Friday, 29 June 2018
I think this David McVicar production of Giulio Cesare really brings to life this rather long Handel opera. This revival retains all the freshness and fun of the well-known Caesar meets Cleopatra tale, enough action to be entertaining, but subtle for those introspective moments. Sarah Connolly was Giulio Cesare - which was sung with intelligence and pose. Cleopatra was sung by an athletic Joélle Harvey - don't know how she managed to dance and sing those difficult arias at the same time. The highligh was the playing of OAE, under the baton of William Christie, which delivered the superb Baroque sound world that really let the music shine.
Tuesday, 26 June 2018
I went to see Danielle de Niese in La bohème. This was a revival of Richard Jones's production: it's lighthearted without straying too far away from the verismo genre. De Niese made a fabulous Musetta (at first I thought she was going to be Mini, which would have been questionable) - the flamboyant stage presence coupled with a fine voice added real fizz to act 2. Nicola Luisotti help delivered a fine and clear orchestra sound from the pit. Quite enjoyable.