English Touring Opera: Dardanus
Second night with the English Touring Opera after a wonderful Giulio Cesare. This night the treat was Jean-Philippe Rameau brilliant Dardanus. Even if both are baroque operas and they were composed only 15 years apart they are totally different worlds. It was amazing how well The Old Street Band under Jonathan Williams direction adapted so well to such different styles.
Here we were presented the 1744 revision, in what I think was the UK premiere. The action was set in modern war even if modern wars don’t have anymore heroes. Stage was simple with most of the drama happening through a very good acting. French baroque opera recitatives are much more cantabile than their Italian counterpart and all the singers got them perfectly. A lot of work has been done researching this production and that can easily noticed on how well all the duets and ensemble singing fit. Anthony Gregory had the titanic task of, being a tenor, singing the haute-contre Dardanus role. He did it very well and sounded idiomatic enough. Iphise is not easy either and Galina Averina sang it in a elegant way with a beautiful voice.
The post-wedding scene was a terrific dramatic piece on a post-war scenario. Touching. Very very nice opera night.