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Showing posts from June, 2008

One funny Albert Herring at Glyndebourne

Britten is not renowned for his comedies (Wagner being the other one), so I was a wee bit skeptical about Glyndebourne's new production of Albert Herring - a comic story about a May King?



The production turned out to be great - the set and costume gave a realistic portrayal of an English household, the corner shop and the village fayre. Allan Clayton sang a believable Albert Herring (probably would make a good Billy Budd). Gwynne Geyer was a fabulously bossy Lady Billows. The LPO "chamber group" delivered an intimate and dynamic sound. Gérard Korsten brought the whole team together. It was, surprisingly, a fun evening out.

The rapturous Ariadne returns to the Royal Opera

I have always loved Ariadne auf Naxos - though cannot quite believe tonight was only the 45th performance at the Royal Opera House. The set is a wonderful two-tier contraption showing the upstairs palace and downstairs servant quarter. Singers all wore rather colourful costumes.


Gillian Keith was a svelt and vixen-like Zerbinetta with an acrobatic voice to match. Deborah Voigt as a not-so-svelt Prima Donna / Ariadne brought poise and power to the role. Sir Mark Elder moved the tempo along nicely - pulled out the dramatic tension where it was needed in first half and tenderness in the second half. There were fantastic moments throughout - with a piercing duet (Ariadne / Theseus) which bring it to a rapturous end.



Vlad getting into the groove at the Royal Festival Hall

Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra (plus London Adventist Chorale and Southbank Voice Lab) gave the world premiere of EXCITE! - a work celebrating the richness and diversity of London. While the gerne may not be Jurowski's home turf, he got into the grove and led the huge force on the platform of the Royal Festival Hall to deliver an exciting, groovy and rich performance. Perhaps Excite! should open the 2012 Olympic Games.


A grand Don Carlo returns to the Royal Opera

After nearly 12 years of absence, Don Carlo returned to the Royal Opera on Friday night with grandeur. An all star cast with Pappano at the helm ensuring the drama followed with the necessary intensity.


The geometric set gave sufficient hints to the locale of the plot. Period and sumptuous costume added visual richness. Simon Keenleyside's Posa was fantastic. Roberto Vilazon's Don Carlo gave a fine performance. Furlanetto's Philip II gave the character real development. All in all, it was a fantastic evening at the grand opera


Eugene Onegin at Glyndebourne

This revival of Eugene Onegin at Glyndebourne features a strong cast - Ales Jenis as Onegin, Maija Kovalevska as Tatyana, Massima Giordano as Lensky and Maria Gortsevskaya as Olga.



All the voices are well matched and balanced - nobody was sticking out, nor any one underpowered. In a word, it has the hallmark of Vladimir Jurowski - poised and controlled. The best was Tatyana's letter scene which was fantastically sung. Onegin came across, as expected, cold in Acts I and II. Somehow his passion failed to show in the last act - thus dampening the dramatic tension between the two lead characters. The minimalist stage worked worked well with the bold costume - though I was not convinced by the somewhat contrived choreography of the St Petersburg ballroom scene. Despite of these shortcomings, it was nonetheless an entertaining evening in the country.