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Showing posts from October, 2014

I due Foscari at Royal Opera

Hats off to Placido Domingo singing senior Foscari. His voice resonated the auditorium with convincing weight and emotions associated with the role. Junior Foscari, sung by Francesco Meli, had that bold freshness that was perfect. Lucrezia was sung by Maria Agresta, who delivered the goods.

The set, by Kevin Knights, gave enough 3D interest and Venetian cues. Pappano did wonders with this early Verdi score - keeping the orchestra and chorus tight. I hope they bring this production back in the not too distant future (I last saw this in 1995!).

Il barbiere di Siviglia at Gran Teatre del Liceu and Royal Opera

I saw Il barbiere di Siviglia within the space of a fortnight. And for me it was really interesting to compare and contrast.

The set design: Joan Guillén (Liceu) used big props to dwarf the performers thus creating a comic effect on stage. Christian Fenouillat (Royal Opera) used a tilting sound box to thrust the performers forward, thus leaving the singers to deliver the comic drama. I think the latter work better - as the focus remain on the people, rather than the set.

Set for Act One Scene One, Royal Opera 

Set for Act Two, Gran Teatre del Liceu

The direction: Direction from Patrice Caurier (Royal Opera) was superb - the interplay of the comic characters was wonderful. Joan Font's (Liceu) approach was more straightjacket comedy - though one cannot help there was over reliance on the super-sized props.

The singers: Annalisa Stroppa as Rosina came up top at Liceu with strong acting and an agile voice while Mario Cassi was a passable Figaro: the rest of the cast was ok but not mem…