Friday, 17 February 2012

Der Rosenkavalier at the ENO

Not as glittering as the Royal Opera production, but David McVicar's design and production of Der Rosenkavalier was withstanding the test of time. Uncluttered. The focus was firmly on the interaction among the characters.

Amanda Roocroft sang a credible Marschallin with velvety tone and regal presence. Sarah Connolly sang the trouser role of Octavian well, but didn't quite look right in those trousers. Sophie Bevan had a beautiful and clean tone that matched her role as Sophie. John Tomlinson sang his effortless Baron Ochs (and could he be gradually losing that dark Wagnerian ring?)

As ever, Ed Gardner did Strauss's score justice. All very enjoyable (for the second night at the ENO).

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Tales of Hoffmann at ENO

Giles Cadle's design for Tales of Hoffmann was witty and bright. Lots of nice touches to bring this otherwise lengthy opera to live. The drinks cabinet transforming into a doorway was a nice touch. The mirror that "snatched" the face / sole was fun too.

Georgia Jarman was incredible at pulling off all FOUR female roles - Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta and Stella - all of them were credible and well sung. Not entirely sure about Barry Banks as Hoffmann - just didn't feel his acting was quite authentic.