Best of the year 2010: classical concerts in London

Jonathan Lennie chooses his best classical performances of the year

© Stephen Cummiskey

‘The Duchess of Malfi’, Great Eastern Quay, Royal Albert Basin

English National Opera demonstrated what it does best – taking bold risks with contemporary opera through interesting collaborations and venues (such as its annual sojourn at The Young Vic – this year, Fiona Shaw directing Henze’s ‘Elegy for Young Lovers’). Its most impressive production, though, was in July, when the company, in partnership with leading site-specific theatre company Punchdrunk, took over a former office block in east London’s docks to produce a stunning, unpredictable and memorable experiment in modern opera. The music was by Torsten Rasch, who turned his talents to the bloody seventeenth-century tragedy of love, incest and murder by John Webster. Orchestral ensembles of varying sizes accompanied the singers, who included Richard Burkhard, as the assassin, and game countertenor Andrew Watts who wandered around naked.

Read our interview with Torsten Rasch

By Jonathan Lennie