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Showing posts from June, 2019

Cendrillon at Glyndebourne

Danielle de Niese as Cendrillon was able to characterise the downtrodden country girl as well as the alluring star of the Prince's ball. And an extra star for her dashing back from Cardiff Singer of the World competition the night before. Kate Lindsey in the trouser role of the Prince was superb too - especially in the duet towards the end of the ball scene. Lionel Lhote as Pandolfe delivered his lovely aria with a rich and mature tone.



Fiona Shaw's production and Jon Bausor's design were magical. The clever use of semi-seethrough mirrors was so effective in portraying the fleeting nature of love between Cendrillon and the Prince. The gradual yet unmistakble appearance of the count-down clock was spine-tinkingly good.

Most people would be familiar with Massenet's better known operas such as Werther and Thais. Cendrillo, this lighthearted and farytale opera, is rarely staged. I hope this fantastic production will make many happy returns.

Tosca at the Royal Opera

The last time I saw Tosca, I was very disappointed. This is, again, a revival of the now tried-and-tested Jonathan Kent's production (revival director Andrew Sinclair). I was hoping to be entertained.

On the night I got the Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais - who was by-and-large right for the title role. There was enough drama and her voice hit all the right notes. Vissi d'arte was sensitively sung. Vittorio Grigòlo was his usual heroic self - at times his singing was a little shouty and lacking in finess. His fans loved him. Bless. Bryn Terfel brought Scarpia to live effortlessly. Unlike the other two leads, he was very much at ease with the role, with nothing to prove, and it was enjoyable to get absorbed into his character.

Alexander Joel's took a more symphonic approach to Puccini's score. There were movments when that approach worked with the drama. But there were times when the singers were being held for too long - thus losing the dramatic tension intended. Wa…

The Diary of One Who Disappeared, Royal Opera

The Diary of One Who Disappeared is a staged production (Muziektheater Transparant) of the song cycle by Janácek, with additional music by Annelies Van Parys. The Lindbury Theatre turned out to be the right size venue for this intimate production. Jan Versweyveld's set re-created a simple photographer's studio with subtle use of projections. The on stage movements were natural while recreating the love tension depicted in the songs.



Ed Lyon (man) and Marie Hamard (woman) delivered the song with sensitivity and the ocassional emotional outbursts (as with many Janácek's works). The linking music by Annelies Van Parys, while obviously modern, did work to turn this song cycle into an hour long piece of theatre.