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Showing posts from August, 2018

Sir Simon Rattle conducts Ravel at BBC Proms

The evening started with Ravel's Mother Goose (orchestrated version). It was a straightforward play, but somehow I couldn't quite engage with the work.

Magdalena Kožena delivered a fine rendition of Shéhérazade. Her dark timbre suited the exotic Arabian adventure. Text delivery was good, and Sir Simon Rattle conjured up this moody and magical world with the London Symphony Orchestra.

L’enfant et les sortilèges was in the second half of the concert. As a concert performance, the rich and resourceful score was beautifully rendered by Sir Simon. Magdalena Kožena sang the boy, with a strong cast to portray the various tea cups, animals and insects. The London Symphony Chorus obliged with various noises, including a synchronised nose-pitching number. The cat duet (Anna Stéphany and Gavan Ring) was particularly fun!

Vanessa at Glyndebourne

Indeed it was a rare opportunity to see Samuel Barber's Vanessa. Keith Warner's direction was super - working in sync with Ashley Martin-Davis's stage design of big mirror cases - to bring this intriguing plot to life. Emma Bell was a pensive and stoic Vanessa, but occasionally out-shown by Virginie Verrez's portrayal of Erika. Jakub Hrůša led the London Philharmonic to deliver this lush Barber sound world.

Saul at Glyndebourne

What a superb revival production directed by Barrie Kosky. The big choruses were done with the singers doing slo-mo mannerism action. Markus Brück was particularly fine with Saul, and the rest of the cast did a super job to bring this oratorio to life.  Laurence Cummings maintained dramatic momentum with the OAE while darting from the rostrum to the organ - including playing the solo intro on a spinning organ on stage!