Monday, 7 November 2011

La sonnambula at the Royal Opera

Yet another classic that I have never seen before. The set, designed by Marco Arturo Marelli, was grand without being overbearing. The chorus / crowds were well placed for the drama to unfold. Eglise Gutiérrez was a lovely Amina who sang and hit all those high notes with eloquence. Elena Xanthoudakis as Lisa was fiesty and fun. The male cast was less interesting - but I guess it's opera about the soprano coloratura ... Glad to have seen it.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Der fliegende Holländer, Royal Opera

I was a bit surprised to see Jeffrey Tate billed as the conductor for Der fliegende Holländer. "He conducts Mozart" I thought to myself. Well, it was slightly slower than usual - about 2.5 hours run time - which enable one to listen more careful to the orchestration and melodic lines. Egils Silins was a competent Holländer - with sufficient gravitas and lyricism in his voice. Stephen Milling was a very good Daland. Anja Kampe was OK as Senta - her high notes were a bit forced which left one on edge sometimes. The production was beginning to lose its novelty - the rustling of the wet curtain during the overture was a terrible reminder for those who didn't visit the bathroom beforehand ...