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Showing posts from April, 2014

Faust at the Royal Opera

David McVicar's fabulous production of Gounod's Faust makes a return to Covent Garden. The women turned out to be the strong cast of this run - Sonya Yoncheva was fantastic as the alluring, innocent, naive and vulnerable Marguerite. Renata Pokupic's Siébel was also very good. Simon Keelyside (Valentin) was probably the best of the male cast. Could't work out what's wrong with Bryn Terfel (Mephistophélés), but he seemed "distracted" on stage. Joseph Calleja should have been the big draw - but I didn't find his sung French convincing.

All in all good, but could be better.

Prince Igor by Novaya Opera at the London Coliseum

Sometimes it is good to see a traditional opera production. And it doesn't get any more traditional than this Prince Igor from Novaya Opera. Big realistic stage set, sumptuous costumes and good crowd scenes.

The main cast Vladimir Baykov (in the title role Igor Svyatoslavich), Marina Nerabeyeva (as Yaroslavna) and Aleksey Tatarintsev (as Vladimir) were all superb Russian singers delivering a rich sound. Vitalay Efanov (as Khan Konchak) was probably the weakest singer - his low notes didn't quite reverberate in the auditorium. The chorus was stupendous - delivering a rich and punchy sound.

In the West, we don't seem to do operas like that anymore.