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Showing posts from March, 2012

Miss Fortune at the Royal Opera

New operas don't come by everyday. Miss Fortune, by Judith Weir, was a thoroughly contemporary work that reflects life in the 21st century. I thought the staging, lighting and projects / electronics were great - adding enough interest without being distracting. The projections were particularly good - probably due to artists' familiarity with the technology and capability of projectors.

As for the music, it was clean and "easy on the ears". Emma Bell sang the title role exceptionally well - especially the long monologue at the beginning. Fate (Andrew Watts) was well suited to the role with good and firm projection. Chen Shi-Zheng's direction was modern - from using today's Evening Standards to the hip break-dancers.

Rusalka at the Royal Opera

I managed my expectations well. Having seen the Glyndebourne acclaimed production of Rusalka a couple of times, the yardstick was set very high. Then again, it's one of my favourite conductors Yannick Néget-Séguin in the pit.

Let's start with the production. What happened to the nymphs, water goblins, and the forest? Oh no, it's all transported to a Nordic looking sitting room. Lots of wood (forest?) and lots of scantily clad costumes (nymphs?). I had to stretch my imagination quite a bit.Though it was so offensive - nobody booed at the performance (2nd of the run).

As for the music, Néget-Séguin was in his elements with Dvořák's rich orchestration and a strong cast. Camilla Nylund sang the title role very well (including that famous aria in Act One). Bryan Hymel was slightly wooden in his acting but nonetheless made a passable Prince. Ježibaba, sung by Agnes Zwierko, was fabulously matronly. The music flowed and held back at all the right places. The orchestra respo…