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Two interesting productions by women. Firstly Rusalka, in Melly Still’s staging for Glyndebourne, filmed here in 2019. Still doesn’t duck the challenges of the piece but confronts them head on. This isn’t a twee tale of nymphs and princes, but a harsh and violent world in which the lovers are trapped. Sex and violence are never far away: don’t worry, it is perfectly safe to watch, but it does convey the rough and tumble of the opera. The staging is very beautiful, with subtle effects, such as the water nymphs’ sensuous tails suspended from the flies and glowing against dark liquidity (lighting by Paule Constable). Still doesn’t overplay the psychoanalysis of the piece, but we are left in no doubt about what lurks beneath the fairy story waves. Robin Ticciati’s conducting is detailed, quite swift, propulsive not rushed. Sally Matthew’s Rusalka is sung with a smoky soprano that has surprising heftgiven its delicacy, and the Prince is Evan LEROY Johnson, who combines an ardent tenor with good looks. They have great chemistry between them and the whole cast is excellent.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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