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Showing posts from March, 2009

Der fliegende Holländer at the Royal Opera

I have managed to avoid all the reviews as I didn't want them to taint my experience of the new production of Der fliegende Holländer at the Royal Opera. The long overture was accompanied by a seascape - essentially water running down a curtain across the stage forming the sea. The set was clever without cluttering the stage. A moving shadow represented the ghost ship - which had to be one of the most economical and convincing effects I have ever seen on the Royal Opera stage.

Bryn Terfel was magnificent as the Flying Dutchman singing with lyricism and drama. Senta, sung by Anja Kampe, had a Wagnerian voice with her top note ringing through the auditorium. Even the supporting cast of Hans-Peter König (Daland), Torsten Kerl (Erik) and John Tessier (Steersman) was strong. The chorus was fantastic - with enough singers carrying the drama. Marc Albrecht at the helm in the pit got the orchestra to play dynamically without losing the details. I am hoping this Dutchman will return to the…

I Capuleti e i Montecchi

This revival of I Capuleti e i Montecchi uses the same set as the one by Pier Luigi Pizzi. Sadly the  production is showing its age - with limited movements and deserted sets. All is not lost, as we had two exceptional leads at this production at the Royal Opera. Elina Garanca (Romeo) was boyish and passionate; Anna Netrebko (Giulietta) was equally passionate - both had exceptional voices for their roles. The audience was overwhelmed by how they carried the drama - and so did I. Sir Mark was at the helm in the pit keeping the tempi moving and lingering for those sensational moments.

Bryn Terfel (singing Dutchman at the moment) sat among the audience in the Amphitheatre that evening to the astonishment of fellow opera goers. And it looked as if he enjoyed the performance too.