Review – Manchester Collective: Cries and Whispers

Manchester Collective The White Hotel, Salford Saturday 14 March 2020 Everything they touch turns to musical gold ***** Dmitri Shostakovich This was a concert for troubled times. Manchester Collective's Managing Director, Adam Szabo thanked us for braving the weather and the virus. He said that this performance, the end of a short tour, would be …

Review – Poulenc Dialogues des Carmélites

RNCM soloists, chorus and orchestra RNCM Manchester Saturday 14 December 2019 A stunning staging of Poulenc's emotional opera **** This was the final performance of the RNCM's staging of Poulenc's opera, Dialogues des Carmélites, set in a Carmelite monastery during the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution. It's a deeply religious work appearing towards …

Sir Stephen Cleobury, my Father and the Meaning of Christmas

When I think of Sir Stephen Cleobury who has just died my image of him is conducting the service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Cambridge on Christmas Eve. © Kevin Leighton/King's College, Cambridge The festival of Christmas was central to my relationship with my Father who died twenty-five years ago.  I always used to listen to …