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The Gambler was well paced at the Royal Opera

Having only seen two operas by Prokoviev (Betrothral in a Monastery and War and Peace), I was intrigued to see The Gambler at the Royal Opera. My secret wish was that it wouldn't be like The Queen of Spade which I found difficult.

Roberto Saccà (Alexei) really got across his internal turmoil while Angela Denoke played the hard-to-get Polina. Richard Jones's direction was great - where each act and sequence had an authentic feel with just enough caricature to deliver entertainment value.
Antony McDonald's set and Nicky Gillibrand's costume designs were great - giving the production a contemporary feel. The zoo, the hotel corridor and even the big gambling tables really worked well. My friend also thought perhaps the revolving door was synced to the key changes and rhythm. Speaking of rhythm, Pappano and the orchestra really kept the pace of the work going. The gambling sequence, in particular, had a quicken pulse that really conveyed the excitement of a buzzy casino.


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