Two events in the past week or so, each presenting something to chew on… (more…)
Tim Albery’s production of Der Fliegende Holländer returned to Covent Garden and, better late than never, I’m able to jot down my thoughts on the last night, 4 November.
It was notable for a very split approach to the pacing of the drama: onwards from the meeting of Senta and the Dutchman, right through to the conclusion, it was electric; Senta’s Ballad, however, seemed to me a perverse essay in how slowness can be confused with profundity and, momentarily, it threatened to derail the whole two-hour-and-a-half hour enterprise. (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…)