Andrew McCormack
©Tim Dickeson

Andrew McCormack Trio/Empirical, Kings Place Festival, London

A sure touch from the pianist, and a grand finale from the quartet

Hao Jiang Tian as Oroveso in 'Norma', NCPA, Beijing
©Wang Jing/NCPA

Norma, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing

The contrast between western and Chinese casts was striking

Stuart Skelton as Otello
©Alastair Muir

Otello/Anna Nicole/Rigoletto, London

The London opera season gets off to a strong start

A drone flies through the Barbican Theatre during John Cale and Liam Young's performance
©Sidd Khajuria

John Cale, Barbican, London

The veteran musician turns to drones to reinvent the rock gig

Sondra Radvanovsky in 'Norma'
©Cory Weaver

Norma, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco

The vocal thrills were of the sort that make opera fans for life

Growing pains

Perhaps the wretchedness and sadness of the whole affair is a commentary on the hellishness of Miley Cyrus-level celebrity

James Kryshak and Patricia Racette in 'Susannah'
©Cory Weaver

Susannah, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco

Patricia Racette sang the title role with deep commitment

Martin Gerke in ‘Exit Paradise’
©Matthias Heyde

Exit Paradise, Neuköllner Oper, Studio, Berlin

A new opera drawn from the everyday lives of a low-income district

Eric Cutler and Peter Lodahl in 'Daphne'

Daphne, La Monnaie, Brussels

Musical standards are high in this production of Strauss’s opera

Robert Plant on stage at the Roundhouse, London
©Elliott Franks

Robert Plant, iTunes Festival, Roundhouse, London

Plant was an immensely engaging presence, his band excellent

Cleveland Orchestra, BBC Proms

Two concerts revealed impressive discipline but little warmth

Idomeneo, Drottningholm Palace Theatre, Sweden

Kungliga Operan’s production abounds in telling detail

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Hall

An eclectic programme launched the ensemble’s new venue

Joyce DiDonato, Wigmore Hall, London

The American soprano had an ideal accompanist in Antonio Pappano

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

The defining feature of the orchestra’s two Proms was its versatility

John Adams’s Saxophone Concerto, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

This jazz-infused novelty is vigorous enough, but says little

Tony Bennett, Royal Festival Hall, London

A masterly display from the veteran crooner

The Slow Lane: Peaks and Promenades

While the Mahler unfolded and reached its radiant conclusion, time stood still

Orfeo, Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam

Sasha Waltz’s production blends music and dance in a seamless flow of sound and motion

Beck, iTunes Festival, Roundhouse, London

A return to Beck’s playful persona of the 1990s