Showing posts from March, 2012

Monteverdi et al - L'incoronazione di Poppea

Opéra de Lille, Sunday March 18 2012
Conductor: Emmanuelle Haïm. Production: Jean-François Sivadier. Sets: Alexandre de Dardel. Lighting: Philippe Berthomé. Costumes: Virginie Gervaise. Poppea: Sonya Yoncheva. Nerone: Max Emmanuel Cencic. Ottavia: Ann Hallenberg. Ottone: Tim Mead. Seneca: Paul Whelan. Drusilla: Amel Brahim-Djelloul. Nutrice/Famigliare di Seneca: Rachid Ben Abdeslam. Arnalta: Emiliano Gonzalez Toro. Fortuna/Venere/Pallade: Anna Wall. Valetto/Virtù: Khatouna Gadelia. Mercurio/Console: Aimery Lefèvre. Damigella/Amore: Camille Poul. Littore/Famigliare di Seneca /Console: Patrick Schramm. Lucano/soldato/tribuno/Famigliare di Seneca: Mathias Vidal. Liberto Capitano/soldato/tribuno: Nicholas Mulroy. Actor: Rachid Zanouda. Le Concert d’Astrée.

I was too late booking for Poppea in Lille, so we found ourselves on folding wooden seats (creaking ones, too, when occupied by fidgets) on the second row of the topmost tier, just below the rim of the dome and well to one side. As a re…

Purcell - Dido and Aeneas

Opéra Comique, Paris, Wednesday March 7 2012
Conductor: William Christie. Production: Deborah Warner. Sets and costuimes: Chloe Obolensky. Lighting: Jean Kalman. Dido: Malena Ernman. Aeneas: Nikolay Borchev. Belinda: Judith Van Wanroij. Sorceress: Hilary Summers. Second Woman: Lina Markeby. First Witch: Céline Ricci. Second Witch: Ana Quintans. Spirit: Marc Mauillon. Sailor: Ben Davies. Prologue: Fiona Shaw. Les Arts Florissants Orchestra and Chorus.

Deborah Warner’s beautiful production of what we used to call, at school in England, Dildo and Anus has been around so widely, geographically, on DVD and Blu-ray, and even in full, with Spanish subtitles, on YouTube (where most of its splendour is dimmed) it hardly seems worthwhile writing it up, unless for completeness. It is so beautiful that it seems carping to criticise either staging or singing (the orchestra and chorus are simply beyond criticism); and I’ve seen reviews in print repeat exactly what my neighbour said more than once: …