horizontal line

As this year’s Glyndebourne season closes and it prepares for its tour in October, there’s the opportunity to experience some of the 2015 festival’s offerings on DVD. Die Entführung aus dem Serail was a hit in David McVicar’s production. Like a Liotard pastel come to life, it’s a traditionalist’s turquerie dream, and explores the relationship between Konstanze and Pasha Selim almost forensically: Sally Matthews and Franck Saurel are up to the challenge, in her case aided by technically precise and excitingly smoky, sexy tone. Edgaras Montvidas sings stylishly as Belmonte; but, as ever, one wonders why Konstanze doesn’t stay in the harem – it certainly looks more fun. Mari Eriksmoen and Brenden Gunnell have a ball as the servants, and if the cast wasn’t so strong Tobias Kehrer would walk away with the show as Osmin, his rolling bass unfazed by the demands upon it. Robin Ticciati leads with panache and easy-going tempi, nothing exaggerated.

The other big success of the season was Saul, Handel’s oratorio, given a searing production by Barrie Kosky – vibrant, challenging, often shocking, it blends traditional visuals with contemporary action and choreography to create an amusing, emotional and sometimes outrageous world. Ivor Bolton’s conducting is superb: he lives and dies this work, as does all the cast. Christopher Purves is moving as Saul: his encounter with John Graham-Hall’s pendulous-breasted Witch of Endor is deeply unsettling. Iestyn Davies’s eloquent David is career-defining; Lucy Crowe’s spiky Merab and Sophie Bevan’s gentler Michal share soprano honours.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

   Read full review   

To continue reading, please upgrade to a premium account. You will have immediate full access.

Read more classical music reviews online here:

Opera Now, 2016 - ©Rhinegold Publishing