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Taking seriously its self-appointed, Giulio Cesare-onwards role as a camp theme-park for corporates, Glyndebourne surpassed itself with its first Rameau opera in 2013. The place’s raison d’être is of course to lampoon opera seria and tragédie lyrique, so we get the usual panoply of feyly-gesturing airborne gods and amusingly- garbed, gurning chorus, more fun than ever in close-up. The particular hilarity with this production was its French-fridge setting, with Hades located in the cobwebbed rear electrics. The reaction to any intellectual space is to bring on a Two Ronnies Christmas Special routine to fill it, treating the audience as 5-year-olds to be diverted with feeble clowning. William Christie, the OAE and Stéphane Degout, giving an immensely impressive and focused performance as Theseus, try to perform an opera, with considerable help from Sarah Connolly, Ed Lyon and Christiane Karg; there is musical beguilement and exhilaration here, and the wonder of Rameau’s sound-world is beautifully realised, particularly in the dances. This would have made a wonderful CD without the visuals.

Robert Thicknesse Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Opera Now, 2014 - ©Rhinegold Publishing