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Showing posts from May, 2014

Dialogues des Carmélites at the Royal Opera

Michael Levine's set design for Dialogues des Carmélites was minimalist. Actually, was there any set design? I suppose the director Robert Carsen was clever at introducing formation of human figures in many different ways to suggest the context of the opera. It kind of worked.

Blanche, sung by Sally Matthews, was pretty good. Though I did find the whole work quite tedious - I think the intimate nature of the dialogues needed a small and intimate performing space i.e. not the Royal Opera House. The ending was worth waiting for. Dramatic. Poignant.

Thebans at the ENO

Julian Anderson's first opera. A new commission from the ENO. Its music director at the helm. And an eagerly awaited production from Pierre Audi. There was much anticipation of this new opera in the musical world.

Roland Wood's portrayal of Oepidus was superb, and with much gravitas. Julia Sporsén as Antigone sang the part well and delivered drama throughout the three acts - and the powerful final note. Matthew Best was pretty good as the non-sexual Tiresias. The chorus deserved a prize for learning the difficult parts and delivered with much gusto.

Pierre Audi's production was powerful - especially in the first act when the dynamic movement of the different characters and the crowds really heightened the drama. Ed Gardner was superb in the pit - with clear directions (key to keep the choruses tidy) and enough breathing space for the drama to come through. The band was responsive and accurate (loved the contra-bassoon).

And how was the music? It felt right. At times it po…