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Showing posts from April, 2007

Acoustic Tuning, Royal Festival Hall

I don't recall ever having been to a concert hall before it was open to the public. The Acoustic Tuning concert at the Royal Festival Hall yesterday was probably the most sought after event in London: I was lucky enough to have a ticket to sit in the newly renovated concert hall and listened to the London Philharmonic Orchestra played a variety of works - from string trio to a big fat romantic Brahms symphony. The audience was asked not to spoil it by revealing anything to the public - so I won't - but I have to say my expectations were met and am much looking forward to many more years of great concerts at this iconic venue.

Stiffelio, Royal Opera

I saw the first production of Stiffelio back in the early 90s when Jose Carreras came back to the opera stage singing opposite Catherine Malfitano. It was a seasonal production - Jose was pensive, emotionally torn and his voice had a rare vulnerability that made him the ideal Stiffelio. I saw Covent Garden's latest re-run of Stiffelio with Jose Cura singing the title role, Sondra Radvanovsky as Lina. Unfortunately, this was yet another shouting match - hmm, was it my hearing or  every body could only sing f, ff or fff? It's the same production as before - which portrayed Protestant New World very well. However, Jose Cura's voice had just too much heroism in it to make him a believable Stiffelio. Sondra Radvanosky's voice was really not to my taste - that weird fast tremolo coupled with a limited range of facial expressions didn't do it for me. It was also my first time seeing Alastair Miles (as Jorg) with long hair!