Archive for the ‘Strauss’ Category

OPERA ROUND-UP: Strauss’s Salome, Natalie Dessay, and a Mozzafest

March 13, 2008

Recent opera highlights for grown-ups: 

* David McVicar’s new London production of Strauss’s Salome (Royal Opera House) demanded respect, but it failed to engage fully.  It had some compelling sub-Wagnerian sounds from the pit, but the principals didn’t really fire my imagination.  Occasionally inspired, mostly disappointing.  

* Natalie Dessay’s star continues to rise.  Following her triumph in last year’s La Fille du Regiment in London – one of the most exciting performances I’ve seen, in any musical genre, in recent years – the French soprano has released some outstanding new product, including Bellini’s La Sonnambula and a must-have compilation, Airs d’Opéras Italiens  

Airs d’Opéras Italiens – tracklist: Verdi La TraviataE strano!… Ah, forse è lui – Follie! Follie… Sempre liberaBellini I puritaniO rendetemi la speme – Qui la voce sua soave – Vien dilettoDonizetti Maria StuardaAllenta il piè, Regina – Oh nube che lieve – Nella pace del mesto riposoVerdi RigolettoGualtier Maldé… Caro nomeBellini I Capuleti e i MontecchiEccomi in lieta vesta – Oh! quante volteDonizetti Lucia di LammermoorEccola… Il dolce suono – Ardon gli incensi –S’avanza Enrico – Spargi d’amaro pianto  

* Mostly Mozart, the Barbican’s welcome annual mid-summer Mozzafest, bravely pitched against The Proms season on the other side of London, runs this year from 10 July to 2 August, and booking is now open. Highlights include Cosi Fan Tutte, by Garsington Opera, La Clemenza di Tito, starring Alice Coote, and Mozart’s Requiem. 

The programme is well worth a look: www.barbican.org.uk   

Gerry Smith

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