Carl Maria von Weber

Reasons to be cheerful

Catching up on the last four performances I’ve attended (on the past two weekends), allows for a pleasant – if brief – celebratory post. (more…)

Freischütz & Fille

Two evenings, both with flaws as well as tremendous performances; both looked forward to immensely, and one more successful than the other.

The first – and most successful – was the concert performance of Der Freischütz at the Barbican (21/4).  The LSO were on fine form, with all the gorgeous sonorities of the score richly displayed.  Sir Colin Davis ensured there was the right amount of pep in all of the folksy numbers, the angst of Agathe and Max was given its space, and there was a liberal dose of fire and thunder in the Wolf’s Glen scene.  I could have done without some of the electronic sound effects: I thought we left such things behind with John Culshaw’s Solti Ring recording. (more…)

Berlin Regietheater x2

A weekend in Berlin and two operas, both exhibiting similar highlights and flaws: the Komische Oper’s Der Freischütz and the Deutsche Oper’s Tristan und Isolde. In common, they were musically strong. Equally, their Regietheater tendencies both misfired at crucial moments. What follows may come across as a reactionary opposition to Regietheater but in fact it is more a reaction to it being done badly and inconsistently. Overall, both performances were thoroughly enjoyable with much to think about. (more…)