Kasper Holten’s production of Don Giovanni, which opened at Covent Garden last night, would appear to have one eye set on its DVD recording or HD transmission. Equally, it seemed an exercise in bringing some HD clarity to the stage visuals. Whether, ultimately, it functions as an insightful production of the opera is a matter of some debate, but it seems hard to deny that the projected visuals, matched with remarkable technical facility to the moving set, were a tour de force of their kind. (more…)
Last Saturday’s Fidelio at Covent Garden may not have been perfect, but it’s in the work’s DNA to pack a punch against many odds. And even if the work itself hadn’t had such in-built strength, the quality of the singing would have pulled it through.
Nina Stemme, remarkable in every role I’ve ever heard her in, once again came through as a dramatic and vocally confident Leonora. Even when given daft things to do by the director she still managed to retain the dignity of the character and make something convincing of the role. A good example would be the frequent cleaning of guns, weighing them up, and swapping them from one bag to another during Abscheulicher! Make something of that, whilst imbuing your gleaming tone with dramatic nuance, if you can. And if anyone can, Stemme did. (more…)