Thursday, 29 September 2016
Semyon Bychkov did an amazing job to giving the score flow, nuance and direction. The cast was mostly able to keep up - though not always: the ensemble fell apart once or twice. The set design (Ben Baur) was a little trying - is the drama really an act, stage within a stage? I wasn't convinced. None of the cast was outstanding in anyway.
Friday, 16 September 2016
It has been a long long time since Norma was staged at Covent Garden. So I went with much anticipation. It didn't disappoint. The title role was sung by Sonya Yoncheva (who replaced Anna Nebtreko) and she was fabulous - would be interesting to see how she does at Les Conte later in the season. Pollione was sung by Joseph Calleja - I don't like his high frequency vibrato. But the couple otherwise did well.
Alfons Flores's set design was dramatic and intriguing, sufficiently religious without getting in the way. Though I wonder how soon th set will look dated.
Needless to say, Pappano was superb at delivering the drama and music.
Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier's production of Il barbiere di Siviglia has become a classic. In this revival, Ferrucio Furlanetto remained a fabulous Doctor Bartolo. Daniela Mack was a pretty good Rosina. Otherwise it's much the same as before.