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Showing posts from June, 2017

Ariadne auf Naxos, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

The Prologue. A fun filled act with snippets of the melodies to come. Music Master (Thomas Allen) busied himself with everyone else. Angela Brower's Composer was urgent and torn.

The Opera. While Erin Morley (Zerbinetta) delivered some fine vocal pyrotechnic, it was Lise Davidsen (Ariadne) who was the true star of the act. Her soaring and penetrating soprano lines were Wagnerian in quality, and we were in no doubt of her torments and doubts. Sadly, AJ Glueckert's Bacchus was completely out-sung by Davidsen toward the end (at least he kept his voice, unlike the first night of this production a couple of years back when the tenor barely made it to the end).

Conductor Cornelius Meister took everything at a pretty brisk pace, he also let the somewhat decadent side of the music emerge. The LPO played everything beautifully.

Otello, The Royal Opera

The buzz was huge just getting into the house, invaded by opera glitterati and pan-European fans of the one star we were here to see: Jonas Kaufmann. He didn't disappoint. Kaufmann gave a nuanced, thoughtful and emphatic performance. His portrayal of Otello was multi-faceted. The duet with Iago (Marco Vratogna) was gripping, so was the murder scene in the last act. Maria Agresta's Desdemona was excellent - particularly the willow song in the last act.

Keith Warner's direction was excellent in the last act - with all that contrasting emotions and dramas. But the first act somehow lacked direction - there were times when even Otello was milling about. Set designer Boris Kudlička's dark and moody motive went along with the drama, rather than contrasting against it. So after a while, I got bored looking at the set. Wish there were more colours.

Pappano took a brisk tempo throughout, at times risking the choral and orchestral ensemble, but the rewards was a full-blood…

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker / Rosas & Ictus — Rain

Somewhat hypnotic choreography made for a fun night out with friends. It took me a while to get to the idiom of the dancing, but finally got there. The Ictus Ensemble played Steve Reich’s "Music for 18 Musicians" metronomically. Altogether a satisfying night out.