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The ultimate family meltdown comes with Ambroise Thomas’ Hamlet, sadly an opera oft-derided. In this showing, filmed at the Opéra Comique in 2018, it comes across as a strong piece worthy of further revival. Cyril Teste’s modern-dress production is simple and elegant and imaginatively captured for the screen by François Roussillon. Conductor Louise Langrée brings a freshness and buoyancy to the score, so although the mood is somber there is a welcome delicacy of touch. Stéphane Degout excels as Hamlet, brooding and sarcastic, his baritone lithe and flexible. It is an integrated performance rather than a show star turn. Likewise Sabine Devieilhe’s Ophélie, who, despite having a whole act dedicated to her Mad Scene, is exceptionally attentive to others. Her voice is pure, accurate and just as fascinating in moments of simplicity as when hitting the stratosphere. Sylvie Brunet-Grupposo doesn’t really do simple, she is grand to the fingertips, but an engaging actress with a good vocal heft as Gertrude. Laurent Alvaro (Claudius), Julien Behr (Laërte) and Jérôme Varnier (Le Spectre) all make valuable contributions, as does the chorus, with singing of remarkably refi ned delicacy. Meyerbeer is enjoying a successful revival and I hope that Thomas will follow. Perhaps Mignon would flourish in a production as sensitive as this Hamlet

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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