By and large this production of Gounod Faust was very good. The stage set transferred well from the Metropolitan Opera to the London Coliseum. As expected, Des McAnuff's direction was very good - the scene transitions, the spatial dynamics of the characters and the movements. Toby Spence was great as Faust. Iain Paterson was a strong Mephistopheles - with enough presence and bounce in the character. The oitment in all this was that the chorus kept falling behind and nearly fell apart in the well known Soldiers' Chorus. Edward Gardner was very clear with his beat - so it's really up to the choristers to watch the baton!
I quite forgot the first number in Porgy and Bess is Summertime! Beautifully sung by Nicole Cabell as Bess. On a whole, the chorus number was better sung than the solo numbers - where the diction was generally inadequate. The set (Michael Yeargan) was three-dimensional and worked really well with the many scenes in this work. John Wilson was in his elements in the pit and the orchestra responded with a rhythmic boisterous sound - the best part of the evening.