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Fidelio, Royal Opera


I am indifferent about Fidelio. I have seen it many times. It doesn't do it for me. So why did I see it again on Saturday??? Hmm.
Act One. It's not good to hear a split note from the horns right at the opening of the work. Yes the orchestra played it together, but the brass was rough and the strings were sloppy. It sounded like a rehearsal but in fact it was the last performance of this run. That's bad. Kurt Rydll was a capable and sympathetic goaler. Nina Stemme, who was superb as Isolde a season ago, was a more subdue Leonore. The whole of this act, despite of the masses on stage and a suptuous production from The Metropolitan Opera, was dull, dull and dull.
Act Two. It got off to a better start with Endrik Wottrich as the imprisoned Florestan. He sounded lyrical and pensive. Nina Stemme's subdue tone was replaced by an insistent and eventually vigorous one when she succeeded in rescuing Florestan. The final big sing scene was grand. David Syrus, Head of Music at the Royal Opera, was a last minute replacement - as I said everything was held together but somehow the whole performance lacked urgency.

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