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Something that sets this apart from most films of live opera is François Roussillon’s film direction. Not only does he record the staged performance with deftness and clarity, but he dwells upon characters at just the right moments and, quite unusually for this medium, uses reaction shots to great effect. It’s wonderful that he does because this cast is dramatically superb and Jonathan Kent’s production provides clarity of action with depth of psychology in its 1950s setting. Miah Persson’s Governess is radiantly voiced and her traversal of the character’s development is outstanding, balancing the dichotomy that she is both innocent and an inadvertent perpetrator. Susan Bickley’s richly nuanced Mrs Grose is looking for her own moral justification for events, Toby Spence resists over-singing and acting the Narrator and Quint, and Giselle Allen perfectly depicts Miss Jessel’s wretched afterlife. Joanna Songi is a lively Flora and Thomas Parfitt is truly outstanding as Miles, combining childish purity with a blankly malevolent stare. Jakub Hrůša’s conducting of the London Philharmonic is finely textured and exquisitely realised.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Opera Now, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing