Is arts criticism under threat? How has the role of an opera critic changed since the advent of blogging, online publications and social media? Does size matter in casting? Must every show be accessible to first timers? Have we really ‘had enough of experts’?

Opera Holland Park’s Director of Opera, James Clutton, General Director, Michael Volpe, and Research and Repertoire consultant, Anna Picard, are joined by Hugh Canning of The Sunday Times, Rupert Christiansen of The Daily Telegraph, Neil Fisher of The Times, Erica Jeal of The Guardian and John Allison, editor of Opera Magazine, for an evening in which you pose the questions.


About the participants

Rupert Christiansen has been the opera critic of the Daily Telegraph since 1996. He is also the author of several books on opera, including Prima Donna and Faber Pocket Guide to Opera. 

Neil Fisher is deputy arts editor and music critic for The Times. He joined the The Times in 2004 and may have met more opera divas than Giles Coren has had reasonably priced suppers. He also contributes to Gramophone and Opera magazines.

Hugh Canning has written about Classical music & opera for The Sunday Times since 1989. He also sits on the Editorial Board of and writes for Opera magazine.

Erica Jeal is a music critic for the Guardian and Deputy Editor of Opera.

John Allison is editor of Opera magazine and music critic for The Daily Telegraph. He was born in South Africa and completed his PhD while working as assistant organist at Cape Town cathedral. Since moving to London in 1989 he has authored two books and has also held positions as music critic on The Sunday Telegraph and The Times.