Ambrogio Maestri

Emerging into the sunshine

After dwelling in the depths of two Ring Cycles in October/November, it was nice to emerge blinking into the warm sunshine of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore.  I’d forgotten how much I like it, even if this wasn’t an ideal performance.

I do like Laurent Pelly’s production, a few niggles aside: the wide open spaces don’t help singers’ projection, the business with scooters, trucks, etc. is fun but a little distracting in parts, and quite a lot happens on extremes of the stage. But, all in all, it’s got some verve and liveliness to it and tells the story cleanly.  It’s atmospherically lit and, after Keith Warner’s clumsy Ring, it was nice to be able just to sit back and let the drama wash past, without constantly being reminded of the technical workings of the stage. (more…)

Tally Ho, Sir John…

As I dug my tickets out for Falstaff on Saturday, I had to remind myself it was a new production. I had rather enjoyed Graham Vick’s bright and breezy production, which had reopened the Opera House in 1999, and was a little bit of apprehensive about a new one. As it happens, it was a fine evening, with a crisply told story in some imaginative designs. Musically, it was rather wonderful too. (more…)