Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Ariadne auf Naxos at the Royal Opera

As ever, one can only marvel at the double-decker stage design by Herbert Murauer. Still awesome.



Karita Mattila made a fine Prima Donna / Ariadne. Still a wonderful quivering Straussian soprano voice. The Tenor / Bacchus, sung by Robert Sacca, was pretty good too. As ever, the band and Pappano gave their best.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Cosí fan tutte at the English National Opera



Not at all sure about this production. While the Blackpool stage design gave it intrigue, it felt too "outdoor" and didn't have enough intimacy - especially when the male / female couples were together. Ryan Wigglesworth conducted the score well. Mary Bevan as Despina was almost funny. But one felt somewhat unfulfilled.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Manon Lescaut at the Royal Opera

Jonas Kaufmann was clearly the star of the show. Superb singing. And the stage set by Paul Brown really worked - especially in Act II / the Boudoir scene where the voyeurs gave it that extra seedy quality.





As ever, Pappano gave his best with this Puccini score.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Benvenutto Cellini at the English National Opera

Was this Benvenutto Cellini a crazy production? Terry Gilliam's direction gave it that crazy fantastical feel that married up to Berlioz's score. Michael Spyres sang and acted the Cellini role well. Corinne Winters as Teresa gave a fine performance. But it's to Edward Gardner who held everything tightly together.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Der Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne

New staging by Richard Jones, conducted by the new music director Robin Ticciati, and with a strong cast - there was much anticipation.

The Marschallin, sung by Kate Royal, was well cast: a great voice with that Straussian sheen and enough gravitas to carry the role. Tara Erraught's Octavian was androgenous enough. Teodora Gheorghiu as Sophie was pretty good. Lars Woldt's rendition of Ochs was funny and tragic at the same time. 




Now onto the set design (Paul Steinberg) - I thought it was funny in the first two acts with larger than live tables, neon signs and trappings. The last act didn't do it for me - the dining room scene was just too contrived. Luckily that didn't get in the way of the trio Hab' mir's gelobt. Still, the music shone where it needed - a rewarding Glyndebourne experience.