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An adventurous addition to the Wagner celebrations, Jorge Lavelli’s production of Rienzi is a sombre affair. A simple set keeps the action flowing and the moments of high drama are not shirked. But in his focusing on the series of betrayals that run through the plot, Lavelli’s interpretation misses some of the interpersonal drama between the protagonists – there’s something overly dispassionate about the performance. Pinchas Steinberg’s conducting provides a large part of that missing colour, with a controlled but vivid reading of this sprawling score. Torsten Kerl’s tenor remains unflagging throughout, with reserves to make something special of his Act 5 prayer. Marika Schönberg’s Irena is curiously faceless, and I don’t find Daniela Sindram’s mezzo particularly exciting either, though her Adriano is accurately sung and the role lies well within her vocal means. The choral work is exemplary and makes a great contribution. It’s all very well done but ultimately uninvolving.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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