an establishment’s resident composer to produce work were so great that it became a standard practice to bolster output by utilising them, and partly because there was a strong tradition of using such creations to showcase the compositions of a...